Festival Staff – GCMF IV admin
Festival Staff: The Fourth Gauteng Chamber Music Festival December 2018
Strings Main Festival
Ané van Staden
Ané van Staden (neé du Toit) obtained her MMus (cum laude) in Violin Performance from the University of Pretoria in 2015. Since 2008, Ané has been active as chamber musician and soloist.
During her years of study she had lessons with Johanna Roos and Irene Tsoniff, and was awarded numerous prizes such as the prestigious DJ Roode Overseas Scholarship for Teachers at the UNISA Overseas Scholarship Competition in 2010, and the Jennie Perreira Prize for Strings and the Overall Second Prize at the UNISA South African Scholarship Competition in 2009. This enabled her to further her musical education in the UK where she had lessons with Natalia Lomeiko and Corina Belcea. Ané was also awarded a Pretorium trust Bursary in 2008 and 2010. In 2009 she was selected to participate in the UNISA National String Competition and chosen as a concert master of the Miagi Orchestra. Between 2009 and 2014, she toured Europe with Miagi performing at festivals such as the Young Euro Classic Festival, Schleswig-holstein Festival and the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele. She also appeared as soloist with Miagi in 2012.
Ané is a founding member of the Evolution of 4 String Quartet and performs with them throughout the country since 2012. Ané was appointed as the concertmaster of the Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra in 2015 and often appeared with them as soloist. In 2016, Ané was invited to spend a month as a guest post graduate student at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. She shares her passion for the violin through teaching and maintains a private violin studio. She also performs with the JPO, JMI and other South African orchetras on a freelance basis. Ané was appointed as head of Assistant Director of the Gauteng Chamber Music Festival in 2016.
Anmari van der Westhuizen
Anmari van der Westhuizen is Adjunct Professor and Head of the Odeion String Quartet at the University of the Free State. She graduated from the University of Stellenbosch (BMus.Hons cum laude), from the Mozarteum, Salzburg (Grosses Diplom cum laude), and from the Hochschule für Musik, Cologne, under the tutelage of Prof. Maria Kliegel (Konzertexamen). In 2013 Anmari received her PhD in Music Performance from the University of Pretoria and was awarded full academic honorary colours for her thesis Solo Violoncello music: a selective investigation into works composed between 1980 and 2010 and the compilation of a catalogue.
Anmari has won prestigious competitions including the ATKV Forte Competition, the SABC Competition, the Oude Meester Competition and the University of Natal 75th Anniversary Prize. As a young cellist, she was selected to participate in the International Youth Music Festival in Interlochen, U.S.A. She received extensive chamber music training by members of the world’s best string quartets like the Alban Berg String Quartet, the Amadeus String Quartet, the Borodin String Quartet, the Brodsky String Quartet and the Hagen String Quartet.
While living in Europe she appeared in numerous solo and chamber music performances, inter alia with Viennese ensembles Music-on-Line and the Wiener Streichorchester, and was a member of the Koehne String Quartet, Wien. She performed as a chamber musician and soloist in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Faroe Islands, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, U.S.A., Zambia and Zimbabwe. Anmari has made several CD recordings and both her solo CD’s with Ilse Schumann received excellent reviews in South Africa and in Austria. During 2015 Anmari received the Vryfees award for the Best Classical performer of the Arts festival and the Rose award from Radio Rosestad for her remarkable contribution towards arts and culture.
In addition, Anmari has performed several world premieres of cello compositions. In 2007 the Austrian Composers Union invited her to give a solo recital of contemporary solo cello works in Vienna, Austria, which included the world premiere of Roelof Temmingh’s Variations, which was dedicated to her. She also gave the first performances of solo cello works by Austrian composers Wolfgang Nening and Hannes Heher, as well as works dedicated to her by Hubert Du Plessis and Hendrik Hofmeyr. She was the conductor/ director of the UCT String Ensemble for ten years and is currently the conductor of the Odeion Sinfonia and co-conductor of the Free State Youth Orchestra.
