Olga Kern and the Colorado Music Festival

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Last month my hubby and I had the opportunity to hear Olga Kern play with the Colorado Music Festival. Every summer the festival presents a six-week program featuring innovative programs and world-class musicians.

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Apart from the amazing music (which I will get to), my absolute favorite thing about the evening is that the Colorado Music Festival performs in the Chautauqua auditorium,  which is basically an old barn. The acoustics were amazing. Sections of the side walls slide open to allow the air to flow freely from the outside in. The moths that came in and flew around the stage actually added to the enchantment of the evening.

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We had front row seats! And it was opening night of the festival! There was much excitement in the air. Look at the far right of the above picture – notice the music stands for the brass section were taped to milk crates. Love it!

The orchestra, led by director Jean-Marie Zeitouni, began the all-Russian program with Dmitri Shostakovich’s Festive Overture. It was exhilarating.

Then Olga Kern took the stage to play Prokofiev’s First Piano Concerto of 1911. She was flawless. This was followed by a short intermission to allow Ms. Kern to change dresses. She looked beautiful, by the way. It almost made me want to play another solo recital just to have a reason to buy a fabulous dress like that. Maybe I should just buy the dress and wear it while playing the piano in the comfort of my own home. 🙂

Then Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini. Oh my goodness. It was fierce. The variation we pianists most like to play (Number 18) was simply rapturous.

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Ms. Kern takes a bow. The audience was so appreciative. “Sir, could you step back so I can get a good picture? No? Okay.”

We went outside for intermission. On one side are the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. On the other side is a view of Boulder. We went back in for Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony, played by the orchestra.

It was a memorable evening. The music filled my soul. The atmosphere was beautiful. It is well worth it to remember that support of the arts really is support of ourselves and those around us.

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