Win Earns Advancement to National Competition

Heather Andrews Miller - 15 April 2013

An upcoming piano recital scheduled on Saturday, May 11th at the Alberta College Conservatory of Music, is creating a lot of excitement! Peter Krejcar is the featured performer, and the 21-year-old pianist is coming off a spectacular win at a recent Provincial Piano Competition held in Red Deer.

"Peter gave a brilliant performance at the competition and we are thrilled he will be representing Alberta at the national event in Halifax this July," says Susan Wilson, the convenor of the Alberta Registered Music Teachers' Association (ARMTA) Provincial Piano Competition. "The May 11th recital will give the audience an opportunity to hear some of the repertoire he is preparing and it is superb."

Competitors heading to the national level event presented by the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Associations (CFMTA) are required to have a full program prepared. "It's set up that way so that there is a mixture of baroque and classical music and so on. Competitors submit a full list of what they are prepared to perform at both semi-final and final levels," says Wilson. "Each program, 30-45 minutes in length, must be drawn from the full list. Only one piece may be repeated." A piece by a Canadian composer is one of the requirements and Krejcar will perform Denis Gougeon's Piano Soleil. "He was absolutely brilliant, and won an additional prize, donated by Dorothy Buckley of ARMTA Edmonton Branch, specifically for that piece at the provincial competition," she explains.

Krejcar also won the Marek Jablonski Endowment Fund Prize which is awarded to the provincial first-place winner. "He has wisely chosen to include two Chopin pieces at the national competition as there's also a Jablonski prize awarded for the best performance of a work by Chopin. The repertoire he has prepared shows that he is a well-rounded competitor. To listen to Krejcar perform is exquisite, he plays with confidence and assurance," Wilson says.

The young pianist became interested in classical music when his older brother began to play. "We lived near Grande Prairie at the time and I started lessons with Ms. Bartel at age six," he says. "I have loved it ever since." Although classical music is his favourite, he also enjoys ragtime and jazz. At age 15 he moved to Edmonton and began lessons at the Alberta College Conservatory of Music under the guidance of Mr. David Tutt. "I knew Mr. Tutt as he used to come to Grande Prairie on occasion," he adds.

After the March 9th provincial competition he felt inspired to continue working on performance repertoire. "I am now at a point where I am able to concentrate on practicing several hours each day," he explains. "I will continue to practice the pieces I prepared for the provincial competition for the Halifax competition, and if I get past the semi-finals, I will need to have an additional program ready to perform."

His parents came from the Czech Republic in the 1980s and he and his sister, who plays violin, perform regularly for the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences in Alberta. Krejcar is planning to apply to more piano competitions and to pursue a degree in music. He acknowledges the Conservatory for helping him gain the success he has to this stage in his career. "I'm thankful to all of my instructors for the opportunities they've offered me and to my parents, of course, as well," he says. When he's playing classical compositions he says he loves to hear the harmonies and to try to interpret the composer's thoughts and moods.

The recital is part of the Profiles in Music event which includes a photography exhibition by Diana Duzbayeva, opening at 6:30 pm, featuring images of faculty and students at the Conservatory. Presented by the Czechoslovak Society, in partnership with ARMTA, the Wirth Institute and the Conservatory, the performance will begin at 7:30 pm at Muttart Hall (10050 MacDonald Drive).

As a result of his win at provincials, he will be on tour as the CMFTA Young Artist Series representative for Alberta before leaving for the national competition, performing at Steinway Hall in Calgary on April 14th at 4 pm and then in his hometown at Grande Prairie Regional College on May 14th at 7:30 pm.

Krejcar performs again in Muttart Hall on Sunday, May 26th at 2 pm as part of the Connections Concert Series presented by the Conservatory.