Cairo – World-famous, American classical pianist Kevin Kenner performed Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto on the evening of Saturday, September 19 at the Cairo Opera House, before an audience of more than 800. Maestro Ahmed El Saedi, in partnership with the Cultural Affairs Office of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, invited Kenner to participate in the Cairo Symphony’s Beethoven Festival.
At a reception hosted by the embassy immediately after Kenner’s performance, U.S. Ambassador Stephen Beecroft noted in his brief remarks to guests and to the press how the concert demonstrated the value of cross-cultural engagement. “I hope tonight will serve as a symbol of what we can accomplish when we work with partners from across the world behind a common goal,” he said. The Ambassador also noted the remarkable symbolism achieved by having “an American piano soloist perform the work of a German composer, with the accompaniment of a predominantly Egyptian orchestra, in a country that represents 7,000 years of international civilization.”
Mr. Kenner is a product of international study and travel himself. The California-born pianist trained in Poland and now lives between Krakow, London, and Miami, balancing teaching positions at the Royal College of Music and the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. He is the recipient of numerous awards and critical acclaim, with the Washington Post recently proclaiming him “a major talent…an artist whose intellect, imagination and pianism speak powerfully and eloquently.” Mr. Kenner has performed with some of Europe’s most highly regarded orchestras, including the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic and others.
The visit brought Mr. Kenner together with Egyptians and international musicians both on and off the stage. While in Cairo, Mr. Kenner also led a master class for piano students. “I was absolutely thrilled to be in Cairo for the second time in my life,” Mr. Kenner said. “It was a pleasure working with Maestro El Saedi, and I most enjoyed—apart from the concert—meeting students from the music academy.”