An Epic Night of Rachmaninoff at the Erie Phil
Soloist Olga Kern takes on the demanding concerto of Shine fame
Saturday, Mar. 19
The latest Erie Philharmonic event is set to feature three different pieces, concluding with Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3.
The evening will open with "Along the Western Shore," by the neo-romantic composer Elinor Remick Warren. This symphonic suite in three movements is an illustrative tone poem to the western coastline. Spending the majority of her 91 years in Los Angeles, Warren was one of the most in-demand composers of her time.
Following that will be both "Prelude" and "Liebestod" from Richard Wagner's opera Tristan and Isolde. Rather than the opera's approximate full running time of 4 hours and 46 minutes, here we have the opening and closing sections from the legendary composer.
And last, but certainly not least, is Piano Concerto No. 3. Referred to simply as "Rach 3" in some circles, it is, essentially, the most challenging piano piece ever written. With ever-moving chords utilizing a wide handspan, there's an incredible amount of stamina required from the soloist to pull off the 40-minute epic. So taxing is this piece, that it served as the chief obstacle in the Oscar-winning 1996 film Shine, chronicling the life of David Helfgott and his subsequent breakdown.
Russian Pianist Olga Kern is ready for the challenge. Born in Moscow, she has both won and placed in numerous piano competitions across the world. In 2016, she even launched the Olga Kern International Piano Competition in Albuquerque, N.M.
Kern will play the Rach 3 on the Philharmonic's brand new Steinway grand piano, thanks to a generous gift from Pete and Ellie Scibetta. — Nick Warren
8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. // Warner Theatre, 811 State St. // $23 - $56, $12 for students // For tickets or more information, call (814) 455-1375 or visit eriephil.org/calendar/rachmaninoff