World-renowned pianists to perform at University Center for the Arts starting July 31

Olga Kern
Olga Kern, pianist, photographed by Chris Lee at Steinway Hall.

From July 31 to Aug. 4, Colorado State University welcomes a one-of-a-kind, international piano competition and festival that gives Northern Colorado the exciting opportunity to hear extraordinary pianists from around the world. The 2018 International Keyboard Odyssiad®& Festival, U.S.A. features renowned pianists, including Van Cliburn medalists, in five riveting evening concerts alongside an Olympic-styled competition for young pianists ages 11-35.

A cornerstone of the annual event, now in its seventh year, is the presence of more than a dozen guest artists. In addition to daily masterclasses, recitals, and clinics, each day concludes with a concert given by famous performers, including Van Cliburn 2001 Gold Medalist Olga Kern and 2013 Gold Medalist Vadym Kholodenko; Korean pianist Ju-eun Lee; American pianist Frederic Chiu; and Croatian pianist Kemal Gekic.

All events take place at the University Center for the Arts, located at 1400 Remington St. The evening concerts start at 7:30 p.m. The semi-final and final rounds of the competition take place during the day and are open to the public.

Tickets may be purchased at or at the University Center for the Arts Box Office one hour prior to concerts. Prices are $35/adult; $25/senior (65+); $15/student. The full daily schedule, including the free competition sessions, is available at

Nightly Concert Schedule

July 31: Vadym Kholodenko, 2013 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist
Kholodenko captures the attention of juries, audiences, and critics alike for “mesmerizing and exhilarating” performances that bring the crowd to their feet, cheering him like a rock star.

Aug. 1: Ju-eun Lee
After a brilliant performance of Beethoven’s “Emperor Concerto” with the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra, Wes Kenney conducting, this rising young star from Korea returns to dazzle audiences once again with her elegant and passionate playing.

Aug. 2: Olga Kern, 2001 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist
The international superstar from Russia is recognized as one of her generation’s great pianists. Kern’s jet-setter career has her performing in major concert halls around the world.

Aug. 3: Frederic Chiu
The cerebral American pianist/philosopher/artist/chef offers richly colored, fiery interpretations in his performances. “Chiu is a stunningly virtuosic pianist with a dynamic range that almost defies the capabilities of modern recording techniques…” ~ BBC Music Magazine

Aug. 4: Kemal Gekic
Performing worldwide from a vast repertoire, the Croatian pianist presents fascinating, uncompromising and ever-changing interpretations, always generating frenzied audience enthusiasm.