Add another great concert opportunity to the calendar. Humboldt’s piano virtuoso Ian Elliott will be performing at the Westminster United Church on Sunday November 27 at 7:00 pm. The gifted musician has a special repertoire prepped for the evening that’s sure to appeal to all.
Elliott is a Humboldt native who boasts a long affiliation with the piano. He’s been playing since the age of 6 when he began lessons with well-known music teacher Allison Sarauer. In the intervening years, Elliott and his family moved away from Humboldt, but he diligently continued his studies prior to his return to Humboldt as a teacher.
“It’s something I’ve always really enjoyed and been really good at,” confesses Elliott. “It was to the point in Grade 12 where I was practicing an hour and a half to two hours a day. We’d get up early in the morning and my brother and I would fight over who got to practice before school because he was practicing almost as much.”
Elliott is classically trained with a particular fondness for orchestral soundtracks in movies. He also has leaned into jazz, and even his classical concert pieces are punctuated with hints of jazz sensibilities.
His upcoming concert is a mix of all those influences with a leaning toward contemporary composers whom Elliott is excited to have listeners discover.
“There’s definitely some older classical stuff, a lot of newer classical stuff, by composers from all over the world. I’ve even got a little jazz thrown into some of the classical music as well. I’m really excited to put it together. Some of the really cool stuff is going to be composers who most people have never heard of, and I’m really excited to share those ones.”
Elliott’s repertoire expanded even more during the pandemic when he was afforded a bit more time to play and collect new scores to explore. Rather than a cohesive theme for the concert, Elliott looks at the set list as an anthology of those pandemic-inspired musical explorations. The listing includes Joseph Haydn, George Gershwin, Edvard Grieg, and ragtime purveyor Scott Joplin, popularized by Marvin Hamlisch and the soundtrack of the movie The Sting.
“My mom had the piano book for the soundtrack to The Sting,” recalls Elliott. “She used to play that stuff when I was really little. The piece I’ve found by Joplin is a little melancholy, but it’s an amazing, excellent piece.”
Doors open at 6:30 pm on November 27, and the concert goes at 7:00 pm at the Westminster United Church. Tickets are available at the door.