Percussion rising star crowned with MSO Snare Drum Award

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Grace Kruger has won the prestigious MSO Snare Drum Award, ahead of three other finalists in an exciting performance at Iwaki Auditorium last night.

The award, established by MSO percussionist Robert Cossom in 2004, is designed to encourage the pursuit of excellence in snare drum performance in Australia and New Zealand.

Kruger will receive percussion equipment and the opportunity to undertake a one-year mentorship with the MSO as part of her prize.

Finalists Kruger, Jennifer Wilson, Justin Zheng and Kaleah Scanlon all performed Phosphorus by Melbourne composer May Lyon, and chose between Cossom’s Pas de deux, Robert Clarke’s War Games and Laura by MSO percussionist John Arcaro and David Franzke.

Panellists Cossom, Arcaro, conductor Dobbs Franks and MSO Artistic Coordinator Michael Williamson selected Brisbane-based Kruger as the winner.

“The panel was very impressed with Grace’s performance,” Cossom said.

“She played with sensitivity and, funnily enough, grace.”

Now in her final year of a Bachelor of Music at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Kruger was also a finalist in the MSO Snare Drum Award in 2018.

The competitors’ test piece Phosphorus was commissioned by Lyn, Tim and Kris Edward together with the MSO for the 2019 Snare Drum Award. As the award celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, composer May Lyon said she based the piece around the number 15, with phosphorus the 15th element of the periodic table.

“I’ve focused on technique, precision, interpretation, basic snare skills, maintaining a groove and extended techniques,” Lyon said.

“The structure of the piece moves from the initial supernova to the quietness of space, this section is about interpretation and improvisation. The highly rhythmic and fast sections express the reactive nature of phosphorus.”

Open to undergraduate tertiary students from Australia and New Zealand, the award provides an exclusive opportunity for applicants to further develop audition and performance-based techniques in a professional environment.

The MSO Snare Drum Award 2019 is proudly supported by Robert Cossom, with additional support from Zildjan, Evans and Just Percussion.