Archived News


Olga Kern, the sensational pianist who captured the world’s attention by winning the Gold Medal at the Eleventh Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, performed a recital with renowned violinist Vladimir Spivakov at The Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall in Toronto, Canada. Produced by Showone Productions, this performance featured an Imperial 290 Bösendorfer provided by Robert Lowrey’s Piano Experts, the perfect partner to Spivakov’s magnificent Stradivarius Violin. The programme included Brahms Sonata for Violin and Piano in d minor, Stravinsky ‘Suite Italienne’, Pärt Spiegel Im Spiegel, and Franck Sonata for Violin and Piano. 

  “Normally, Olga Kern performs on a Yamaha CFX Concert Grand. Since this recital featured her in a chamber music role at one of Canada’s best acoustic halls, I really wanted to showcase what an Imperial Bösendorfer can do.  The results were more than I imagined – Not only did Olga love playing this instrument, Koerner Hall truly amplified the radiance and beauty of one of the world’s greatest pianos.” - Jun Fujimoto, Piano Marketing Specialist – Yamaha Canada Music ltd. On the previous day, Ms. Kern conducted a master class, for a packed audience at Robert Lowrey’s dealership. The participants were specially treated by playing on the same Imperial 290 piano that Olga Kern was to use in her concert.  Eleven year old Coco Ma, fifteen year old Amadeusz Kazubowski-Houston, and amateur pianist extraordinaire Ricker Choi, were all selected to play by the successful North York Music Festival.   “Performing for Olga Kern is not only a wonderful opportunity for the three Trophy winners of the North York Music Festival but also a career milestone.  At Robert Lowrey's showroom, the Imperial Bösendorfer is a dream of a piano, with its impeccable sound quality and flawless responsive action, the piano is perfect.”-        Ella Poret, Founder and Chair of the North York Music Festival   Collect from notes to Ella Poret, here’s what the master class participants had to say about their experience:  “It was very inspiring, exciting, motivating and fun the whole time. I think Olga deepened the piece more emotionally, musically and dynamically. This was a fantastic opportunity and experience to me…Playing on the Bösendorfer for Olga was an incredible experience I'll never forget!"-          Coco Ma “I really enjoyed the masterclass with Ms. Kern. For me, any opportunity to perform in front of an audience is always greatly appreciated. However, being able to perform in Mr. Lowrey’s wonderful piano store, boasting a collection of gorgeous grand and upright pianos, and for such a virtuoso as Ms. Kern, is an event that I will never forget. I personally believe that the more exposure one gets to different artistic views and input, the more one can cultivate one’s own art. Had I not attended the masterclass, I would have never had the opportunity to learn from Ms. Kern how to produce a sublime, soft sound in the quiet sections of Chopin’s Fantasy. For example, at the beginning of the piece, Ms. Kern had me play the opening extremely rhythmically, yet at barely a whisper. I really love Ms. Kern’s interpretation! And it was such a treat to perform on the Imperial nine-and-a-half foot Bösendorfer— a true work of art! From the gorgeous polished black exterior, to the immaculate tone and touch, I could find no flaw with this magnificent instrument.  With a practice grand, I have noticed that the double escapement “bump” close to the bottom of the key is quite pronounced. With the Bösendorfer, I could hardly feel it at all, which gave me an impression of playing on glass. In addition, the bottom of the key’s travel did not feel abrupt or harsh; instead, it felt quite cushioned and wonderful! In conclusion, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to perform for Ms. Kern, and am grateful to have played on such a beautiful instrument.”-          Amadeusz Kazubowski-Houston “It was very inspiring, exciting, motivating and fun the whole time. I think Olga deepened the piece more emotionally, musically and dynamically. This was a fantastic opportunity and experience to me”-          Ricker Choi In supporting countless arts organizations, worthy causes, educators, artists, and various music communities, for 30 years of business, we had never sponsored a Master Class until Olga Kern. While she pulled no punches in her teaching, she reinforced very patiently the stories of each great work, and the unrelenting attention to detail which culminates in a great performance. It was a wonderful experience for all involved, and I know it has added greatly to our company's credibility. That it all took place on an Imperial Bösendoerfer, the same piano Olga was to perform on so beautifully on the following night only added to the magic.” - Robert Lowrey of Robert Lowrey’s Piano Experts.  

For further information: Robert Lowrey’s Piano Experts              

Olga Kern
Showone Productions
Koerner Hall
North York Music Festival