Evert van Niekerk
Evert van Niekerk started his violin tuition in Pretoria with Jenny Pereira
in August 1977. In 1981 he went to Denise Sutton (Then Concertmaster of the
Pact orchestra). He completed his Matric at the Pretoria Art, Ballet, Music
and Drama school. He is a sought after recording artist, having played on
several of the foremost South African artists¹ cd¹s, and many movie
soundracks, in particular ³Faan se trein² and ³Knysna² where he performed
the solo violin parts.
His recordings also currently play on Classic FM and RSG. Since 2003, he has
been a regular performer with Salon Music in Pretoria, as well as the
Johannnesburg Philharmonic and Festival Orchestras, and with the latter as
soloist, playing JS Bach and Vivaldi concerto¹s under the baton of Richard
Cock. He has recently made his debut solo CD ³Lofsnare². He is married to
Laura, and they have two children, Joshua (19) and Christine(15)
In 1992, Farida, then the youngest female concertmaster in Russia, was the soloist for more than forty performances of ballets such as The Golden Age, The Nutcraker and Swan Lake in Tokyo’s Metropolitan Hall. During twelve years of experience performing in Russia and on international tours, she has appeared as a soloist for ballets and as a symphonic soloist in many of the world’s major halls, including, among others, Fischer Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York, Champs d’Elysees in Paris, Consertgebou in Amsterdam, Berlin’ Schauspiel Haus, Gevandhause in Leipzig, Tonhalle in Zurich as well as the Moscow Conservatory Main Hall and Tchaikovsky Hall. A highlight of her orchestral career was a joint-concert with the New York Philharmonic, under the baton of Zubin Metha.
As a Solo Recitalist in Moscow Farida as performed in the Chamber Hall, Rachmaninov hall and White Hall with international acclaimed pianist, Natalie Trull. She appeared as a soloist in the City Hall, Cape Town in November 2000, performing Mozart’s Symphonia Concertante with violist Oleg Alexeyev and the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. Farida is a regular soloist and performer in the Four-by-Two Baroque ensemble with Prof. Shirley Gie and in 2003 performed a concert of Piano Quintet music in the Baxter Concert Hall with Dr. Franklin Larey, Prof. Jürgen Schwietering and Peter Martens.
Since 2000 Farida has dedicated much of her time to teaching at various institutions and regular performances in and around Cape Town with her String Quartet, The Four Seasons Quartet. Since 2002 Farida has been extremely active in training various groups such as the Sontanga Quartet and preparing her students for international exposure. Her students at UCT have shown remarkable achievements: Marc Uys, as Masters violin student has won the 2004 SAMRO/Gettleson String Study Award; Paula Fourie, a second year viola student, has begun studies in Moscow after receiving acceptance in the World renowned Violist, Yuri Bashmet’s class at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Another of Farida’s students, Patrick Goodwin, who graduated in 2004, has received acceptance into the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester for 2005 but he is currently a student of Ilya Kaler at the De Paul University in Chicago. He has also received study grants from the W. Ackerman Education Fund and the Oppenheimer Trust for performance studies abroad. Another student, Katherine Roussopoulos, has been accepted to attend the Boston University to continue her studies in September 2006.
As head of String Department, Farida has been fundamental in the promotion of the String Department across South Africa and abroad. The Department to date includes a student from Soweto and next year a student from London has chosen to continue her post graduate studies with Farida. The Department has also collaborated with Musedi to promote String studies in the Western Cape. This includes a very successful concert by her students in Elsies Rivier in 2005 and in 2006 two concerts have been scheduled at Beau Soliel and Diocesan College, Rondebosch. Farida also maintains an active schedule as a chamber music musician, including a string quartet, the UCT Piano Trio and various Baroque ensembles with Shirley Gie.
