Young composer to play three shows

Gene Emerson - photo submitted
Gene Emerson
— image credit: photo submitted

A Coquitlam composer is about to present several original works in three separate classical music concerts and while that would seem extraordinary on its own, it's notable as well that the musician is a 16-year-old girl who is yet to graduate.

Gene Emerson has been a prolific writer over the last year, creating at least seven new pieces, which she will showcase at three separate concerts (Nov. 2 in Vancouver, and Nov. 16 and 29 in Coquitlam) along with members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Emerson, a Heritage Woods student, has been playing piano since she was four years old and has composed music since she was eight. She said she draws inspiration from "different things around the world" including the recent awarding of a Nobel Prize in Literature to Canadian short story writer Alice Munro.

When she heard about Munro's amazing win, Emerson stayed up half the night penning a classical piece for her, which will be presented at one of the concerts.

Emerson admitted it's difficult to find time during the school year to write music but was able to work alone this summer on her pieces, which can take from a few weeks to a few months to create. She works them out on piano and then programs the notes in the computer software which prints out sheet music for the other musicians to play along side her.

Joining her for the concerts will be Zoltan Rozsnyai (cello), Jeanette Bernal-Singh (violin) and Reg Quiring (viola) with distinguished clarinet player Gene Ramsbottom joining her for her original composition duet: Suite D'Insecte.

Emerson said she is looking forward to the two pre-concerts with the final concert Nov. 29 at Evergreen Cultural Centre.

"I'm not nervous because I'm really used to playing my music. When I play in front of crowds I get so involved in playing my music that it doesn't matter if people are there or not."

In 2012, Emerson presented her pieces at a Unicef benefit concert at her Heritage Woods high school to much acclaim.

Emerson also plays her pieces on her YouTube Channel, and they have racked up thousands of views.

• Tickets are $15-$25 for the Evergreen Cultural Centre concert on Nov. 29 at 8 p.m. The box office is 604-927-6555 www.evergreenculturalcentre.ca. The two pre-concert recitals are free: Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. at Tom Lee Music in Vancouver and Saturday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. at Tom Lee Music in Coquitlam, 104-2635 Barnet Highway.

• Gene Emerson has also written an autobiography that describes her work at http://pianomusiccomposition.wordpress.com/biography/





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