Nashville, TN (June 10, 2014) — World-renowned trio The Kruger Brothers will debut a new concerto, “Lucid Dreamer,” during the Wide Open Bluegrass festival in Raleigh, NC this fall. The new piece, commissioned by the Kontras Quartet through Chamber Music America, will be performed by the Kruger Brothers with the Kontras Quartet on Saturday, October 4, at 1:20 pm in the Raleigh Convention Center.
The Kruger Brothers consist of Jens Kruger (banjo, harmony vocals), Uwe Kruger (guitar, lead and harmony vocals) and Joel Landsberg (bass, harmony vocals). Born in Switzerland, Jens Kruger and his brother Uwe left home to become street musicians. As adults they were billed as the Kruger Brothers, adding the third “brother,” Joel Landsberg, from New York City. Their interest in the music of Doc Watson motivated them to relocate near where Doc lived, in North Wilkesboro, NC in 2003.
Jens Kruger, the composer of “Lucid Dreamer,” is the fourth recipient of the prestigious Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. In a New York Times interview, Martin praised Kruger as “one of the great technicians” of bluegrass as well as “a very emotional player.”
“I think the new concerto is more complex, musically complex, than anything I’ve ever written, said Jens Kruger about the piece that took more than a year to write. “I don’t think it’s less accessible, but it has a lot more complex parts.”
“When I look at our lives as musicians - Uwe, Joel and mine - we are traveling musicians,” he continued. “We go into the world – we just went from Australia to Alaska to Europe – through all these different places, and when we travel we see the world, a lot of times from above, from the plane. We travel to see all the different people and societies – their social behaviors and how people interact.
“The name of the concerto is ‘Lucid Dreamer,’ which means that you are able to control your dream while you’re dreaming,” Kruger said. “I would like to extend this idea to the fact that I look at this life like a dream, and if I conduct my life I become a lucid dreamer of life. I like that idea, and that’s how I really see Uwe, Joel and me – like lucid dreamers – looking at life as a dream. But not the dream only as a dream, but the entirety of our existence, even.”
Kruger added, “And so that’s what ‘Lucid Dreamer’ is reflecting – that’s why a lot of the music is very complex and dreamlike, flying like the motion of traveling, not being grounded on one spot.”
The Kontras Quartet, a string quartet that often plays with the Kruger Brothers, is comprised of Dmitri Pogorelov, violin; François Henkins, second violin; Ai Ishida, viola and Jean Hatmaker, cello.
Admission to this performance is part of the ticketed events of the weekend festival, which take place at Red Hat Amphitheater and Raleigh Convention Center Ballroom Stages. Tickets for Wide Open Bluegrass can be purchase as single-day or two-day pass; for additional details and pricing information, visit IBMA’s website at www.ibma.org.
IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, an annual bluegrass music homecoming, consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, September 30 – October 2; the 25th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, October 2; the Wide Open Bluegrass, October 3-4 (which includes both free stages and ticketed festival performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 30 – October 2 in downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Center.
IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s six-year stay in Raleigh is the result of a partnership with The Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau, PineCone—The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, the City of Raleigh and a local organizing committee.
his commission by the Kontras Quartet has been made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program, with generous funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund.