Samuel Deason has made a habit of impressing Saskatoon audiences. Since his days of capturing the attention of adjudicators and judges as a teen who made playing monstrously difficult music look easy, to his annual performance in his hometown each summer that has garnered him a devoted following, Samuel has made people sit up and listen.
The young pianist has an incredible pedigree having studied with the likes of Marc Durand and Menahem Pressler and getting his start right here at home with Bonnie Nicholson, and has a string of competition titles under his belt. He’s a seasoned performer, and next spring embarks on a solo tour of Saskatchewan.
Not every pianist is a good fit in the idiom of the concerto – it requires a special talent. For a piano to sing out over the full body texture of an orchestra the pianist must find such intense clarity in tone, rhythm, and refinement of the piece. A unique position of being both soloist and ensemble at once. It takes endless precision and commitment to finding something new to say…something that is their own. These are the skills that seem to come effortlessly to Deason.
Samuel made his SSO debut after winning the Saskatchewan Concerto Competition…and people are still talking about his Khachaturian more than a year later. It was clear as he took his last bow on that debut performance that he was a perfect fit to open our 85th season. A powerful sound at the instrument driven by his physically economic style – as one recent reviewer noted “No ounce of energy is wasted, and the powerful weighted sound easily pours out of Deason’s stature…The body stays distant from the keyboard, and the arms move little despite the wide leaps and difficult dissonant rhythmic passages he is undertaking.”
The Shostakovich Piano Concerto 2 is one of the true triumphs of the genre’s 20th century sound – the composer wrote it for his son as a vehicle to not only make music but show off. Samuel will make the Shostakovich look like child’s play. The concerto sparkles and bounces and avoids getting too serious with itself, yet the second movement’s simple melody is a heart breaker.
We are certain that Samuel’s performance will have you instantly out of your seat – and we’re certain it won’t be the last time he brings the SSO audience to their feet.
See Deason’s return to the SSO – click here