Rachmaninoff's Third

ProMedica Masterworks

Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle Theater

January 17 - 18, 2020

Concert Time: 8:00 pm

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Alain Trudel, conductor
Olga Kern, piano
Kirk Toth, violin

Geminiani – Concerto Grosso No. 2
Higdon – Concerto for Orchestra
Rachmaninoff – Piano Concerto No. 3

Van Cliburn gold medalist Olga Kern returns to Toledo with “Rach 3,” one of the repertoire’s most beloved and daunting works! Experience the music of Grammy Award-winning composer Jennifer Higdon. Her Concerto for Orchestra is full of color and persuasive energy. Not to be missed!

Olga Kern’s appearance is made possible through a generous gift from John H. and Barbara Burson.

Please contact the Box Office at 419.246.8000 for information on child/student ticket pricing.


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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, 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 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.

Music Director of the Toledo Symphony (USA), conductor Alain Trudel has been praised for his “immense talent as conductor, musician and performer” (La Presse). He is also Music Director of l’Orchestre Symphonique de Laval, Principal Youth and Family Conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Principal Guest conductor of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. Trudel was also the CBC Radio Orchestra conductor, taking the orchestra to new heights of artistic quality, as well as public and critical acclaim.

Trudel has conducted every major orchestra in Canada as well as orchestras in the UK, USA, Sweden, Brazil, Italy, Russia, Japan, Hong-Kong, Malaysia and Latin America. Trudel made his Opera de Montréal debut in 2009 in Mozart’s Magic Flute and conducted the live recording of their 30th anniversary gala. He has been a regular guest since and in March 2017 he conducted to great acclaim (“The entire audience was on its feet for another standing ovation, with concertgoers shouting “wow” and “bravo.” Rolling Stone Magazine, “The Wall Triumphs in Montréal.” Le Figaro, Paris) the world premiere operatic version of “The Wall”. Trudel will also lead the american premiere at the Cincinnati Opera in July 2018. Continue Reading

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.

Concertmaster Kirk Toth earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in violin performance at the University of Michigan studying under Paul Makanowitzky, protege of the great Ivan Galamian, and formerly of the Julliard School of Music faculty. Upon graduation, Mr. Toth received the University of Michigan's highest  award, the Stanley Medal.

Prior to joining the Toledo Symphony, Mr. Toth was a member of the Richmond Symphony, and then Assistant Principal Second Violin in the Rochester Philharmonic, New York, under the direction of David Zinman. Mr. Toth has been guest concertmaster of the Halifax Symphony, Nova Scotia, and a member of the Cincinnati Symphony under the direction of Jesus Lopez-Cobos.

Along with these performing positions, Mr. Toth has been on the music faculties of Stetson University, the University of Toledo, and has taught at Hillsdale College and Ohio Northern University.

As a member of the Toledo Trio (composed of University of Toledo faculty), Mr. Toth has recorded works of Charles Ives, Amy Beach, and Horatio Parker for the Musical Heritage label.

Mr. Toth has appeared on the Toledo Symphony Chamber Series in ensembles ranging in size from violin/piano duos to octets, nonets and chamber orchestras. The works performed have covered a wide spectrum of chamber music from Bach to compositions of composers alive today.

As a soloist on the Toledo Symphony's Mozart in the Afternoon Series, he has performed the violin concertos of Beethoven and Mozart, along with various concerti of Bach and Vivaldi, including double concerti, the Brandenburg Concerti, and the Four Seasons.

In addition to performances of various show pieces on the Neighborhood Series and Pops Series, Mr. Toth has performed major concerti on the Symphony's Masterworks Series, including the Brahms Double Concerto with cellist Arto Noras, the Stravinsky Violin Concerto, the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 with the composer's son Maxim Shostokovich conducting, the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante, the Beethoven Violin Concerto, and most recently the Berg Violin Concerto.

Jennifer Higdon is one of America's most acclaimed figures in contemporary classical music, receiving the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto, a 2010 Grammy for her Percussion Concerto, and a 2018 Grammy for her Viola Concerto. Most recently, Higdon received the prestigious Nemmers Prize from Northwestern University which is awarded to contemporary classical composers of exceptional achievement who have significantly influenced the field of composition. Higdon enjoys several hundred performances a year of her works, and blue cathedral is one of today's most performed contemporary orchestral works, with more than 600 performances worldwide. Her works have been recorded on more than sixty CDs. Higdon's first opera, Cold Mountain, won the International Opera Award for Best World Premiere and the opera recording was nominated for 2 Grammy awards. She holds the Rock Chair in Composition and The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Her music is published exclusively by Lawdon Press.

Check out this video of Olga Kern performing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 at the Van Cliburn Piano Competition!

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