Note-by-note young maestro impresses

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes  McNary High School sophomore Hyrum Kohler can do something few others can replicate. Have him stand with his back to a piano and play a note of your choosing. He can turn around and replicate it with no other auditory or visual reference. It’s a fun trick, but perfect pitch can be equal doses enlightening and frustrating for Kohler. If he hears music slowed down or sped up from its typical performance, he’ll know it’s wrong and want to fix it. On the other hand, the 16-year-old has had five of his original compositions performed in public venues. “When I hear music, I see the notes on a page. I’ve only met one other person who could do it, and that was here at McNary,” Kohler said. On Sunday, April 27, Kohler will be a featured soloist in a Salem Youth Symphony (SYS) concert. The performance begins at 3 p.m. at Willamette Valley Music Company, 484 State Street, Salem. Tickets are $10 at the door. Kohler, who turned 16 this week, will perform the second movement of Miklós Rózsa’s Viola Concerto, a piece that won him the top spot in the SYS competition in January. “Rózsa composed it in the 1980s. I tend to like the newer composers because there’s a better chance that the audience has never heard it. There’s also...

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