Pi­ano whiz re­turns to Oz from Kansas City

Dubbo Photo News - - News - BY NATALIE HOLMES

Age: Favourite song? Favourite colour? Favourite game? Who is your best friend? What makes you laugh? What makes you sad?

me. (Holds up four fin­gers).

Elsa.

Blue.

Mm… hide and seek. So­phie. Some­one tickle me. Um, when some­one hurt

What are you afraid of? A mon­ster in my room. If you could change your name what would it be? Bat­girl. Bat­man mar­ries Bat­girl. What are you re­ally good at? Hand­stands and

dance.

What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch?

Ap­ples and ‘nanas.

What is your favourite fruit?

just ap­ples.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

dancer.

How old is grown up?

Ap­ple. Mm, maybe Maybe three? A AMER­I­CAN pi­anist Kenny Broberg was just six years old when he started play­ing the in­stru­ment that would take him to com­pe­ti­tions and con­cert recitals around the world. Un­like other kids who needed to be prompted to prac­tice, young Broberg couldn’t tear him­self away from the fam­ily pi­ano which had been a wed­ding gift to his par­ents.

“I’ve al­ways loved to play the pi­ano,” he said.

“My par­ents wanted me to go out­side and play, but I just wanted to prac­tice. It was some­thing I chose to do and my par­ents are very sup­port­ive.”

That level of com­mit­ment has cer­tainly paid off for the tal­ented mu­si­cian who now calls Kansas City home when he’s not in per­for­mance mode.

He spoke with Dubbo Photo News af­ter land­ing in Syd­ney at 6am in prepa­ra­tion for his na­tional tour of Aus­tralia. It’s his sec­ond time in the NSW cap­i­tal af­ter com­pet­ing in the Syd­ney In­ter­na­tional Pi­ano Com­pe­ti­tion (The Syd­ney) three years ago.

“The first ma­jor com­pe­ti­tion I did was in the Syd­ney Opera House where I won fourth prize,” he ex­plained.

Since then, he has re­ceived the Sil­ver Medal at the 2017 Van Cliburn In­ter­na­tional Pi­ano Com­pe­ti­tion in the United States and placed third at the pres­ti­gious 2019 In­ter­na­tional Tchaikovsk­y Com­pe­ti­tion in Moscow.

Be­ing in the Rus­sian cap­i­tal and per­form­ing clas­si­cal mu­si­cal pieces in the Great Hall of Moscow Con­ser­va­tory – the same place as their orig­i­nal com­poser – was a sur­real mo­ment for Broberg.

“It was quite an ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said. “It’s some­thing I have never ex­pe­ri­enced be­fore. There aren’t many places like it. The Great Moscow Hall has a lot of his­tory. There are a lot of com­posers on the wall. It’s very easy to be in­spired there.”

Broberg de­scribed the at­mos­phere of the Moscow Con­ser­va­tory as “warm, invit­ing and the acous­tics are amaz­ing”.

“The way the sound projects helps your per­for­mance.”

Dur­ing the Tchaikovsk­y com­pe­ti­tion, as with other mu­sic con­tests, Broberg said he re­mained fo­cused on the task of play­ing.

“There’s al­ways ex­tra nerves be­cause you know what’s at stake, know­ing that peo­ple are be­ing more sub­jec­tive to you.

“But I try not to play to the judges,” he said. “I made a con­certed choice not to play to them.

“It sounds dif­fer­ent in the sixth row than the whole au­di­to­rium and you want to play to ev­ery­one.”

The trip was Broberg’s first time in Rus­sia and he was for­tu­nate enough to see some of the coun­try­side there.

“I had per­for­mances be­fore the com­pe­ti­tion and saw quite a bit of the coun­try.”

On re­turn­ing to Aus­tralia, Broberg said or­gan­is­ers of the Syd­ney In­ter­na­tional Pi­ano Com­pe­ti­tion had in­vited him back for a tour.

“Last time, I mostly saw the Syd­ney Opera House. This time I’ll be in a lot of places in Aus­tralia.”

Broberg be­lieves that Aus­tralia has a strong tra­di­tion of clas­si­cal mu­sic.

“Some of my favourite mu­si­cians are

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