Friday, May 20, 2005

Always A Charm the Second Time Around?

Nice write up on Olga Kern who returned to and eventually went on to share first-prize at the Van Cliburn competition in 2001. She previously failed to even get thru the preliminaries in 1997. She has a new CD coming out on Harmonia Mundi. I am looking forward to giving it a listen. On balance, Kern's playing has been in my experience a mixed-bag. She's either very good or, well, she just sort of bombs. You can read all about it right here.

Personally, I was far more impressed with Ioudenitch and I wish he'd spend more time concertizing -he appears to have gone the route of Votapek (which isn't a bad one at that). It will be interesting to see if Kern's career has any longevity and continues generating excitement among music fans. It's hard to think of a Van Cliburn winner who has had a career that continued to burn bright long after the "Ivory Circus" pulled out of Texas. Faster than you can say "Simone Pedrone" most seem to fade into the vast sea of "good" classical pianists.

Afterthoughts: Perhaps, at the end of the day, this is more a comment about the changing nature of international piano competitions in recent times (there's so many), the fickle finger of fate, and the decline of classical music's purchase on the modern attention span.

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