Born in Moscow on 19 April 1965, Lilya Zilberstein began to play the piano when she was five. From 1971 she studied under Ada Traub at the Gnessin Music School in Moscow, graduating with the highest distinction in 1983. She continued her studies with Alexander Satz at the Gnessin Pedagogical Institute, where she took her final examination in 1988. Winner of a series of Soviet competitions, Lilya's international success came in 1987 when she won First Prize - and the Audience Prize - in the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition (Concorso Busoni) in Bolzano.
In May 1988 Lilya Zilberstein began her first extended tour of the West, starting in Italy where she made triumphant débuts at the Maggio Musicale Festival in Florence and at the Festival of Pianists at Bergamo and Brescia. Further concerts followed in the USA, including a recital at the first New York International Festival of the Arts, in Germany (Dresden Staatskapelle), Austria and France. She returned to Japan in January 1994 and made her UK début with the London Symphony Orchestra the same year.
Since then she has played at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, with the Chicago Symphony and James Levine at the Ravinia Festival, and regularly with the Berlin Philharmonic under Claudio Abbado since her début with them in 1991.
Zilberstein lives in Hamburg, and has made many recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, including solo piano works by Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Brahms, Liszt, Schubert, Mussorgsky, Taneyev and Medtner. Her concerto recordings include the Grieg concerto with the Gothenburg Symphony and Järvi, as well as Rachmaninov's Second and Third Piano Concertos with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic.
Ensemble. Out of Nature - Giuseppe Pennisi was at the opening concert of the 2019 Chigiana International Festival
Outstanding and unforgettable - Lilya Zilberstein's recital at London's Wigmore Hall impresses Bill Newman