Olga Kern & Dali Quartet
“Call it star quality—music likes Kern the way the camera liked Garbo." - The Washington Post
"Kern's rendition of Chopin revealed not only her technical abilities but also an innate musicality." –Los Angeles Times
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 jump started 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 the 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 a 2010 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.”
"... beautifully prepared program ... the Latin American program alternately glimmered and blazed." -The Philadelphia Inquirer
"...the Dalí created lush waves of sound ... this performance delivered with excellence of expression and ensemble." -Roger Emanuels, Peninsula Reviews – California
The Dalí Quartet brings its signature mix of Latin American, Classical and Romantic repertoire to stages and audiences of all kinds. The quartet’s passionate energy is poured into everything they do, generating critical and audience acclaim for their Classical Roots, Latin Soul. Its tours include appearances for distinguished chamber music and cultural center series in the U.S., Canada, and South America. Recent engagements include concerts in New York and Philadelphia, on to Portland, Puerto Rico, San Jose, and from Tulsa to Toronto and beyond. The Dalí Quartet’s engaging style reaches across the footlights for an experience which“leaves the audience almost dancing in the aisles."(Peninsula Reviews).
In addition to works of the masters from Haydn to Brahms and Amaya to Piazzolla, the group's adventurous and entertaining programming includes new works for quartet with percussionist Orlando Cotto, and quintets both Latin and Classical with the renowned clarinetist Ricardo Morales, principal clarinetist of The Philadelphia Orchestra,and with acclaimed pianist Vanessa Perez.During the 2018-2019 season, selected concert dates are available for performances by the Dalí Quartet with the Van Cliburn Competition’s gold-medal winning pianist Olga Kern.
The Dalí Quartet is devoted to audience development and to reaching communities of all kinds. The group’s Latin Fiesta Workshops and Family Concerts in both traditional and innovative settings move listeners–literally! The Dalí Quartet is sought after for master classes and professional development workshops for students, (recently at the National Repertory Orchestra, Miami University, Michigan State, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Iowa) and has opened musical vistas for younger kids with its week-long Any Given Child programs (over three seasons for the Tulsa Public School System). In addition, the quartet’s International Music Festival is an admired chamber music and orchestral program founded in 2004 which develops the performance skills of young musicians up through semi-professional level. The Dalí is an IRIS Orchestra Resident Ensemble and the 2018-2019 Ulrich Quartet in Residence at Lehigh University.
Trained by world-renowned artists, members of the Dalí Quartet are from Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the US,and have studied at esteemed institutions such as the Cleveland Institute of Music, Yale University, Indiana University Bloomington, and the Simón Bolivar Conservatory in Caracas, Venezuela. The quartet is based in Philadelphia, PA.
Following a season as Brandywine Artist-In-Residence, the quartet has joined the faculty at West Chester University's School of Music as the Quartet in Residence, a position commencing in 2018