Salmon Arm’s Jaeden Izik-Dzurko is a prime example of how hard work, and a lot of practice, can pay off in a big way, even at a young age.
At 13, he already has earned multiple awards and frequently plays complex compositions in competitions across British Columbia.
Jaeden has been in four competitions this year, and has just returned home from the Performing Arts B.C. Provincial Festival in Nanaimo with first place in the intermediate Canadian piano competition and an honourable mention in the junior piano competition.
One of the winning pieces Jaeden played was Canadian Rhapsody No.1: The Laurentian’s by Court Stone. The strong musical composition depicts the seasons surrounding the mountainous range through complex strings of melodies.
Jaeden sent a letter to Stone’s niece to ask for permission to use the music. Not only did she give Jaeden permission, she sent to him a copy of the music, along with a letter thanking him for taking an interest in her uncle’s music.
Jaeden’s mother, Patricia, says this is not the first time he has received such letters.
Jaeden often puts videos on You Tube and composers themselves have sent letters complimenting him for his rendition of their work.
Competitors have to earn a berth in provincials by participating in other competitions.
The way competition is structured, every time someone wins in a category, they must move up a level the following year.
If Jaeden makes it into the provincials next year he will be entering in the senior level of the Canadian Piano Competition.
This means that the 14-year-old will be competing against 18- to 25-years-olds.
This doesn’t worry Jaeden however, who see’s it as just one more goal to push towards and another great experience.
The young pianist, who also excels in swimming, says he loves learning to play the music.
“I like adding my own idea’s to those of the composers, adding my own dynamic,” he says.
“The bigger the audience, the happier he is,” laughs his mom, Patricia.
Close to the competitions Jaeden typically spends up to four hours a day practicing.
What would make a 13-year-old dedicate so much of his time to something like this? His love for the music.
“I really enjoy all the music I play, but if I had to pick a certain style it would be romantic, because there are so many different kinds, like the waltz. I also really like Jazz and the Canadian compositions because they are so different. I pretty much like all the music I play.”