Kevin Kenner

American multi-prize-winning pianist of unwavering musicianship, Kevin Kenner is renowned for his towering interpretations of piano repertoire marked with elegancy of tone and brilliance. Exceptionally idiomatic in Chopin yet versatile, he is a prolific recording artist of Beethoven, Schumann, Ravel, Paderewski and Piazzolla. Kenner has performed with world-class orchestras including the Hallé, BBC Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Warsaw Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, NHK Tokyo and San Francisco Symphony, and has collaborated with such distinguished conductors as the late Sir Charles Groves, Leonard Bernstein, Andrew Davis, Hans Vonk, Jiří Bělohlávek and Stanisław Skrowaczewski. Frequent partner with leading string quartets including Belcea, Tokyo and Endellion, since 2011 he also works as duo partner with violinist Kyung Wha Chung.

Kevin Kenner gives a recital in Chopin's birthplace

10 Jul 2017

Kevin Kenner will perform a programme of mazurkas, a nocturne, a barcarolle, a scherzo and a ballade on 16 July at the Chopin Museum in Zelazowa Wola, the town of the composer's ...

Kevin Kenner performs in Warsaw at the 58th series of Chopin Concerts

18 May 2017

Kevin Kenner performs in Warsaw at the 58th series of Chopin Concerts. The open-air recital, with a programme of mazurkas, a polonaise, a scherzo, a ballade and a barcarolle, will take place...

Kevin Kenner performs in China

01 Dec 2016

Kevin Kenner travels to China, to perform a programme of works by Schubert, Paderewski and Chopin at the Grand Theatre in Suzhou on 10 December. The recital will begin with Schubert's 6 ...

Kevin Kenner at the Verbier Festival

20 Jul 2016

Kevin Kenner will perform in a violin and piano recital at the Verbier Festival on 24 July, with fellow ICA artist and regular sonata partner, Kyung Wha Chung. ...

Kevin Kenner at the 3rd International M.K. Čiurlionis Festival

27 Oct 2015

Kevin Kenner concludes the 3rd International M.K. Čiurlionis Festival in Vilnius with a recital of works by Schubert...

Kevin Kenner performs with Cairo Symphony Orchestra

18 Sep 2015

American pianist Kevin Kenner performs Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor at the Cairo Opera House on Saturday September 19th, with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ahmed El Saedi...

Kevin Kenner’s recital at the Frick Collection broadcast on BBC Radio 3

21 May 2015

American pianist Kevin Kenner’s recital at the Frick Collection New York will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concerts on Friday May 22 at 1pm.  Kenner will perform a complete set of...

ICA signs American multi-prize-winning pianist Kevin Kenner for General Management

22 Apr 2015

ICA is delighted to announce that it will be representing American multi-prize-winning pianist Kevin Kenner for General Management. 

Kenner, winner of the top prize at the...

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“To crown everything, all the performances by this American but European-based multi-prize-winning pianist are of unwavering mastery and musicianship, with towering but never forced strength and a rubato and nuance both personal and telling. He is exceptionally glittering and stylish in Chopin's Fantasie-Impromptu (later making a ghostly reappearance in Crumb's Dream Images) and offers a tantalising glimpse of Balakirev's extensive but little-recorded repertoire in his Second Nocturne, music enriched with the composer's elegant and conversational brilliance.”

Bryce Morrison, Gramophone

“The performances? They are quite exceptional, counting amongst the most subtle and expressive piano playing enjoyed in several years. A disc which we have played through twice with increased admiration.”

Peter Grahame Woolf, Musical Pointers

“Performed with bravura, thoughtful, full of inner tension, captivating... It would be possible to add yet many other epithets.”

Tomasz Byczek

“Kevin Kenner’s Chopin exudes that rare combination of warmth and intelligence.”

Colin Clarke, Fanfare Magazine

“Kenner’s grasp of the latter piece is superb, culminating in a truly spellbinding finale (“Langsam getragen. Durchweg leise zu halten”).”

Colin Clarke, Fanfare Magazine

“Kevin Kenner feels perfectly with a lapidary form of Davidbündlertänze. He plays with elegance and bravura at the same time, spinning a lively, fascinating story from individual links of the cycle.”

HiFi Muzyka, Hanna & Andrzej Milewscy

“Kevin Kenner's individuality dominates. He states here his own exposition. His musical sensitivity envelopes everything that Chopin said in Op.11 (Concerto No.1). He grasps everything at the highest level of understanding. This is not a case of performing well or even very well on the piano. One must have an inner power even as Kenner has, who in his artistic vision reaches transcendental regions.”

Polish National Radio Program II, Warsaw, Jan Popis

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The year 1990 was a milestone for pianist Kevin Kenner whose artistry was recognized throughout the world by three prestigious awards: the top prize at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, the International Terrence Judd Award in London, and third prize at the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow. He had already won awards at the Van Cliburn International Competition and the Gina Bachauer International Competition.

Kevin Kenner’s achievements have won him critical acclaim throughout the world. He has been praised as “one of the finest American pianists to come along in years” (Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune). The Independent describes one of Kenner’s recitals as “...the best performance I have ever heard in the concert hall of all four of Chopin’s Ballades”. The Financial Times described Kenner as a “player of grace, subtle variety and strength, with a mature grasp of dramatic structure and proportion: in short, a grown-up musician nearing his peak.” And the Washington Post proclaimed him “a major talent… an artist whose intellect, imagination and pianism speak powerfully and eloquently.” Conductor Stanisław Skrowaczewski described his collaborations with Kevin Kenner to be the most sensitive and beautiful he remembered.

Born in southern California, Kenner showed his interest in piano from a very young age and studied there with Polish pianist Krzysztof Brzuza. As a teenager, Brzuza sent him to Poland to audition for the eminent professor Ludwik Stefański, who immediately prepared him for the 1980 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, where he was the youngest competitor and in which he received a special award from the jury. Following the death of his Polish teacher, he continued his studies for the next five years with Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. As a student he benefited much from his years at the Tanglewood Music Festival where he had the occasion to work with Leonard Bernstein. Returning to Europe once again, Kenner concluded his formal training in Hannover with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling and made his permanent home in Europe, firstly in England, where he taught for many years at the Royal College of Music in London, followed by a post in Poland, in Kraków. In 2015 Kenner also accepted a professorship in the United States, at the Frost School of Music, University of Miami. Apart from his work as a teacher, he has served on juries of some of the most celebrated international piano competitions.

Kenner has performed as soloist with world-class orchestras including the Hallé, BBC Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Warsaw Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, National Orchestra of Belgium, Orchestra of the 18th Century, NHK Symphony of Japan, San Francisco Symphony, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He has collaborated with conductors such as the late Sir Charles Groves, Andrew Davis, Hans Vonk, Jiří Bělohlávek, Jahja Ling, Jacek Kaspszyk, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Antoni Wit and Jerzy Maksymiuk.

He has joined with string quartets such as the Belcea, Tokyo, Endellion, Vogler, Casal and Panocha, and worked as duo partner with cellist Matt Haimovitz, and since 2011 with Kyung Wha Chung, with whom he made his début at the 2016 Verbier Festival. He is a frequent guest at the Great Mountains Music Festival in Korea and the Chopin and His Europe Festival in Poland, and he recently made a solo recital tour of China.

Kevin Kenner’s recordings are distributed internationally and include many discs of Chopin works as well as recordings of Ravel, Schumann, Beethoven, Piazzolla and Paderewski, the latter two having won special prizes. His recent CD “Chopin Resonances” was singled out by Gramophone Magazine as the Editor’s Choice and was nominated for the International Classical Music Awards in France.





July 2017