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It’s All Relative

two artists headshots Olga and Vladislav Kern, pianists May 31 | 7:30pm Disciples Christian Church

Steinway Artist, Olga Kern is joined by her son and fellow concert pianist, Vladislav Kern, to present a unique look inside their musical family. Join us for an engaging musical presentation as they discuss the joys of performing together as mother and son, and how their familial bond has shaped their pianistic careers.

Learn more about our featured artists
Olga Kern, piano

portrait of olga kern beside a piano
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.  Olga Kern was born into a family of musicians with direct links to Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff and began studying piano at the age of five. 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 thirty years.

Steinway Artist and First prize winner of the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition at seventeen, Ms. Kern is a laureate of many international competitions. In 2016 she served as Jury Chairman of both the Seventh Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition and the first Olga Kern International Piano Competition, where she also holds the title of Artistic Director. Ms. Kern frequently gives masterclasses and since September 2017 has served on the piano faculty of the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. Additionally, Ms. Kern has been chosen as the Virginia Arts Festival’s new Connie & Marc Jacobson Director of Chamber Music, beginning with the 2019 season.

For the 2019-20 season, Kern will perform with the Allentown Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, Toledo Symphony Orchestra, New Mexico Philharmonic, and the New West Symphony, as well as appearing on United States Tour with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine. She will appear in recitals in Orford, Sunriver, Fort Worth (Cliburn), Carmel, and San Francisco.

In recent seasons, Kern performed with the Moscow Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony, and the St. Louis Symphony, as well as opened the Pacific Symphony’s 2018-19 season. Kern was also a featured soloist for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra during the 2018-19 Tour. She also served as Artist in Residence for the San Antonio Symphony’s 2017-18 season and had her Chinese debut with the National Youth Orchestra of China tour. Ms. Kern opened the Baltimore Symphony’s 2015-2016 centennial season with Marin Alsop. Other season highlights included returns to the Royal Philharmonic with Pinchas Zukerman, Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice with Giancarlo Guerrero.

Ms. 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 a2010 release of Chopin Piano Sonatas No. 2 and 3 (2010). Most recently, SONY released their recording of Ms. 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, Olga 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.

In 2017, Ms. Kern was gratified to receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, joining other honorees including Rosa Parks, Buzz Aldrin, Coretta Scott King, and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. This commendation recognizes Americans who “embody the spirit of America in their salute to tolerance, brotherhood, diversity, and patriotism.”

Vladislav Kern, piano

portrait of Vladislav Kern in front of a piano
Vladislav Kern is an American pianist, composer and poet. He is a Young Steinway Artist, in addition to being named sinner of many international competitions and festivals in Denmark, Czech Republic, Republic of South Africa and the USA, including the Clara Schumann International Music Competition, Tureck-Bach International Piano Competition in New York and Price Rubin International Competition.

Vlad was born into a family of musicians and started playing piano at the age of 4. When Vlad was just 6, he was accepted to the Central Music School at the P.I.Tchaikovsky Conservatory. At the age of 12 Vlad continued his education in New York at The Juilliard School of Music.

One year later he received the prestigious Van Cliburn scholarship, the first time in the history of The Juilliard School, Pre-College Division. From 2016 to 2019 he also studied in Italy at Academia Pianistica Internazionale “Incontri col Maestro” di Imola.

Currently he studies at the Juilliard School College Division.

Vlad has performed in such world-known venues as David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center (NYC), La Sala Verdi at the Conservatorio di Milano, Konserthuset Stockholm, The Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory. He collaborated with such musicians as Leonard Slatkin, Roberto Minczuk, Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Jindong Cai, Giancarlo De Lorenzo, Michael Morgan and many others. He has numerous recordings on the radio and television in many countries, including Italy, the USA, Luxembourg, Sweden and Finland.

Vlad’s 2022-2023 season includes recitals and concerts with orchestra in USA- In Albuquerque with New Mexico philharmonic, recitals in Winter Park, FL at the Bach festival; in Carmel, CA and Huntsville, AL; solo performances and chamber music at the Virginia arts festival; concerts in Mexico and Europe.

Since 2013, Vlad has promoted improvisation in his live concerts of classical music and poetry. In 2020 he published his first poetry book and is currently working on his second one.