Kim Scharnberg

photo by Katherine Griswold

To say that Kim Scharnberg grew up in a diverse musical environment would be an understatement. Connecticut-based Scharnberg has evolved from a young music student growing up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to an acclaimed producer, arranger, composer and conductor who has worked with such luminaries of the stage as Linda Eder and Julie Andrews, to name only a few. His vast experience ranges from conducting major international orchestras to producing highly-commercial recording artists.

Kim got his start at the ripe young age of ten as a student of the trombone. "My mother accompanied me on piano until I had to gently replace her – by the time I hit 7th grade – when she couldn't keep up." One of three brothers, Kim found himself influenced by the musical tastes of his two older siblings, both distinctly different in their respective artistic sensibilities. "My oldest brother is a wonderful professional French hornist who teaches at the University of North Texas. My other older brother played the saxophone and I remember a point when I was about eight years old when one brother tried to get me to embrace Led Zeppelin while the other was pushing Mahler on me. I ended up liking both!"

The resulting party of sounds in the Scharnberg household ensured Kim the ultimate musical education: among the sibling rivalry of rock versus classical, the parental preference of big band jazz, and Kim's own discovery of Spike Jones 78s and Pop music, his musical bases were more than covered. Learning to embrace these multiple genres of music would later influence his flexible approach to producing. The exceptional band programs at school provided Kim with the early opportunity to perform in everything from the marching band and jazz ensembles to traditional orchestras, concurrently participating in side projects for which he was constantly writing music. Kim's years on the trombone lent him plenty of observational time in the back of the ensembles, listening to other sections and instruments. A pivotal moment in his early musical development occurred when his 7th grade band director, Max Northrup, gave Kim the opportunity to showcase his very first arrangement. The process to write for full concert band took nine months, but upon completion it was rehearsed and performed, inspiring Kim to continue onward and upward.

Working diligently through his formative years toward a musical career, Kim then became first chair in the National Honors Band, the All-State Band and Orchestra and also performed in the McDonald's All American Band. He further developed his love for jazz by listening to the college radio station every night, memorizing the music and the personnel. He continued to arrange and compose throughout this period and then headed off to the Eastman School of Music where he studied with famed arrangers Rayburn Wright and Manny Albam. Kim's experience at Eastman fine-tuned his abilities at both producing and arranging on a highly professional level. After college, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue recording work and to play professionally for many orchestras, operas, and countless commercial sessions. Balancing his time between LA and New York, he became one of the busiest young music writers for film, television, commercials and records.

Kim's various arrangements have been performed by such noted orchestras as the Boston Pops and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He has orchestrated several Broadway musicals including Jekyll and Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Civil War, Wonderland and Little Women for which he received a Drama Desk nomination. Kim has also written orchestrations for television and for many feature films, including A River Runs Through It, Quiz Show, Made In America, The Net, Fly Away Home. He co-produced the Grammy-nominated Jekyll and Hyde cast recording, Jekyll and Hyde — The Complete Work, the Scarlet Pimpernel cast recording, Scarlet Pimpernel Encore, the Civil War concept album, the Little Women cast album and Linda Eder's Gold and Christmas Stays The Same CDs, among many others.

From his early years as a gifted music student, surrounded by various genres of music and culture, to his present day status as a highly-regarded composer, producer and arranger, Kim Scharnberg is not one to be constricted by boundaries. He enjoys mixing it up on a daily basis and doesn’t see that changing anytime soon.