• An absolute whiz at the piano.

    The New York Times

  • 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

  • You can’t buy it, you can’t teach it. But Kern’s got it. And we can be thankful that there is an Olga Kern…to carry the great tradition she represents into the future.

    D Magazine

  • Sheer talent does not come more transparently


  • A young master, an artist to reckon with… Kern is a player of top-notch technique who carries forward the musical spirit of her nation.


  • Her electricity at the keyboard is palpable, and though she generates from the music itself, as it flows through her fingers it takes on fresh voltage that is unmistakably hers.

    The Washington Post

  • Solid, key-deep fingerwork and a penetrating, steel-edged sonority are prerequisites for playing Rachmaninov, and also characterise Olga Kern’s considerable pianism.

    BBC Music Magazine

  • There were no cannons firing inside Symphony Hall, but Kern shot off plenty of rockets with her reading of Rachmaninoff’s showy Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Kern played like every note mattered, and she convinced this reviewer that she deserved every bit of her competition victory. Many players try to pound Rachmaninoff into submission. Kern played with fire, but she didn’t try to burn the house down. Her Rachmaninoff had plenty of meaning, energy and articulation…a rising keyboard star.

    The Boston Herald

  • Her Scriabin Ninth Sonata is a tapestry of unsettling rumination and stormy outburst, all magnificently managed. A warmly romantic approach brings a perfect mix of charm, whimsy, and poignancy to the Schubert Impromptu in B-flat major (D. 934, No.3) and real ecstasy to the Wagner/Liszt Liebestod.

    Dallas Morning News

  • This immensely talented artist turned in a performance that was dignified, controlled and almost majestic… her rubato was elegant and natural. The highlight of the afternoon was the concerto’s celebrated Adagio, where Spivakov created a gossamer halo around Kern’s luscious phrases.

    The Washington Post

  • “Speaking of muscular power, not to mention sheer pianistic dexterity, she gave an astonishing performance of Islamey, which used to be called the most difficult piece in the repertory for piano. Kern is definitely its master.”

    DFW Star Telegram

  • From feather-light musical whispers to explosive instrumental fireworks, Kern’s rare gift is that of a serious and true musician, whose golden touch is never harsh and always controlled.

    Boulder Daily Camera

  • Here is a pianist with all the equipment to become a star: total control of all aspects of technique, an intelligent and musical approach to interpretation, the ability to find hidden lines in music, and an arresting stage presence.

    Palm Beach Daily News

  • “Kern is adept at communicating the beauties of the lyrical slow movement of the concerto, and also shines in the virtuoso passages of the framing movements. Her spectacular Horowitz-like technical abilities in the Chopin may remind one of her strong playing of the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto or the Rachmaninoff transcriptions in her earlier albums.”

    Audiophile Audition

  • On Friday night in Nashville, Kern played Rachmaninoff’s seldom-heard Piano Concerto No. 1 with precision guided perfection…The most difficult feat in classical piano is playing loud and fast at the same time, and in that respect Kern produced a veritable Niagara of sound. Yet she was also capable of great lyricism (that ardent slow movement) and playfulness (that exuberant finale).

    Arts Nash

  • Olga Kern will become a legend…Olga Kern has always been a startlingly fine pianist possessed of a very sincere musicianship and absolutely remarkable technique… to put it simply, she took my breath away…There have been many pianists today who come close to Rachmaninoff’s ability at the keyboard, but, perhaps, some of them don’t have his musicianship. And sometimes, those who have his musicianship do not have his ability at the keyboard. I am firmly convinced that Olga Kern has his ability as a musician and a pianist…Her performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto Nr. 3 was absolutely astounding…Like Rachmaninoff, she can play any composer…It would seem that Olga Kern has inherited the mantle of Rachmaninoff’s musicianship, intelligence, and keyboard ability…There was nothing missing in her art.

    Opus Colorado

  • Madison loves pianist Olga Kern…Some Musicians seem to form a collaboration with their instruments. Kern gives orders to hers and the Steinway obeys.

    Channel 3000

  • With muscular power and steely fingers, Kern has a confident, quite thrilling command of bravura solo writing, though she is also adept in conveying poetic feeling in moments away from the fireworks…The audience at the Friday performance was dazzled.


  • The star of the concert was pianist Olga Kern, who played the Rachmaninoff. Her performance was big and glamorous…She handled the mountains of passage work without seeming at all fazed, and was equally at home in the dense chordal passages and the rich, romantic melodies…Her performance certainly satisfied those itching for glitter and brilliance.

    The Capital Times

  • The theme is simple, a fun and lively little melody, and the 10 variations [on Mio Caro Adone by Salieri, K. 180] are a workout for the pianist, requiring fine technique and considerable control of articulation, as clarity at that speed is essential — which for Kern was no problem at all…Kern is a decisive, powerful player and she gave this sonata considerable heft, from its portentous opening chords, through unsettling almost eerie moments to majesty and a brief moment of hope. In the quieter, more lyrical and flowing moments, Kern played with exquisite nuance and shadings, a contrast to the fast, tense moments that abound in this work.

    Seattle Times

  • Kern exuded confidence from the opening notes of the Rachmaninoff, and she got better as the concert unfolded…Her arms move as gracefully as a ballerina’s, and her fingers fly over the keyboard with flawless rapidity.

    Classical Sonoma

  • Ms. Kern chose a welcome lyrical route where allowed, rather than taking the easy path of knocking the ivory off the keys…Her agility at the keyboard was outstanding in both pieces. [Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #1 / Prokofiev Piano Concerto #1]

    Arts SF

  • With the great players one’s own personality shines through the music, not in egocentric distortion but in original illumination. Such was the case with Kern’s Grieg Piano Concerto..The lyrical charm and romantic drama of her playing found full measure, and this once overplayed work seemed fresh and alive…From the opening stentorian chords, Kern played with a genuine warmth, a mellow tone and a flexible rubato, with admirable support from Abrams and the orchestra.

    Albuquerque Journal

  • “What’s a poor music critic to do when confronted by a piano recital of such high quality that there is virtually nothing to say, other than ‘Brava?'” … “The program she presented with astonishing skill and verve was mesmerizing.”

    Sarasota Herald-Tribune

  • “From the dreamy, famous variation No. 18 to the terrifying, ominous and brassy Dies irae theme, Kern and the orchestra presented an interpretation to remember” … “combined intellect with expressive poetry throughout the piece.”

    San Antonio Express-News

  • “Kern is an ideal interpreter. She brings to the music not only the Russian spirit, but a supreme technique both powerful and lyrical. Every chord, arpeggio and trill from her fingers exudes total confidence. Forceful enough to be heard over even the thickest orchestral texture, her sense of finely shaped contrasts and nimble phrasing mark her playing as expressive without ever being cloy.”

    Albuquerque Journal

  • “Russian pianist Olga Kern…brought her dazzling technique to the Lied Center last week. Her performance of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 21 in C Major (“Waldstein”) was particularly well executed…Kern’s sensitive, expressive playing made sense of the long work…she also allowed the perfect amount of give and take for the musical phrases.”

    Kansas City Metropolis

  • “If Olga Kern ever sits down at the piano in a venue within a thousand miles of you, buy an airline ticket and go see her. Not only did she master the piano concerto, she returned after thunderous applause to play a piece that is considered one of the most difficult.”

    Cranston Herald