Kruger’s Spirit of the Rockies premieres this week

This Saturday (August 25) will mark the premier of a new piece of music composed by Jens Kruger, scored for a chamber orchestra and his own ensemble, The Kruger Brothers.

The piece, Spirit of the Rockies, will debut in Banff, Alberta at the Banff Centre, performed by their musicians in residence, joined by Jens on banjo, Uwe Kruger on guitar, and Joel Landsburg on bass.

The Banff Center commissioned this work, as a part of their ongoing efforts to support new music in a variety of forms and genres. It was The Kruger Brothers’ 2010 project, Appalachian Concerto, a banjo concerto Jens had written for his trio with a string quartet that sparked interest from the center. The commission was offered, and this weekend the Banff audience will be the first to celebrate the new composition.

Though Swiss by birth, the Krugers now live in the Appalachian region of North Carolina. Jens said that his intention with Spirit of the Rockies was to use the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains of Alberta with the Swiss Alps of his homeland and the Appalachian ridges of his adopted home as inspiration.

“For the English, the wilderness was something to be conquered. Trade routes, rather than ski trails, were what they were after. When the railroad opened up the continent, new settlers came in with a very different perspective, one that appreciated the uniqueness and delicacy of the environment. It was a perspective embodied in the Swiss guides who were the first to blaze the hiking and ski trails and build the mountain retreats that are now emblematic of the region. They brought an awareness of beauty.

The Spirit of the Rockies, is our own falling in love and our own understanding of beauty and of the fact that we are part of this world, and it is a part of us.””

No word yet on a possible recording of this piece.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.