Top notch St. Albert musician plays at Edmonton Chamber Music Society concert


Behzod Abduraimov
Saturday, Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Jacob Kryger
Pre-concert performance at 6:45 p.m.
Edmonton Chamber Music Society
Convocation Hall
University of Alberta
Tickets: Adult $45, senior $40, students $15 Visit

Until the past decade or so, only a handful of classical musicians specialized in the marimba. Virtuoso musicians tended to shy away from this underdog instrument.

But as of late, this come-of-age instrument, along with the xylophone, has stepped out of the shadows and shares the prestige and popularity of its more accepted classical brethren.

Jacob Kryger, 18, a second-year University of Alberta music student, is part of a new generation of artists. The up-and-coming classical percussionist is the Edmonton Chamber Music Society 2017 Scholarship Winner.

As part of the prize package, Kryger will play a marimba pre-concert set at the chamber music society’s recital held Saturday, Sept. 23 at the university’s Convocation Hall.

Every year music students audition in the following four categories: keyboard, string, percussion and voice. One student is selected from each group and they compete for a $1,000 scholarship and the opportunity to play at a chamber music society concert.

“It’s a great honour for him. We don’t often hear percussionists. He beat out the singer and pianists. In fact, most of our winners in the past were pianists. It’s a great opportunity for Jacob and we’re very proud of him,” said ECMS co-artistic director Patricia Tao.

This leg up the ladder is not lost on the young musician.

“I was really happy to win. All the others were so talented,” said Kryger. “Last year I did a solo performance at the St. Albert Chamber Music Society. It’s really cool to go into a bigger performance area.”

His 20-minute set is composed of two pieces: Alfred Fissinger’s solo Suite for Marimba and a xylophone translation of violinist Fritz Kreisler’s Tambourin Chinois.

The four-movement Suite for Marimba depicts incidents that Fissinger experienced serving as an infantryman during the Second World War.

“There are some silences. There are movements that are intense and exciting. There’s lots of variation and different moods,” Kryger noted.

In Tambourin Chinois, the short work reveals a joyous intensity that celebrates imagined places and faraway lands. Pianist Jeanne Yang accompanies Kryger.

“It has two different sections. The first is quick and happy. The second is more slow and melodic.”

The evening’s main headliner is pianist Behzod Abduraimov, 26, who studied at Park University’s International Centre for Music where he is now artist-in-residence.

A major international solo concert pianist, the Tashkent-born pianist won the prestigious London International Piano Competition at 18 and later the 2010 Kissinger Sommer Festival’s international piano competition.

Abduraimov will play two classical masterpieces: Franz Liszt’s Sonata for Piano in B minor and Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No. 6 in A major.

“Liszt’s Sonata is a romantic piece. It is both light and dark. It has great moments of beauty and sweetness whereas Prokofiev’s Sonata is dark and emotionally charge,” said Tao.

She hopes music fans choose to attend.

“First, all chamber music society concerts bring in the best. Second, you’re in Convocation Hall. It’s a more intimate space where you have great connection. Thirdly, there are two masterpieces of piano literature on the program when there is often just one, and people will be excited to hear them.”








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Anna Borowiecki

Anna Borowiecki joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2000. She reports on local people and events in the arts, entertainment and food industry. She also writes general news and features.