As we count down the days leading up to this year’s Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition, our semi-finalists checked in to share their experiences and preparation with pianist Everett Hopfner, a two-time E-Gré participant.

Peter Krejcar-Headshot

Today’s interview features Peter Krejcar of Beaverlodge, Alberta, who’s studied at the Alberta Conservatory in Edmonton.

Everett Hopfner: Why have you decided to enter the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition this year?

Peter Krejcar: I’ve heard about the E-Gré Competition for a long time already from my colleagues, teachers and friends. I knew it was about contemporary music and I was thinking for a long time about entering it, but never really took the steps until now. Since entering I’ve been discovering all these new styles of music with so many interesting ideas to learn.

EH: Can you describe your experience of putting this program together? How has your preparation been going?

PK: I don’t have a long background with contemporary music, I really only started getting into it about two years ago after my teacher introduced me to some new pieces. So because I’m still new to contemporary music, there are a lot of new things I have to learn. It also feels like there are even some things I have to un-learn from my classical training to play this music well. I’m really enjoying seeing all these new ideas that contemporary music has to offer, and the different styles of playing. I’m enjoying the change. I’m discovering a lot of new sounds within the instrument, and a lot of new things you can do that really surprise me.

EH: Are there certain pieces in your program that you’re especially excited to perform in Brandon?

PK: Since I’m mostly a classical musician, a lot of my pieces have a lot of classical influences in them. I tried to balance my program with some experimental pieces and some more classical-sounding pieces. There’s one piece that I play with my nose – “Schnozzage” by David Rakowski. It’s always a good piece to play and it brings out some laughs! I really love Kazimierz Serocki’s Piano Sonata. It was written in 1955, so it’s the oldest piece in my program. Not a lot of people seem to have heard this piece before, so I’m really excited to present it.

EH: What are your personal goals for the competition weekend itself?

PK: Just to play and to have fun performing, and to hear lots of good music. I expect to bring back a long list of pieces I’d like to learn. It will be great to meet the judges and hear what they have to say about the music, and to hear everyone else play, too. Being so new to contemporary music, it will be a lot of fun for me to hear all the different styles and ideas there are to offer.

EH: Thanks very much for taking the time for this conversation, Peter! I’ll look forward to meeting you in a few weeks as we welcome our semi-finalists to Brandon. My best wishes for your continuing preparation.


The 39th Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition will be held May 6-8 in the Lorne Watson Recital Hall, Brandon University.

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