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Sunday, November 9, 2014


(Andrew Warburton. Pic by Val Adamson)

Andrew Warburton is Lecturer in Piano, Academic Advisor, and Co-Ordinator: Western Classical Performance at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s School of Music.

The School of Music will present his PHD recital on November 17 at Howard College Theatre.

The all-Brahms programme will feature 5 Lieder Op.105; Four Serious Songs Op. 121 and Piano Quintet Op. 34. Appearing with Warburton will be Vanessa Tait-Jones, soprano; Richard Salmon, baritone; and the KZNPO String Quartet led by Joanna Frankel.

Warburton is one of South Africa’s most distinguished keyboard virtuosi. He was born in 1963 in Johannesburg and studied piano from a very early age, first in Johannesburg, then after moving to Durban at the age of ten, with Denise Macpherson of Durban North.

In 1981, he enrolled for a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance at the University of Natal under Isabella Stengel. This he completed in 1985 with 95% for major subjects. Since then he has pursued a diverse musical career as soloist, accompanist and chamber musician throughout South Africa.

He completed two years of piano lecturing at UND while a student, and has also taught music extensively in schools and privately. He has performed with all the South African orchestras, encompassing a repertoire of 18 concertos, and has partnered leading soloists from abroad including Mark Drobinsky (cello) and Elizabeth Connell (soprano). A notable addition to his repertoire was the notoriously difficult Samuel Barber Piano Concerto which he played 15 times for ballet performances in Cape Town and Pretoria, while working as Musical Director for the State Theatre Ballet until its demise in 2000.

He has performed in the presence of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, and further to that was invited to give three solo recitals in Germany in 1998. In 2001, he was invited to be an official accompanist for the Unisa International Strings Competition in Pretoria, and was later asked to partner jury member and leading international cellist Leslie Parnas for a series of four recitals throughout South Africa. In May 2003, he performed Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No 2 with the KZNPO under David Tidboald. Since February 2003 he been resident accompanist and vocal coach for OSCA, the new Opera School and Choral Academy attached to the University of Natal.

Warburton has performed for Friends of Music on a regular basis and is also one of the main pre-concert lecturers for the KZN Philharmonic symphony seasons. 

The Andrew Warburton PHD Recital will take place on November 17 at 19h00 at Howard College Theatre. Entrance is free.