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Olga Kern picks piano for new Kimbell Art Museum building

Posted 5:49pm on Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2013

The construction fences came down this week, and the public can finally see the Piano Pavilion at the Kimbell Art Museum.

But the finish work is still underway, and a major purchase has to be made — the grand piano for the auditorium.

In the gracious tradition of ladies first, the inaugural performer in the new, 298-seat auditorium will be 2001 Cliburn gold medalist Olga Kern, who will play a special two-night engagement Jan. 23 and 24.

As the first performer in the new space, Kern was asked to choose the new Steinway grand piano that will make its home at the Kimbell.

Eric M. Lee, the Kimbell’s director, says the Russian pianist was in New York City last week auditioning instruments.

The auditorium is expected to have superior acoustics.

The Cliburn Foundation has scheduled additional concerts there March 27 and April 17 as part of its 2013-14 season, and the Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth will host its first concert in the space, a performance by the Vermeer String Quartet, on April 19, 2014.

The new building will open to the public Nov. 24.

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