Chopin Birthday Concert
Kevin Kenner, piano
Co-presented with the San Francisco Chapter of the Chopin Foundation
**Please note: Doors open at 3 pm for Birthday Cake and Champagne reception in the hall**
Polonaise F-sharp minor, Op. 44
Waltz, Op. 42
- Op. 7, No. 2a in A minor
- Op. 7, No. 1 in B-flat major
- Op. 6, No. 2 in C-sharp minor
- B.31 in D major
- Op. 6, No. 5 in C major
Mazurka Op. 68 No, 4 in F minor (reconstructed by Kevin Kenner)
Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52
Ignacy Jan Paderewski
Nocturne in B-flat major, Op. 16, No. 4
Sonata in E-flat minor, Op. 21
Every year the San Francisco Chopin Foundation celebrates Chopin’s birthday with a special concert. In the past they’ve had such distinguished prize-winning pianists as Eric Lu, Jon Nakamatsu, Gabriela Montera, Ning An, Claire Huangci and Eric Zuber, among many others. This year they are proud to present Kevin Kenner.
The year 1990 was a milestone for pianist Kevin Kenner, whose artistry was recognized throughout the world by three prestigious awards: the top prize at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw (together with the Peoples’ Prize and prize for the best Polonaise), the recipient of the International Terrence Judd Award in London, and the bronze medal at the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow (together with the prize for best performance of a Russian work). It was the first time an American pianist had managed to win prizes in both the Chopin and Tchaikovsky Competitions. And in the years leading up to those remarkable accomplishments, he won prizes at the Van Cliburn International Competition (Fort Worth, 1989) and the Gina Bachauer International Competition (Salt Lake City, 1988).
Kevin Kenner’s achievements have won him critical acclaim throughout the world. He has been praised as “one of the finest American pianists to come along in years” (Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune), “…fulfilling a criterion which one only knows from great Chopinists such as Rubinstein, Benedetti-Michelangeli and Dinu Lipatti” (Winfried Wild, Schwaebische Zeitung, Germany). Adrian Jack of London’s Independent describes one of Kenner’s recitals as “… the best performance I have ever heard in the concert hall of all four of Chopin’s Ballades“. The Financial Times described Kenner as a “player of grace, subtle variety and strength, with a mature grasp of dramatic structure and proportion: in short, a grown-up musician nearing his peak.” And the Washington Post recently proclaimed him “a major talent … an artist whose intellect, imagination and pianism speak powerfully and eloquently.” The conductor Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, who recorded with pianists such as Artur Rubinstein, claimed Kenner’s Chopin interpretations to be the most sensitive and beautiful he remembered.
*Birthday cake generously provided by Caria Tomczykowska and the Polish Arts and Culture Foundation. Champagne generously provided by Mike Tekulsky and Ron Wong.