Jeanne-Louise Moolman was appointed as violist of the Odeion String Quartet and senior lecturer at the Odeion School of Music at the University of the Free State in 2008. She studied at the under Prof Alan Solomon University of Pretoria, where she obtained the BMus and BMus Hons. degrees with distinction. She subsequently also studied in Salzburg under Thomas Riebl. As student, she won, among others, the ATKV Forté and Oude Meester competitions and in 1985 she was the first winner of the University of Natal 75th Anniversary Prize. She is an experienced musician who regularly performs with some of our country’s foremost musicians in various chamber music combinations. Jeanne-Louise was one of the founding members of the Rosamunde String Quartet, which was one of the leading string quartets in the country for 10 years. Other musicians with whom she has performed include the violists Gérard Korsten, Philippe Graffin, the pianists Leslie Howard and Albie van Schalkwyk, and the clarinettist Robert Pickup. Jeanne-Louise has given numerous solo performances in South Africa (including Pretoria, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Kroonstad and Potchefstroom) and in Zimbabwe (Harare and Bulawayo). As soloist, she has performed with various orchestras in the country, among them the KZNPO (Durban), the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa (Pretoria), NAPOP (Pretoria) and the Free State Symphony Orchestra (Bloemfontein). In 2012, she was invited to perform at the International Viola Congress in Rochester, New York. On that occasion, she performed the world premiere of Matthijs van Dijk’s Viola Sonata No. 2, “Sukulala”, which had been composed specifically for her. In 1994, the well-known South African composer Stefans Grové dedicated his Sonata for Viola and Piano to Jeanne-Louise and her husband Piet Moolman. In 2008, she performed the world premiere of Grové’s Concerto for Flute and Viola with the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa, after which she was invited to perform the work at the International Viola Congress in Stellenbosch. Jeanne-Louise has had more than twenty years of experience as principal violist of several professional orchestras in Gauteng and the Free State.
JEANNE-LOUISE MOOLMAN is in 2008 as altviolis van die Odeion Strykkwartet en senior lektor by die Odeion Skool vir Musiek aan die Universiteit van die Vrystaat aangestel. Sy het aan die universiteit van Pretoria onder prof. Alan Solomon gestudeer, waar sy die BMus- en BMus Hons-grade met lof behaal het. Hierna het sy ook in Salzburg onder Thomas Riebl gestudeer. As student het sy onder andere die ATKV Forte – en Oude Meester-kompetisies gewen en in 1985 was sy die eerste wenner van die Universiteit van Natal se 75ste Herdenkingsprys. Sy is ’n ervare musikus wat gereeld saam met sommige van ons land se voorste musici in verskillende kamermusiekkombinasies optree. Jeanne-Louise was een van die stigterlede van die Rosamunde Strykkwartet wat vir meer as 10 jaar een van die toonaangewende strykkwartette in die land was. Ander musici saam met wie sy al gewerk het, sluit die violiste Gérard Korsten en Philippe Graffin, die pianiste Leslie Howard en Albie van Schalkwyk, en die klarinetspeler Robert Pickup in. Jeanne-Louise het al talle solouitvoerings in Suid-Afrika (onder andere in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Kroonstad en Potchefstroom) en in Zimbabwe (Harare en Bulawayo) gelewer. As solis het sy saam met verskeie orkeste in die land, waaronder die KZNPO (Durban), die Kamerorkes van Suid-Afrika (Pretoria), NAPOP (Pretoria) en die Vrystaatse Simfonieorkes (Bloemfontein) opgetree. In 2012 word sy genooi om tydens die Internasionale Altvioolkongres in Rochester, New York, op te tree. By dié geleentheid lewer sy die wêreldpremière van Matthijs van Dijk se Altvioolsonate no. 2, “Sukulala”, wat spesiaal vir haar gekomponeer is. Die bekende Suid-Afrikaanse komponis, Stefans Grové, het in 1994 sy Sonate vir Altviool en Klavier aan Jeanne-Louise en haar man Piet Moolman opgedra. In 2008 lewer sy die wêreldpremière van Grové se Concerto vir Fluit en Altviool saam met die Kamerorkes van Suid-Afrika, waarna sy genooi word om die werk by die Internasionale Altvioolkongres in Stellenbosch uit te voer. Jeanne-Louise het meer as twintig jaar se ervaring as hoof-altviolis van verskeie professionele orkeste in Gauteng en die Vrystaat.
