Kenneth Willson was born in the beautiful “Big Sky” state of Montana. He earned the Bachelor of Arts degree from George Fox University, the Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Portland, and the Doctor of Arts degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado.
His passion is the piano! He studied piano with Lou Anna Braughton, Istvan Nadas, Robert Hallquist, and Errol Haun. Dr. Kenn is Faculty Emeritus in Music from George Fox University.
Kenn has played the piano since he was 6 when he taught himself to read music. Formal piano education began at the age of 10. Kenn conceived and implemented an “Encounters with…” Series at the turn of the century! He was asked to teach the general music history course at George Fox University and as he worked within that capacity, he thought: “Why not combine the ‘real’ composer’s thoughts and emotions with their music? Why must all the composer information be so dry? Let’s discuss the rock and roll-a-bility of Beethoven!” The result is endless fun and a concert series that is slightly off the beaten path each time it is presented.
Kenn was named a Bösendorfer Educational Artist by the Viennese Piano Manufacturing Company in October 2005. Along with this honor, he was invited to come to Vienna and present a recital in Bösendorfer Hall on May 1, 2006, as part of Bösendorfer’s “Happy Birthday Mozart” celebrations. He was named as a “Distinguished Artist” by Bosendorfer in the spring of 2020. He continues to work within his passions of performing and teaching!