Performing Arts

Park University student wins silver at Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

Park University music student Kenneth Broberg, a Minneapolis native, won the silver medal Saturday in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas.
Park University music student Kenneth Broberg, a Minneapolis native, won the silver medal Saturday in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas.

Park University music student Kenny Broberg was announced Saturday as the silver medalist in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas.

Broberg, a Minneapolis area native and a graduate student in Park University’s International Center for Music in Parkville, was one of four Americans in the event and, at age 23, the seventh-youngest competitor, according to university officials.

The two-week music competition ended Saturday with the announcement of the winners at the Bass Performance Hall in Forth Worth.

In addition to the silver medal, Broberg won $25,000 cash, three years of career management, U.S. concert tours and a recording partnership with Universal Music Group.

On Sunday, Broberg was heading to a meeting with an agent to discuss his future career. He’ll travel to New York for a performance before returning to Parkville. Broberg said winning at the Cliburn was a major lift for him as a musician.

“It’s a huge opportunity for me,” Broberg said. “It’s absolutely unique in the length of time they support your career and help you grow.”

The gold medal went to Yekwon Sunwoo, 28, of South Korea, and the bronze went to Daniel Hsu, 19, of the United States.

In 2001, Broberg’s instructor at Park University, Stanislav Ioudenitch, won the gold at the Van Cliburn. Ioudenitch founded Park University’s International Center for Music and is an associate professor of music and piano.

The Cliburn is held every four years in Fort Worth. It began May 25 with 30 competitors from across the world, chosen from 140 who performed via live video feeds.

During the competition, Roger Kugler, director of Park University’s International Center for Music, compared Broberg’s preparation to that of an Olympic athlete’s.

“It is an athletic event as well as an artistic endeavor,” Kugler said. “Every performer has to have a strict diet, a strong mental approach. It’s physically and mentally demanding.”

Broberg previously won the bronze medal at the Wideman International Piano Competition, the silver medal at the Young Texas Artists Music Competition, and first prize in both the New Orleans International Piano Institute Concerto Competition and the MSM Concerto Competition.

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