Award in hand, Broberg ready to get back to normal


Jeremy Enlow

“Music has gotten me through the most difficult times in my life,” said Park University graduate student Kenny Broberg. “It’s the one thing that I can always count on.”

Broberg, 28, is studying music at Park University’s International Center of Music. Park University’s ICM program trains classical music students. The instructors choose promising students from auditions to join the program. They train students from all over the world, making ICM a prominent program at Park University.

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he first started playing piano at the age of six, after listening to different kinds of music. He would listen to recordings of piano and orchestral pieces, which inspired him to start learning how to play the piano.

He then started taking lessons under the direction of pianist Joseph Zins, DMA. Broberg studied with Zins until he went to college at the University of Houston and studied in the Moores School of Music. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music in 2016 under the instruction of Nancy Weems at the University of Houston.

He continued his education at Park University by earning a master’s in piano performance and an artist’s diploma.

“My association with Park is very good,” said Broberg. “I’m not really in any hurry to move on from it.”

At Park, Broberg has trained with instructor and ICM Artistic Director Stanislav Ioudenitch. He also likes being able to practice whenever he wants, on his own terms. He cited Park University as being very supportive of his career, which has helped him a lot. In fact, he felt a lot of support at his concert in September.

One of his biggest performances of the year was at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 14. He performed with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra in the “KC Celebrates Kenny Broberg” concert.

He played popular works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Nikolai Medtner and Frantz Liszt for solo pieces. The Kansas City Chamber Orchestra joined Broberg to end with Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11.

Park University offered free tickets for students who wanted to attend the concert and show support for Broberg. This was his first concert since he won the 2021 American Pianists Award, an impressive feat for any musician.

The American Pianists Awards is a competition held every two years to find and highlight talented pianists. The competition takes place over 13 months. As the winner, Broberg receives a monetary prize and career support including an artist-in-residence position at the University of Indianapolis and recording contract with Steinway and Sons.

This award is just the latest of his numerous accolades. Some of those include the 2019 International Tchaikovsky Competition Bronze Medal and the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Silver Medal. However, he tries not to think of his goals and successes too much.

Broberg said, “I’ve kind of made it this far without too many goals.”

He does not dwell on winning competitions or reaching certain milestones. Focusing too much on these aspects can negatively affect his mental health. With the competition over, he is now focused on his tour, taking place this year.

Broberg will travel around the United States in his first big tour since the COVID-19 pandemic began. He will perform in Texas, New York, California, Indiana and more.

“It’ll just be good to kind of get back to what was my normal life before the pandemic,” said Broberg.

In addition to touring, he will start his occupancy at the University of Indianapolis as part of his prize from the competition. He will teach and perform piano for the students as his first college teaching position.

Broberg is an avid sports fan. Being from Minnesota, he loves hockey and also enjoys baseball. He played both in high school, but always knew that piano was his passion.

“I’ve been a musician for as long as I can remember to the point where that’s such a huge part of my personality and, you know, my identity,” said Broberg.

Music is something he has always loved and taken seriously. It taught him how to hone his concentration and discipline skills as piano performance requires consistent practice. It takes a lot of hard work and training to become an accomplished pianist, but it is worth it as it means so much to him.

Broberg’s next tour performance will be on Oct. 3 in Indianapolis at Indiana Landmarks.