LSM Newswire

Monday, December 5, 2011

Spivakov and Kern Brings their North American Debut Tour to Toronto



"Brilliant bowing, wide shining tone, splendid intonation and a vibrato as sweet as molten sugar." – New York Times

"His playing was godlike, creating sound perhaps no other living violinist has ever before successfully attempted." – Daily News (New York)

“Kern's musicality radiates off the stage and saturates the hall, and it is joyously alive, immediately communicative, fragrantly sensual, and almost visual in its intensity. Whatever it is – call it star quality – music likes Kern the way the camera liked Garbo.” – Ronald Broun, The Washington Post

Legendary violinist Vladimir Spivakov and scintillating Van Cliburn-winning pianist Olga Kern perform together for the first time in Toronto as a duo. Show One Productions presents an unparalleled evening of romantic and 20thcentury masterworks, in their North American debut tour, Thursday, February 23, 2012, 8 p.m. at Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W.

Tickets, $50-120, are available from the Koerner Hall box office, 416-408-2824 or More information is at

The program features two 19th century sonatas – Brahms’ Sonata No. 3 in D minor, and Franck’s Sonata in A – along with two 20th century favorites – Stravinsky’s Suite Italien, based on his ballet music for Pulcinella, his treatment of Italian baroque music; and Arvo Pärt’s poignant Fratres.

Show One has previously presented Spivakov and Kern in Toronto, but with Spivakov as conductor and Kern as soloist in piano concerti by Haydn and Shostakovich, at a sold-out concert (with seats on stage) with the Moscow Virtuosi in 2008.

The North American recital tour of Spivakov and Kern, which begins in January 2012, marks their first joint recital tour outside of Europe.


A violinist of “soulful refinement and technical finesse”, Vladimir Spivakov appears regularly as a recitalist and orchestra soloist in all of the major international music capitals. For over three decades, he has been one of the most acclaimed violin virtuosos of our time.

Winner of the Montreal International Competition in 1969 and the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1970, Mr. Spivakov made his United States recital debut in 1975 and international engagements quickly followed. As a violinist, he has performed as soloist with the most important orchestras in the world, and collaborated with some of the 20th century’s most eminent conductors, including Svetlanov, Kondrashin, Temirkanov, Rostropovich, Bernstein, Leinsdorf, Ozawa, Maazel, Giulini, Masur, Chailly, Conlon and Abbado. Critics of the leading musical countries unanimously appreciate Spivakov’s deep insight into composers’ intentions, the richness, beauty and volume of his tone, his fine phrasing and nuance, his emotional impact on his audiences, and his refined artistry and intelligence. In addition to performing major traditional works, Mr. Spivakov has continually treated his audiences to new and innovative repertoire, both in chamber music and orchestral works. Mr. Spivakov plays a violin by Stradivari.


It is now 10 years since Olga Kern’s career took off with her gold-medal performance at the Eleventh Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2001. Her second catapulting triumph came in New York City on May 4, 2004, with a highly acclaimed New York City recital debut at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. In an unprecedented turn of events, she returned eight days later, for a recital in the Isaac Stern Auditorium, at the invitation of Carnegie Hall.

With her vivid stage presence, passionately confident musicianship and extraordinary technique, the striking young Russian pianist continues to captivate fans and critics alike. She has performed in recital or as a soloist with orchestra in many of the world's most important venues, in her native Russia, in Europe, Asia, North and South America – and South Africa, where she is Artistic Director of the Cape Town Festival.

Among her numerous recent North American appearances were co-presentations in March and April 2011 by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Van Cliburn Foundation, honoring her Cliburn victory 10 years ago.

Ms. Kern records exclusively with Harmonia Mundi, and her highly anticipated Chopin Sonatas CD was recently released in 2010.

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