Four Finalists Selected in Prestigious Olga Kern International Piano Competition

Pianists To Perform in Saturday’s ‘Stars of the Future’ Concert at Popejoy Hall, Sunday’s Recital at National Hispanic Cultural Center.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Friday, November 18, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – From a field of 21 of the world’s best young pianists, four finalists from three home countries have won the opportunity to compete in the last round of the inaugural Olga Kern International Piano Competition on Saturday, November 19, 2016.

The four chosen finalists, ages and their home/current countries are:

Anna Dmytrenko, 24, Ukraine, US & Germany
Chen Guang, 22, China, Italy
Anastasiya Naplekova, 32, Ukraine, US
Joshua Rupley, 23, US (NM), Germany

The finalists will perform in conjunction with the New Mexico Philharmonic’s “Stars of the Future” concert at 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at Popejoy Hall on the University of New Mexico (UNM) campus.

At the conclusion of this special concert, the winner of the first Olga Kern International Piano Competition will be announced. Along with Olga Kern, eight other internationally renowned musicians are serving as judges for the prestigious competition. Concert audience members will have the opportunity to vote for the Audience Award winner.

KHFM’s Brent Stevens will host a pre-concert talk at 5 p.m., and Vladimir Kern will conduct the concert at Popejoy Hall. Admission ranges from $22 to $75 and $10 for students with valid ID. Tickets may be reserved at 505.925.5858 and nmphil.org.

Winners of the inaugural Olga Kern International Piano Competition will be showcased in a public recital and awards ceremony at 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 20, 2016 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Admission is $25 or $10 for students. Tickets may be reserved at 505.724.2771.

The young pianists are competing for more than $30,000 in prize money. In addition to a cash prize, the winner will receive a professional recording on the Steinway & Sons label and concert engagements throughout Europe and the United States.

The challenging competition began with more than 20 pianists, ages 18–32 from 14 countries, performing in the first round of performances on November 14–15, 2016, followed by 11 semifinalists competing on November 17, 2016. All competitive events have been open to the public and have been live-streamed at olgakerncompetition.org.

The mission of the Olga Kern International Competition mission is “to provide the venue for young pianists to develop international careers through a competition that is recognized globally for its value and excellence.”

“Launching a successful performing career in the 21st century is a daunting task for most young, talented, aspiring musicians,” said Olga Kern. “I have been very fortunate to achieve my dreams of becoming a concert pianist.

“And my hope is that the Olga Kern International Piano Competition can now assist the next generation in its efforts to achieve their aspirations and dreams. I am thrilled to be working in tandem with the New Mexico Philharmonic on this new and exciting project.” 

The second Olga Kern International Piano Competition will be held in another three or four years. 


About Olga Kern

Now recognized as one of her generation’s great pianists, Olga Kern’s career began with her award-winning, gold-medal performance at the Eleventh Van Cilburn International Piano Competition in 2001. With her vivid stage presence, passionately confident musicianship and extraordinary technique, the striking pianist continues to captivate fans and critics alike.

Kern will serve as Artistic Director and President of the Jury of the inaugural Olga Kern International Piano Competition being held November 13–20, 2016 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Kern was born into a family of musicians with direct links to Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff and began studying piano at the age of 5. Winner of the first Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition when she was 17, Kern is a laureate of 11 international competitions and has toured throughout her native Russia, Europe and the United States, as well as in Japan, South Africa and South Korea.

Recipient of an honorary scholarship from the President of Russia in 1996, Kern is a member of Russia’s International Academy of Arts. In addition to performing, Kern devotes her time to the support and education of developing musicians. In 2012, the artist and her brother, Vladimir Kern, co-founded the “Aspiration” Foundation to provide financial and artistic assistance to musicians throughout the world. Click here for more information.


About the Olga Kern International Piano Competition

The Olga Kern International Piano Competition provides the venue for young pianists to develop international careers through a competition that is recognized globally for its value and excellence. Formed in 2014, the Olga Kern International Piano Competition is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. Click here for more information.

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