Pianist Kevin Kenner on Music in Mid Ohio

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Pianist Kevin Kenner is a Chopin specialist who has been honored with numerous international awards.(Photo: Publicity Photo)
Pianist Kevin Kenner is a Chopin specialist who has been honored with numerous international awards.(Photo: Publicity Photo)

Kevin Kenner’s chops at the keyboard merit a much higher profile than he currently enjoys.

Kenner gave a recital of music by Robert Schumann, Frederic Chopin and Franz Schubert in Columbus a few weeks ago, presented by the good people at the Jefferson Academy of Music.

From that recital, here’s Chopin’s Mazurka 5 in C, recorded by Classical 101′s own Eric French:

[audio src="http://wosu.org/audio/classical/2011/kenner-mazurka-for-blog.mp3"]

Kenner’s rhythmic vitality reminds us that a mazurka is a dance. The tone is warm and a touch mystical. Kenner is in no way cloying with this well known piece – I like the singing line he maintains throughout (critical in Chopin.) To paraphrase my old friend Helene Hanff “This guy can make love without slobbering.”

Kenner was born in California in 1963. He has placed in the International Chopin Piano Competition twice, the first time at the age of 17 and then taking the top prize (2nd place) in 1990 (no first prize was awarded that year).

Watch Kenner perform the first movement of Frederic Chopin’s Piano Sonata No.2 during the 1990 International Chopin Piano Competition:

Kenner is a Chopin specialist who divides his time between the U.S. and Warsaw, with stops in London. He has quite a discography out there, and Fanfare magazine just a few weeks ago admired his “pianism of the highest order.” In person he was a tad stone faced but his music making was passionate and never dull.

I’m pleased to introduce Kevin Kenner to our radio audience on Classical 101′s Music in Mid Ohio (Sundays at 6 pm). Thank you, Jefferson Academy of Music!

  • May 15: Franz Schubert’s Piano sonata in D, “Fantasy”
  • May 22: Robert Schumann’s Arabesque, op.18

We heard Kenner’s performance of the Chopin Mazurkas earlier in May, but stick around, who knows? They may “reappear!”

About Music in Mid Ohio

For over thirty years, Music in Mid Ohio has served as an introduction of often locally based artists to the community. The series also features concert presentations of often world class artist in performance in Central Ohio. (And some of them live here, too.) Music in Mid Ohio airs Sundays at 6 PM on Classical 101.

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