Artist Spotlight: Andrew Krueger- Music

As he goes through the piece with fingers as fast as lightning, there is a look of serenity on his face. He isn’t nervous, nor is he excited as far as the audience can tell. He is concentrating with a look of determination. His interpretation of Chopin’s “Scherzo in B flat minor” showed that with practice and hard work, someone other than the composer can perform it as well as was originally intended.
“I’ve been playing basically my whole life,” Andrew Krueger, a music performance major, said. “I probably started when I was two or three [years old], so basically whenever I could reach the piano keys.”
From Sterling, Ill, Krueger has been playing in various school bands and accompaniments his entire life. A musician’s life isn’t limited to just what they are known for. The notes and sounds supersede the instrument and place the musician where ever they may. If the piano isn’t in front of him, other instruments have been in his hands, like the trombone for example.
The St. Ambrose University music department has been presenting piano concerts throughout the year in honor of their new grand concert piano. For the “Year of the Piano” recital on February 21, SAU piano students performed compositions by three composers celebrating their 200th birthdays- in 2010, Schumann and Chopin, and in 2011, Lizst.
Krueger’s instructor selected the piece for him, without his input. She knew it was a harder piece than he had last worked on, but believed in him.
“I think she lied,” Krueger said with a laugh. “It was kind of a beast.”
For the one piece that was performed, a year’s worth of work was put in to perfect it. To play a piece from memory, which he successfully did, some parts were easier to learn than others. For Krueger, some would make sense and he would be able to get them down at the drop of a hat. Regardless of the work that would be needed to be put in, he was excited to learn to play something by such a renowned composer.
Director of the show and professor of music at SAU, Joan Trapp was very optimistic with how the piece would sound. She knew he had been working on it for such a long time and that Krueger understands what the composer is trying to say with the music.
“He’s not just reading notes,” Trapp said. “But he can really see how all the chords work and how the melodies are put together and that helps him a lot in his memorization cause the patterns are so clear to him.”
“I was really enthusiastic about it, so I didn’t think to ask if I would like it or not,” Krueger said. “But this is the hardest thing I’ve completed.”
The music he plays is on par with the music that has inspired him throughout his career. Although he is a fan of the contemporary musicians and composers, he knows what he likes and he likes the classics.
“Almost everything that I’ve listened to my whole life has been classically oriented,” Krueger said. “I really like Tchaikovsky, I like Bach a lot, and Chopin is one of my favorites because his piano music is completely unparalleled.”
For his junior recital, Krueger will be performing Sunday, March 6, playing both original compositions and works from various other composers.
Originally wanting to do something with composition, his mind shifts back and forth between that and music history as potential opportunities for post-college work.  For now though, Krueger hopes to just take a break when he graduates in May.


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