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Sunday, October 6, 2019


(Left: Warren Bessey)

Friends of Music will present Ensemble Arabesque in a world premiere performance of Variations of a Queen” for String Quartet by Warren Bessey. 

Warren Bessey is a Canadian-born resident of South Africa. He is a composer, writer, producer of music, both symphonic and for a wide variety of media, including radio, television, advertising and film as well as a behaviour change communication specialist, children’s author and publisher and lecturer His productions have achieved national and international accolades. His is a journey of many years and vast cross-cultural, multi-national experience. Absolutely passionate about excellence and musical truth which he demands of himself and others, his motto is: “it’s not how it sounds but how it makes you feel which separates the good from the outstanding.” 

Ensemble Arabesque comprises Andrew Warburton (piano); Violeta Osorhean (violin); David Snaith (viola); Aristide du Plessis (cello) and Ralitza Macheva (violin). 

(Right: Andrew Warburton)

Andrew Warburton is acknowledged as one of the finest solo pianists and accompanists in South Africa. He is presently Lecturer in Piano, Director of the Opera School and Choral Academy, and head of Western Classical Performance Studies at the UKZN School of Music.

(Left: Violeta Osorhean)

 Violeta Osorhean was born in Timisoara, Romania.  After her university studies, she played for eight years in the National  Opera Orchestra-Cluj Napoca, then joined  the Transylvania Philharmonic Orchestra and toured Europe, Japan and the USA. Violetta is currently the Associate Concert-Master for the KZN Philharmonic

(Right: David Snaith)
David Snaith was born in England. He held Principal Viola positions with The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, The Welsh National Opera, The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, The National Opera of Belgium, and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra. He was appointed Principal Viola of The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic in 2009.
(Left: Aristide du Plessis)

Aristide du Plessis was born in Durban in 1989. He has established a reputation as one of South Africa’s leading cellists, both as a soloist and chamber musician. As a soloist he has performed since the age of 15 with all South Africa’s leading orchestras. A graduate of the University of Cape Town, he furthered his studies at the Zürich University of the Arts. Since his return to South Africa in April 2015, he has been the Co-Principal Cellist with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra.

(Right: Ralitza Macheva)

Ralitza Macheva was born in Pleven, Bulgaria. After graduating with Master Degrees in Music from Music Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria and the Music Conservatorium in Enschede, Netherlands, she worked as Principal Violin in the chamber group "Amadeus" in Seoul, South Korea. Returning to Bulgaria a few years later she was appointed as an Associate Concertmaster of Pleven Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 2000, she has been the Co-Principal Second Violin for the KZNPO. She is keenly interested in baroque period music and is the concertmaster for the Baroque 2000 Orchestra in Durban, and also works in close collaboration with the baroque ensemble, Tinta Baroka, in Cape Town. 

The programme also features Dmitri Shostakovich’s (1906 – 1975) Piano Quintet in G minor Op.57 and Johannes Brahms’ (1833 -1897) Piano Quartet no. 1 in G minor Op.25. 

The concert takes place at 19h30 on October 16 at the Durban Jewish Centre, 44 KE Masinga Road, Durban. Tickets R120 (FOM Members R100) available at the door). 

For more information contact Keith on 071 505 1021 or