Review: An Exhilarating and Promising Start to Season
Brian Hick, Hastings & St. Leonards Observer

Kenny Broberg won the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competiton and has an impressive list of international orchestras with whom he has worked. He certainly seemed much at ease with Hastings Philharmonic for Beethoven’s Emperor concerto, relishing the rapport between himself and the players as well as the close proximity of the audience. It must be rare to find himself surrounded by people, the piano being situated in the centre of the concert hall, rather than at one end.

The immediacy paid off with a virtuoso performance of exceptional dynamic range. The near thwacked scale runs in the first movement melted into the gentlest of touches, and there was an improvisatory feel to much of his playing which communicated a sense of living creativity rather than regurgitation of the familiar.

The second movement was particularly impressive with a sense of the romantic movement hovering over the development of his musical line. Carried away, there were times when Broberg seemed to want to sing along with his own playing and had to hold himself back.

The finale had a sense of joy and life, which radiated from the soloist and players to the whole hall. We were lucky to get an encore – a brief Chopin Mazurka – which was a gem and left us wanting more.