Russian-American pianist Olga Kern is now recognized as one of her generation's great pianists. She jumpstarted her U.S. career with her historic Gold Medal win at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas as the first woman to do so in more than thirty years.
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, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, New West Symphony, and the Sao Paulo Symphony, as well as appearing on United States Tour with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine. She is also the guest soloist at the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center for Leonard Slatkin’s 75th Birthday Celebration. She will appear in recitals in Orford, Sunriver, Fort Worth (Cliburn), Carmel, San Francisco, Sicily, Calvia, and Helsingborg. This October and November, Olga Kern will be hosting her Second Olga Kern International Piano Competition. This season, she will also be a part of the jury at the following piano competitions: Sydney International Piano Competition, Gurwitz International Piano Competition, Gershwin Piano Competition, Schumann Prize Competition, and the Scriabin International Competition.
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 debut with the National Youth Orchestra on their 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 her Grammy Nominated recording of Rachmaninoff’s Corelli Variations and other transcriptions (2004), Brahms Variations (2007) and Chopin Piano Sonatas No. 2 and 3 (2010). She was featured in the award-winning documentary about the 2001 Cliburn Competition, Playing on the Edge.