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Friday, January 17, 2020


(Christopher Duigan & James Grace. Pic by Val Adamson)

Enterprising music entrepreneur, and acclaimed pianist, Christopher Duigan, presents a busy concert series for his Music Revival project, at the end of January.

For his January programme, he teams up with long term collaborator, James Grace. Grace studied at the Royal College of Music in London as a Foundation Scholar with Carlos Bonell. Upon graduating he became the first guitarist in the history of the College to receive the Tagore Gold Medal, an annual award presented to the most outstanding student.  After spending two years in Doha, in the Arabian State of Qatar where he taught guitar at an International Music Centre, James returned to South Africa and was appointed Head of Classical Guitar Studies at the University of Cape Town.

Christopher Duigan is one of South Africa’s busiest concert artists, giving 100 performances annually.  His performances range from those of the core classical repertoire, both as soloist with orchestra and in recital, to new music and music well beyond the classical repertoire.  His strong sense of community development is shown in his active promotion of regular Music Revival concerts across KZN and in other parts of the country. These concerts have not only developed new audiences in various communities but also provided performance platform to many young and aspiring soloists. In addition, his performances have regularly included his own arrangements, improvisations and compositions. Duigan's work as an entrepreneurial musician has attracted international attention for its innovative and ground-breaking approach. His activities have been said to reflect those of a definitive 21st century classical musician.

Opening the series is his second Thursday soiree entitled Together Again, in which he teams up with James Grace in the Elephant and Co – a popular new eatery at the Athlone Circle Mall in Pietermaritzburg. This follows the outstanding success of the first soiree, that took place at the end of December combining a classic concert and fine dining.

The Duigan & Grace Duo, an unusual combination of piano and guitar, has won a popular following at major festivals and on stages across South Africa. Their programme together includes many of their own duo arrangements and improvisations on classic melodies, jazz standards, Latin milongas and Spanish classics. Their session will include Black Orpheus, Fields of Gold, Tico Tico and favourite Spanish guitar solos. Duigan’s own composition, Indigo, a favourite at any Duigan and Grace concert, will complete the programme.

A similar concert will be staged on January Sunday 26 at 15h00 at the Durban Jewish Centre, 44 KE Masinga (Old Fort) Road, Durban, for the first Friends of Music concert for the year.

Their FoM concert will include a similar programme as performed in Elephant and Co. In addition, Duigan will play a solo piano selection from My Favourite Things, a choice of his personal favourites that represent something of his electric concretising style, drawing from numerous musical genres. This includes music by Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Scott Joplin, Ernesto Nazareth and Arvo Pärt. James Grace will play classical guitar solos from the Spanish repertoire by Albeniz, Tarrega and Granados. 

As well as their bespoke concerts, they will also perform the regular Music Revival circuit with variations of the programme. They will also be performances as follows:

Pietermaritzburg: Sunday January 26 at 11h30, Tatham Art Gallery
Ballito:  Monday January 27 at 19h00, Ashton International College
Kloof: Tuesday January 28 at 19h30, at St Agnes Church, Kloof
Hillcrest: Friday, January 31 at 19h30 at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Nqutu Road.

Booking is preferred: or Music Revival 083 417 4473 (sms or WhatsApp only) or visit for more details on booking, programme and venues.

When booking through Music Revival, please state clearly which concert you are booking for.