If one of Fort Worth’s favorite classical musical darlings, 2001 Cliburn Competition Gold Medalist, Olga Kern, makes a return engagement to cut the musical ribbon on a newly opened Fort Worth concert space, that venue is absolutely, positively, and undeniably opened.
 
And so it goes with Kern’s upcoming, and eagerly awaited, special two-night recital performance under the familiar concert banner of Cliburn-at-the-Kimbell, officially inaugurating the Piano Pavilion’s 298-seat auditorium of the Kimbell Art Museum. Over two performances, January 23-24, Kern will offer up lucky patrons of the glittering, yet intimate, Piano Pavilion concert hall, a musical menu scheduled to include Schumann’s Carnaval, Chopin’s Sonata No. 2 and Selected Preludes by Rachmaninov.
 
For the freshly opened Piano Pavilion, which has gathered hosannas from art and architecture buffs alike, Olga Kern’s world-class reputation as one of classical music’s most riveting and inspired performers seems like a perfect fit for its music hall’s debut concert. After all, since Kern, who began studying piano at the tender age of five, took home gold in the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (making her that contest’s first woman in more than 30 years to be awarded the prestigious gold medal), she has been wowing audiences at concert halls everywhere. Her grand stages have included the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Milan’s La Scala, to Symphony Hall in Osaka, everywhere from the U.S., Europe, and Japan, to China, Peru, Egypt, Israel, South Africa (where she has been artistic director of the Cape Town Festival) and South Korea. Along the way, she has collaborated with such titans of the baton as Leonard Slatkin, Pinchas Zukerman, and James Conlon. Kern’s mix of pyrotechnic, high voltage playing, especially in her favorite repertoire by her native Russian composers, along with an irresistible and bravura stage presence has been leaving audiences agog for the last decade.
 
Details: Concert dates: January 23-24 at the Kimbell Art Museum’s Piano Pavilion, 3333 Camp Bowie Boulevard in Fort Worth. Concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Though tickets are currently sold out for both performances, one can be placed on a waiting list to buy them. For more information, call: 817-212-4280 or visit in person the Bass Hall box office at 525 Commerce Street in downtown Fort Worth. More information also available at www.cliburn.org.
 
Cliburn at the Kimbell[Photo: Auditorium, Renzo Piano Pavilion, September 2013. Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas. Photo by Robert Polidori]