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Kevin Kenner

  • Pianist


Kevin Kenner press reviews

Joan Reinthaler, The Washington Post, 17 April 2001:

"Kenner is a major talent.  His recital revealed an artist whose intellect,
imagination and pianism speak powerfully and eloquently.  You listen to him
and think how obvious it is that the music should be played this way and it
seems so simple that you wonder why everyone doesn't do it."


David Murray, Financial Times, 11 January 1999:

"Not a showy performer, he proved nonetheless to be a Chopin 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.. I
look forward to hearing a lot more of Kenner. "


Gerrit Priessnitz, Frankurter Allgemeine Zeitung,  6 Sept. 1999:

"...darting 'scherzando' flourishes he let rattle in fine dynamic shading
over the keys.  A few listeners shook their heads in disbelief at such
technical brilliance during the racing octave passages towards the end of
Mendelssohn's Rondo Capriccioso, Op.14.  Such brilliance Kenner possesses
indeed; but beyond that, a remarkable transparency of sound and pedalling,
so that one can effortlessly follow his concentrated played with
programmatic scene changes from 'Eusebius' to 'Florestan', from 'Paganini'
to 'Chopin', as well as his so to speak absolute musical concept in
Schumann's Carnaval, Op.9.


Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune, 3 October 1994:

Headline: "Star on the Rise"

"Friday night, the gifted pianist made his Chicago-area debut opening the
'Rising Stars' series at the Ravinia Festival's Bennett Hall, in Highland
Park.  His recital's strengths reaffirmed his stature as one of the finest
American pianists to come along in years."


Adrian Jack, The Independent, London, 11 June 1996:

"Two years ago, at the QEH, Kenner gave the best performance I have ever
heard in the concert hall of all four of Chopin's Ballades....His
performance on Wednesday showed the most generous imaginable range of
expression, strong emotional commitment and the kind of balanced musical
judgement very few artists achieve."


Bernard Holland, The New York Times, 8 June 1989:

"...Demonstrated a technique able to handle almost any complication clearly
and confidently."


Claudia Valder-Knechtges, Kölnische Rundschau, Hürth, Germany, 9 Dec. 1996:

Headline: A Magician of Scintillating Tone Colors

"Even if the popularity of the works contributed to the audience's
enthusiasm, Kenner's inner encounter with the musical temperament fashioned
a conclusion to the Series that could hardly have been more successful."


Steve Metcalf, The Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT, 13 March 1998:

"Thursday's soloist, Kevin Kenner, gave Rachmaninoff's Concerto No.3 a
sensational ride.  An American with above average competition credentials,
Kenner showed himself to be a major league presence in every way."


Jan Jacoby, Copenhagen Politiken, 1 February 1995:

"With equal portions of impregnable taste and acute sensibility, he shapes
sound and tempo so that phrases and motives become a
certainly got something for your money!"


Ken Krehbiel, The Washington Post, 29 November 1988:

Headline: "Kevin Kenner's Captivating Chopin"

"His rapt dreaminess was riveting in the Nocturnes and his virtuosity in the
Scherzo was dramatically expressive, not merely showy."


Winfried Wild, Schwaebische Zeitung, 10 June 1991:

"Fulfilled a criterion which one only knows from great Chopinists such as
Rubinstein, Benedetti-Michelangeli and Dinu Lipatti."


Rheinpfalz Zeitung, Ludwigshafen, Germany, 8 October 1991:

"A thrilling performance by the young American in Ludwigshafen! It will be
fascinating to see how the further development of this highly gifted pianist
takes its course.  With his gifts he could become a real great!"


East San Diego Press, 27 March 1980:

"A masterful performance of Chopin's Piano Concerto...Brought the amazed
audience to their feet in a torrent of applause and elation...was that of a


Wayne Lee Gay, Fort Worth Star Telegram, 19 February 1992:

Headline: "Pianist Finds the Right Key to Greatness"

"He is well on his way to becoming a major artist of our time."


David Gregson, The San Diego Union, 27 June 1991:

Headline:"Kenner's Piano Sizzles"

"...A wonderful young artist rapidly going to the top...The Kenner
performance is a must!"


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 8 November 1990:

Headline:"Delicate Soulful Sonorities"

"In Chopin's Piano Concerto he set out with swift tempi and fluid
forward-moving playing. He approached passagework and melodic material with
a light-fingered polished touch. His deep concentration had an brought about
harmonic and balanced ensemble with the orchestra. The second movement was
filled with romantic delicate soulful sonorities formed thoughtfully and
delicately. Kenner lent a dream-spun atmosphere to the florid fabric of the
Rondo. Enthusiastic cheers in the auditorium were impressively answered with
a Chopin Nocturne dissolving into nothingness."


James Roos, The Miami Herald, 24 February 1992:

"He has technique to burn wedded to musicianship of keen sensitivity."


Wolfgang Gauss, Badische Zeitung 4 February 1992:

Headline:"As the Great Ones"

"With such a style Kevin Kenner could one day belong to the greats."


Jan Popis, Polish National Radio, Warsaw, 17 October 1990:

"Kenner achieves the highest level of transcendence...He is a mystic. He
comes to us with a message which he reads as a verse from the Bible. He
shares with us what he understands from his reading of the 'Holy Writ'
created by the hand of the composer. These are magnificent and wise readings
of Chopin's score."


Ibid. 20 October 1990:

"Kevin Kenner's individuality dominates.  He states here his own exposition.
His musical sensitivity envelopes everything that Chopin said in Op.11
(Concerto No.1).  He grasps everything at the highest level of
understanding. This is not a case of performing well or even very well on
the piano. One must have an inner power even as Kenner has, who in his
artistic vision reaches transcendental regions."


John Robert-Blunn, Manchester Evening News, (England) 9 January 1992:

"Kenner is an accomplished artist of assured technique and well poised
artistry....Provided a climax which was captivating."


Jan Weber, Polish National Television, 20 October 1990:

"Every piece played by him underlines the principle of his individual style.

 His deep inward concentration gave us an original proposition emanating
from a classical base; very original without exaggeration, everything
carefully studied and derived from Chopin's music but with a new original


Peter DeVere, KXLU Radio, Los Angeles:

"Kevin Kenner is a performer of inexhaustible energy, phenomenal memory,
brilliant technique,  admirable originality and astounding musicianship."