Today I had the privilege of hearing and seeing UP CLOSE Olga Kern perform Rachmaninov's First Piano Concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at WVU. I have waited many years to hear this pianist in person. For those of you unfamiliar with this name, she was one of two pianists who tied for 1st place---the 1st tie in the history of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition which is held every 4 years in Houston, Texas (Or...Dallas?!). Anyways, she won this competition/tied way back in probably 2002 (so, I would have been about 19 years old). My best friend Sarah watched the re-run of it with me on t.v. and remembers how exciting it was even then.
She is a great inspiration to me as a pianist. After the concert, during intermission, she was doing signings and photos. A friend from my piano studio graciously took this picture for me and I will cherish it! I had no idea I was going to get to sit RIGHT UP FRONT---front row, perfect seating to watch her hands and hear every little detail so clearly. Anyone who has been in WVU's Clay Theatre knows it is quite large and the difference sitting that close to the orchestra was night and day in terms of clarity, detail, and just the inspiration of feeling the intimacy of a performance that close-up! Just wanted to share my picture with you all :)