Olga Kern, Van Cliburn Gold Medalist
Now recognized as one of her generation’s great pianists, Olga Kern’s career began one decade ago with her award winning gold-medal performance at the Eleventh Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2001. Her second catapulting triumph came in New York City in 2004, with a highly acclaimed recital debut at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. In an unprecedented turn of events, Olga gave a second recital eight days later in Isaac Stern Auditorium at the invitation of Carnegie Hall.
Ms. Kern was born into a family of musicians with direct links to Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff and began studying piano at the age of five. Winner of the first Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition when she was seventeen, she is a laureate of eleven international competitions and has toured throughout her native Russia, Europe, and the United States, as well as in Japan, South Africa, and South Korea. The recipient of an honorary scholarship from the President of Russia in 1996, she is a member of Russia’s International Academy of Arts. She began her formal training with acclaimed teacher Evgeny Timakin at the Moscow Central School and continued with Professor Sergei Dorensky at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where she was also a postgraduate student. She also studied with Professor Boris Petrushansky at the acclaimed Accademia Pianistica Incontri col Maestro in Imola, Italy.
Ms. Kern’s performance career has brought her to the many of the world’s most important venues, including the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Symphony Hall in Osaka, Salzburger Festspielhaus, La Scala in Milan, Tonhalle in Zurich, and the Châtelet in Paris; she has appeared as soloist with the Kirov Orchestra, the Bolshoi Theater, the Moscow Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Symphony, Russian National, China Symphony, Belgrade Philharmonic, La Scala Philharmonic, Torino Symphony, and Cape Town Symphony Orchestras. She has also collaborated with the most prominent conductors in the world today, including Valery Gergiev, Leonard Slatkin, Manfred Honeck, Vladimir Spivakov, Yuri Termirkanov, Pinchas Zukerman, and James Conlon.
In addition to performing, Ms. Kern devotes her time to the support and education of developing musicians. In 2012, the artist and her brother, Vladimir Kern co-founded the ?Aspiration? foundation whose objective is to provide financial and artistic assistance to musicians throughout the world.
She made her London debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 2006 followed by her Proms debut in 2008. Ms. Kern’s festival appearances include the Interlochen Festival, Bravo! Vail Festival, and the Festival Casals in Puerto Rico in 2007. She has been a recent guest artist at several international music festivals, including the Klavier Ruhr and Kissinger Sommer festivals in Germany, the Radio-France Montpellier and Casadesus festivals in France, the Ohrid Festival in Macedonia, and the Busoni Festival in Italy.
Ms. Kern’s discography includes Harmonia Mundi recordings of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Christopher Seaman (2003), a Rachmaninoff recording of 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). She was also featured in the award-winning documentary about the 2001 Cliburn Competition, Playing on the Edge. Most recently, SONY released a recording of Ms. Kern performing the Rachmaninoff Sonata for Violoncello and Piano with cellist Sol Gabetta.