Carl St.Clair, conductor
Olga Kern, piano
Doors open at 2 p.m.
The brilliant Olga Kern returns to Orange County with the “Mount Everest” of piano concertos, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. And be amazed by Ravel’s hypnotic Boléro.
Russian-American pianist Olga Kern is now recognized as one of her generation's great artists. With her vivid stage presence, passionately confident musicianship and extraordinary technique, the striking pianist continues to captivate fans and critics alike. Kern was born into a family of musicians with direct links to Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff and began studying piano at the age of 5. She jumpstarted her U.S. career with her historic Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas as the first woman to do so in more than 30 years.
Steinway Artist and First Prize Winner of the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition at the age of 17, Kern is a laureate of many international competitions and tours throughout Russia, Europe, The United States, Japan, South Africa and South Korea. The first Olga Kern International Piano Competition is announced to take place in Albuquerque, N.M. in autumn, 2016, where Kern will serve as artistic director and jury chair. Kern is a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Division of the Arts, as well as jury chairman of the 17th Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition in June 2016.
In the 2016-17 season, Kern will premiere her first American concerto, the Barber Piano Concerto, with the Saint Louis Symphony and Leonard Slatkin. In addition to opening Pacific Symphony's classical season, she will also appear with the Colorado Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker and Copenhagen Philharmonic. Recital appearances include the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Virginia Arts Festival, Milan and Glasgow. Kern opened the Baltimore Symphony’s 2015-16 centennial season with Marin Alsop.
Kern’s discography includes Harmonia Mundi recordings of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Christopher Seaman (2003), her Grammy-nominated recording of Rachmaninoff’s Corelli Variations and other transcriptions (2004), a recital disk with works by Rachmaninoff and Balakirev (2005), Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Warsaw Philharmonic and Antoni Wit (2006), Brahms Variations (2007) and a 2010 release of Chopin Piano Sonatas No. 2 and 3 (2010). Most recently, SONY released their recording of Kern performing the Rachmaninoff Sonata for Cello and Piano with cellist Sol Gabetta. She was also featured in the award-winning documentary about the 2001 Cliburn Competition, Playing on the Edge, as well as Olga’s Journey, Musical Odyssey in St. Petersburg and in They Came to Play.
In 2012, Kern and her brother, conductor and composer, Vladimir Kern, co-founded the “Aspiration” foundation whose objective is to provide financial and artistic assistance to musicians throughout the world.