Olga Kern and Renée Fleming in New York

By Peter Alexander

Fans of Olga Kern—of which there are many in Boulder—will be interested to read the New York Times review of her performance with superstar soprano Renée Fleming Wednesday (Mar. 9) at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Olga Kern

Olga Kern

Kern has become known in Boulder through her performances at the Colorado Music Festival. Particularly memorable were her performances of all of the Rachmaninoff piano concertos and the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini in two back-to-back Festival Orchestra concerts—a remarkable feat of pianistic athleticism that was also an outstanding musical accomplishment—July 19 and 21, 2013.

Kern will return to CMF this summer to perform Brahms’s Quintet for piano and strings in F minor on a chamber music concert Saturday, Aug. 6, and the Beethoven “Emperor” Piano Concerto Sunday, Aug 7. Both concerts will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Chautauqua Auditorium.

In a positive review of the Fleming-Kern song recital, James R. Oestreich wrote in the New York Times that Kern, “an established solo artist in her own right, was a strong collaborator throughout, and she had additional moments to shine.” Oestreich called attention to Kern’s solo turns on the program, noting that she “opened the second half, setting the stage brilliantly for the Debussy (song) set with Feu d’Artifices (‘Fireworks’) from the composer’s second book of ‘Préludes.’”

You may read the entire review here.

Seicento Celebrates Scarlatti and Son

By Peter Alexander

Evanne Browne, artistic director of the Baroque vocal ensemble Seicento, wants you to know that she is excited about their next concert. Very excited.


Seicento Baroque Ensemble with director Evanne Browne, center

“I was thrilled to get to put this together,” she says. “This is a joyous concert. It’s just magical!”

This magical concert will be presented Friday through Sunday with performances in Denver, Boulder and Longmont. And although the title, “Scarlatti, Father and Son,” might sound like a trendy Italian trattoria, it actually refers to an important musical family of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Alessandro Scarlatti spent most of his career at the court in Naples, where his brother Francesco was first violinist. His two children also pursued musical careers, Domenico primarily in service to the royal families of Spain and Portugal, and Francesco in London and Dublin.


Domenico Scarlatti

Almost anyone who has taken piano lessons as a child—or whose children have taken lessons—knows of Domenico Scarlatti, the titular son of the program. He famously wrote more then 500 one-movement keyboard sonatas that range from short, easy pieces in every teacher’s lesson book to challenging workouts that find their way into virtuoso recital programs.

Browne’s aim is to open up much more of the Scarlatti legacy than the well known sonatas—written for harpsichord but today played mostly on piano. Domenico wrote other works, from operas and cantatas to sacred motets and a 10-voice Stabat Mater that will end the concert. And his father Alessandro was one of Italy’s leading Baroque opera composers, dominating opera in Naples in the 1690s. He also wrote cantatas and other vocal works, and an almost unknown set of madrigals that will be on the program.

Read more at Boulder Weekly.

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Scarlatti, Father & Son
Seicento Baroque Ensemble, Evanne Browne, artistic director, with guest artists

7:30 p.m. Friday, March 11, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Denver
7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 12, First United Methodist Church, Boulder
3 p.m. Sunday, March 13, Stewart Auditorium, Longmont