On Sunday evening, April 3, The King’s University professor Joachim Segger performed a solo piano recital at The King’s University in Edmonton, Alta., in front of a packed house.
What was extraordinary about this concert was the piano, a nine-foot Yamaha concert grand once owned by the late Glenn Gould, a Canadian pianist who became one of the best-known and most celebrated classical pianists of the 20th century.
Segger started playing the organ at Edmonton’s West End Christian Reformed Church when he was 9 years old He became the church’s regular organist when he was 12.
Segger was one of the youngest students at the Eastman School of Music to receive the Performer’s Certificate. He also won the concerto competition and performed the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Eastman Philharmonia conducted by David Effron. He has performed in Carnegie Hall and in other venues throughout North America, Europe, and South Africa. He is frequently heard on CBC local and national broadcasts.
Around Edmonton, however, Segger is mostly known as professor of piano at The King's University.
“It was a great evening for me personally,” said Segger after the concert. “It has been three years since I played a solo piano recital at King’s. Both my parents were in the audience then, and I could hear my mother coughing in the concert, which a few weeks later was diagnosed as lung cancer. My dad suffers from dementia. He loved the encore piece I played at the end, a German song called “An Der Weser” [by Gustav Pressel]. It meant a lot to play the encore thinking about the role my parents, especially my dad, played in my musical education.”
In an interview with the Edmonton Journal a week before the concert, Segger said, “I’ve played many Yamaha grands and this one is different. What makes this piano special is that it’s incredibly responsive to the touch.”
Since 1991, it has been owned by The King’s University and resides in its modest performance hall named after CRC pastor Nicholas B. Knoppers.