Lilya Zilberstein got her first taste of international success in 1987 when she won the Busoni Competition in Bolzano. Her victory was a sensation – it took five years until the first prize was even awarded again. By 1988, the Moscow-born pianist was able to perform at big tours abroad in the West. Travelling for her concerts took her to almost all of the European countries, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Canada and Brazil.
Lilya Zilberstein started playing the piano at five years old. After twelve years of lessons with Ada Traub at the Gnessin School of Music in Moscow, she continued studying at the Gnessin Institute under Alexander Satz until she graduated in 1988. In 1985, she won first prize in the Competition of the Russian Federation, and was also one of the prize-winners at the All Union’s Competition in Riga. Lilya Zilberstein has been living in Germany since 1990. In 1991, Lilya Zilberstein debuted with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Claudio Abbado, which formed the basis of a long-term cooperation. She performed concerts with many famous international orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra in Moscow, the London Symphony and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra della Scala in Milan, the Staatskapelle Dresden, and many others. Alongside Claudio Abbado, she has worked with conductors such as John Axelrod, Paavo Berglund, Semyon Bychkov, Gustavo Dudamel, Christoph Eschenbach, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Alun Fransis, Leopold Hager, Dmitrij Kitajenko, James Levine, Wassili Sinajski, Michael Tilson Thomas, Jean-Pascale Tortellier, Marcello Viotti and Antonin Witt. In August 1998, she was awarded the ”Accademia Musicale Chigiana” prize in Siena. This accolade has been awarded to, among others, Gidon Kremer, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Krystian Zimerman.
Lilya Zilberstein has recorded eight CDs for Deutsche Grammophon, including recital programmes, the Grieg Piano Concerto (Järvi, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra) and the Second and Third Piano Concertos by Rachmaninoff (Abbado, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra). She also contributed to the first complete CD recording of the Frédéric Chopin oeuvre, which was released by Deutsche Grammophon in 1999. Recently, several more CDs have been released, including a recording of the Brahms sonata for two pianos with Martha Argerich released by EMI and Clementi, Mussorgsky and Rachmaninoff released by Hänssler Classic.
In the past few years, the pianist has given guest performances in the USA, Asia, South America, Italy, the UK, France, Sweden, Spain, Poland and Iceland, and has played extended world tours as the chamber music partner of Maxim Vengerov. She recently played with Gustavo Dudamel and his Simon Bolivar Orchestra. She returned to her home city of Moscow for the first time in 16 years and played an acclaimed concert. She is a regular guest at large international music festivals. In 2009, she celebrated her ten-year anniversary on the stage with her long-term duet partner Martha Argerich with concerts in a number of European cities. The prominent duo can also be heard in Germany once again in 2012, at the Ruhr Piano Festival and other locations.
The highlights of the season 2012/13 were a residence at the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra with three concerts, a chamber music evening, a guest performance at the Salzburg Festival in April 2013, three concerts with the Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra, where Tschaikovsky’s Third Piano Concerto was played, and a performance with the Dusseldorf Symphony Orchestra under Andrey Boreyko, where Johannes Brahms’ First Piano Concerto was played. She had guest appearances with the Orchestre de Pays de Loire conducted by John Axelrod as well as master classes and concerts in Italy, Ireland, Spain, Poland, Turkey, the USA, Japan and Taiwan.
Lilya Zilberstein devotes big part of her time to education of young musicians. She gives masterclasses during her concert travels , in Universities and Conservatories all over the world. From 2009 till 2013 she was Guest Professor at Musikhochschule in Hamburg.
From October 2015 she has full position as Professor at University of Music in Vienna.