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Following up the opening weekend of Lang Lang, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra is bringing in another world famous pianist.

Garrick Ohlsson is as respected as Lang Lang is adored. Dare I say that there are some who would prefer Ohlsson to Lang Lang any day of the week?

It’s not a competition, I’m “just saying”.

What am I saying? I’m saying that this coming weekend we have an even more accomplished pianist playing in San Diego than we did last weekend.

I do not wish to take anything away from the opening weekend because it was a resounding success. I do wish to emphasize that while Ohlsson doesn’t have the current rockstar reputation, he is a dominant pianist.

If Lang Lang is Michael Corleone then Ohlsson is Vitto--the Godfather.

Ohlsson is considered to be one of if not the leading interpreter of Chopin in his generation.

This brings up the question, who is in his generation?

Ohlsson started winning competitions in the mid 1960’s while he was still a teen-ager. In 1970 he won the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, Poland.

This puts Mr. Ohlsson in the generation of pianists that includes Daniel Barenboim, Maurizio Pollini, Murray Perahia, and Martha Argerich. Pollini and Argerich both won the Chopin Competition as well.

These are legendary pianists and Ohlsson is their peer.

Ohlsson is much, much more than a Chopin specialist. His bio is too lengthy to do justice to it here. Let it suffice to say that Garrick Ohlsson is an institution unto himself with accolades in solo piano performances, concerto performances, and chamber performances.

What will Mr. Ohlsson be playing in San Diego? Tchaikovsky.

Ah ha, but it is not the Tchaikovsky we are thinking of. The Tchaikovsky he will be playing is Tchaikovsky’s 2nd Piano Concerto. This is a piece that is seldom heard as it is eclipsed by the first concerto.

The second concerto by Tchaikovsky is a great piece of music and I, for one, am excited to hear it live with a soloist of Mr. Ohlsson’s stature.

Those who attended last Saturday’s gala concert have the opportunity to hear both Tchaikovsky concertos in the span of a week.

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