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Friday, September 2, 2011


This year’s KZN Young Performers takes place in The Playhouse Drama on September 3. This is the eagerly anticipated annual showcase of emerging musical talent in KwaZulu-Natal.

This collaborative concert initiative, presented by the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra in association with the South African Music Teachers Association, marks a highpoint on the classical music calendar, as it enables a new generation of musicians to step forward and perform on a professional concert platform with Africa’s premiere orchestra, under the baton of an established conductor.

Conducted by Naum Rousine, this year’s programme, which spans music across three centuries, will feature 11 young musicians, including a soprano, five violinists, three pianists, a flautist and a saxophonist.

Opening the programme, 11-year-old violinist Blake Perryman, a pupil of Vincenzo lo Castro, will perform the 3rd Movement of Vivaldi’s Concerto in G Major, Op. 3 No. 3. Already a seasoned performer, Blake has played at various local functions. His appearance will be followed by that of the promising young pianist Sarah Camp, a grade seven pupil of Laura Rottcher at St Mary’s DSG, playing the 2nd and 3rd Movements of Haydn’s C-Major Concertino. Sarah has been awarded the St Mary’s Music Scholarship for 2012.

Ayesha Seedat of Durban Girls College, another Lo Castro violin pupil, appears third on the programme, performing the Allegro from the Concerto in A minor by Accolay. Ayesha recently toured Ireland and London with her school choir, also playing first violin in its string quintet. Next up on the evening’s roster is a performance of Rachmaninoff’s beautiful Vocalise by Camilla van der Merwe, a regular Eisteddfod award-winner, whose teacher is James Conrad.

Sibling violinists-in-the-making Erina and Emiri Nishii have also garnered local Eisteddfod accolades. Pupils of Isaac Melamed, they will show their paces in the 3rd Movement of Vivaldi’s Concerto Grosso in A minor, Op. 3 No. 8. Rounding off the first half of the evening, Kathryn Stranex of Crawford College, La Lucia (another Eisteddfod prize-winner and a 16-year-old pupil of Liezl Maret Jacobs), will play the 2nd and 3rd Movements of Shostakovich’s F-Major Piano Concerto, Op. 102.

Opening the second half of the evening’s programme, Nina Kolev, daughter and pupil of KZN Philharmonic violinist Petya Koleva plays the famous Summer Storm 3rd Movement from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. This will be followed, successively, by Sakhile Humbane, pupil of Lisa Thom, playing the demanding 1st Movement of Mozart’s Flute Concerto in G Major K. 313, and then William Chin, yet another violin pupil of Vincenzo lo Castro, performing Sarasate’s flamboyant Zigeunerweisen, Opus 20.

Filling the evening’s penultimate musical slot, 14-year-old Ewan Slabber, another pupil of Liezl Maret Jacobs, takes on the formidable challenges of Liszt’s Hungarian Fantasy. This year, Ewan shared first place in the Piano Modern 2 section of the Queensburgh Eisteddfod. Kezia Peel, a versatile young saxophone student of Werner Dannewitz, brings the evening’s musical proceedings to a close, performing with the 2nd and 3rd movements of Darius Milhaud’s famous Scaramouche Suite.

KZN Young Performers 2011 takes place in The Playhouse Drama on September 19h30. Tickets R40 (R25 students & scholars) booked through Computicket on 0861 915 8000.