Kenny Broberg, Park ICM alumnus and winner of the 2021 American Pianists Award (photo by Evgeny Eutykhov)
In 2003, a global movement was sparked at Park University…and since that time, it has continued to shine brightly for all the world to behold. Park University’s International Center for Music will soon celebrate its 20th anniversary and has achieved extraordinary success in a relatively short span of time. Just a quick glance at some of their resulting accolades and it’s easy to see that their achievements are nothing short of inspiring:
- A finalist and a silver medalist in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
- A gold medalist in the London International Piano Competition
- An appointment as concertmaster of the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra
- An American Pianists Award
But how is it that this tiny boutique conservatory has had such success in bringing the best student musicians to the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri, and not to Julliard or Curtis? Through the years, Park ICM has strengthened its reputation as a unique blend of tailored teaching in a serene setting. Park University is nestled in quaint Parkville, Missouri, a town close enough to big-city attractions, yet far enough away to reduce distractions. Students have 24-hour access to practice rooms in the Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel, the facility on campus in which the program is based.
But beyond quaint Parkville, Missouri, they come for the craftmanship. At Park ICM, craftmanship is cultivated day after day. Artistic triumphs on concert stages across the globe reflect countless hours of hard work in practice rooms. Students’ diligence and dedication to their artistry, combined with frequent, tailored instruction from Park ICM’s world-renowned teaching faculty, and the meticulous maintenance of premium instruments, is the method behind the magic. Modeled after the classic European master/apprentice system, Park ICM pairs world-renowned faculty with exceptionally talented protégés. Students receive a minimum of two private lessons per week under their professors’ tutelage, with more offered during key times like preparation for international competitions or auditions. Through this relationship, the master and protégé develop a bond that continues for years after graduation. And through this type of training, Park University’s International Center for Music has trained students in violin, viola, cello and piano for successful careers in classical music on the world stage. “Park ICM combines a lot of practice time and lesson time with time for peace and quiet. It allows for time just for you, for growing within yourself,” said Kenny Broberg, Park ICM alumnus and winner of the 2021 American Pianists Award.
“Besides the teaching, there is a very artistic environment here,” said Ben Sayevich, Professor of Violin. “We want to make sure that, if you become a performer, your main focus is on your playing, and everything connected to it. We’re outside of the box for an academic environment. You get what you need to become as good as you can be.”
When Founder and Artistic Director Stanislav Ioudenitch launched the Park International Center for Music 20 years ago, his immediate goal was to find incomparable musicians who are extraordinary teachers and give them the resources needed to transform exceptional protégés into masters themselves. Since that time, he and his teaching faculty team have extended far beyond the initial enlightened vision. “There are many aspects needed to develop a great talent, not only classes,” said Ioudenitch. “We are there to listen. We are there to help. Every single person in the department and the administration tries to do their best to develop our precious talents.”
“Studying with Ben Sayevich has been the most crucial factor in my development as an artist and a musician,” said David Radzynski, who was recently appointed Concertmaster of the renowned Cleveland Orchestra. “Ben is the only instructor who has taught me how to connect my inner and outer voices, and to survive on my own by applying my knowledge and musical sensitivity to my work. Through his friendship and wisdom, I learned so much about the realities of life as a musician and as a human being, which I will carry with me forever.”
“We are comparing our program with the greatest conservatories in the world. The talent and achievement of our students . . . it is world-class,” said Ioudenitch.
To find out more about Park International Center for Music and its celebratory 20th- anniversary season, visit ICM.PARK.EDU.