The Miraculous Journey of Marcos Krieger

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Marcos Krieger in the classroomThese influences—immersion in music and awareness of culture and language—contributed to the talent that has brought Krieger to serve as assistant professor of music and director of chapel music at Susquehanna. Krieger has performed solo organ and harpsichord recitals in Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Canada and the United States. He has been part of early music ensembles, and has played continuo, a kind of bass part, for all the major orchestral and choral works of J.S. Bach and Heinrich Schütz, among others. As a musicologist, he has recently presented papers pertinent to the keyboard music of the Iberian Renaissance, and as an ethnomusicologist, he continues to document how the Xerente express themselves musically, particularly through the appropriation and production of Christian hymns.

Krieger also serves as the university’s organist. He loves the organ because it is, in his words, “an orchestra unto itself, capable of producing an extraordinary range of sounds and colors.” He enjoys the challenge it poses to physical coordination—the active working of the hands and feet upon the tiered keyboard and foot pedals.

In 1991, Krieger left Brazil to begin graduate studies at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. There he worked under noted organist Parley Belnap. He earned his Master of Music and went on to achieve a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, where he studied with renowned Bach scholars Quentin Faulkner and George Ritchie. He describes these teachers as “remarkably kind and humble men, concerned not with their own reputations, but with the transmission of knowledge.” Krieger has used their examples to inform his pedagogy. “In my teachers,” he says, “I saw the pure love of music and the desire that this should be passed on to the young. This has spurred me to do the same.”

He has fashioned a teaching philosophy that is less about information than about ways of thinking. “These days it’s easy to find facts on the Internet,” he says. “So I try to guide students toward the discovery of self, and how to create a personal style of playing.”

Krieger’s practice of Iyengar yoga, a form of hatha yoga with key distinctions in technique, sequence and timing, has helped him both as a teacher and a performer. He says, “In yoga, you are looking for the perfect form, but also for the easiest and most graceful way to get there. So it is in music. At a concert, no one wants to hear an instrument tuned so tight that it is about to break, or a voice strained to the point where it will crack. Yoga is a yoking of opposites— striving and relaxing, for example. For the performer, this is a useful discipline.”

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