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Gryphon Gallery: Walter Prossnitz

Walter Prossnitz was born in Victoria in 1959 and attended GNS (Glenlyon Preparatory School) from 1966 to 1973.

Walter studied piano at the Victoria Conservatory with Dr. Robin Wood from 1970 to 1977 during which time, at the age of 14, he made his professional and highly successful debut with the Victoria Symphony. His studies continued in Vienna and at the Juilliard School in New York, where he graduated with an honours master’s degree in 1984. During these studies Walter won several prizes, among others the Grand Prix for all instruments at the Canadian National Competition and the 1st Prize at the Montreal Sinfonia Competition. 

His extensive concert work includes performances of more than 50 different piano concerts with orchestras in New York (Carnegie Hall), Seattle, Montreal, Mexico City, Munich, Nuremberg, Basle, Zurich (Tonhalle and Opera) and many other cities. Also many recitals in New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Paris, Budapest, Helsinki, Hong Kong and Beijing. He has also performed many chamber music concerts, most notably with violinists Bettina Boller and Hansheinz Schneeberger and mezzo-soprano Christina Daletska. 

Of special interest to concert-loving GNS-ers were the piano performances of Walter and fellow alumna (Norfolk House) Eve Egoyan on the same weekend in October, 2012. Walter with the DieMahler String Quartet at Alix Goolden Hall and Eve soloing at the Young Recital Hall, UVic. 

In recent times, Walter has enjoyed composing, orchestrating, writing books and even inventing logic puzzles. While spending much of his time in Switzerland, he does return to Victoria on occasion and not that long ago I met him wandering the ‘old’  Beach Campus fondly recalling memories of his Glenlyon days, and maybe even those early school music awards he won in 1971 and 1973!

This is the thirteenth instalment of a series of articles entitled “Gryphon Gallery” created by our School Archivist that provide snapshots that celebrate the achievements of a variety of alumni and staff from throughout the history of GNS.