Jessica Bailey was born in 1960 in Johannesburg. She studied cello with Betty Pack from the age of seven. In 1977 she was invited to study with Pierre Fournier in Geneva. In 1978 she studied under Joan Dickson at the Royal College of Music in London. In 1982 she had masterclasses with William Pleeth.
Jessica played in a piano trio with Gerard Korsten from the age of nine until leaving school. She has continued to play chamber music with musicians including Malcolm Nay, Albie van Schalkwyk, Jill Richards, Gerard Korsten, Johanna Roos and Piet Koornhof. Jessica is married to artist John Clarke, they have two children. Jessica currently teaches cello and plays in the quartet, Evolution of 4.
Johanna Roos is a passionate chamber musician. She teaches violin and coach chamber music from home and has lectured part-time at the University of Pretoria since 2005. She has adjudicated numerous Festivals and Eisteddfods, including the Final of the ATKV Muziq competition. As a student she toured Canada, Belgium and Germany with the Jeunesse Musicales World Symphony Orchestra 94/95 and to Moscow with SANYO 1998. In South Africa she obtained her MMus cum laude at UP. After winning the string category of the ATKV Forte Competition in 1995, she was awarded a SAMRO scholarship and won the Overseas Scholarship Competition (Nina Barry and DJ Roode) from UNISA. She continued her studies at the Royal College of Music (London) with an Associated Board Scholarship and obtained the Postgraduate Diploma (Solo- and Ensemble Recitalist) cum laude, under the tutelage of Natalia Boyarsky. In the UK she worked as Assistant Violin teacher at the Yehudi Menuhin School and was an artist for Music in Hospitals, performing with Elena Nalimova and as soloist (Dvorak Violin Concerto) with the Southbank Sinfonia. Johanna participated in Geza Szilvay’s Colourstrings Workshops in London and it still has a profound impact on her approach as pedagogue. In South Africa she played ad hock for the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa and has performed as soloist with many orchestras. She recorded the CD Violin Expressions with Annalien Ball and is the leader of String quartet, Evolution of 4
Irene was born in the city of Moscow in Russia . She began to play violin at age of six and made her first public appearance a year later . At the age of ten she had her first recital with the Gorky Philharmonic Orchestra . Irene graduated from Central Music School for Gifted Children attached to Moscow Conservatory in 1978 and entered the Moscow State Conservatory where she completed her Master Degree in Music in 1983.
Irene began her professional career in State Symphony Orchestra of the Soviet Union . She moved to South Africa in 1993 and joined the National Symphony Orchestra as one of the principals. She worked in Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra as Co-Concertmaster till 2013. She also appeared as Concertmaster and Concertmaster’s Assistant in JMI and JFO.
From 2013 Irene became a full time violin teacher.
Irene was lucky to study with successors of two branches of the Russian violin school: David Oistrakh’s and Yury Yankelevich’s. In her practice she combines knowledges and skills of
Irene is the First violinist in Sunset Serenade Ensemble and founder and teacher of the Russian Violin school in Johannesburg . She is also a jury member of “ENKOR” International Music Competition and MUSICAL MIND Online Competition.
Renette Bouwer graduated from the University of Pretoria with a B.Mus. degree, with organ and piano as her major instruments, specialising in Composition. She received her B.Mus. (Hons.) degree from UNISA in 1990 and her M.Mus. degree in Conducting through the University of Stellenbosch in 2009.
Under her baton RAU and UJ Choirs won numerous awards and performed at the 8th World Choral Symposium in Denmark in 2008. In 2015 UJ Choir was awarded the Grand Prix Prize at Slovakia Folk Music Competition in Slovakia.
Renette is highly regarded as adjudicator and has been on the panel of adjudicators for ATKV Applous Finals for nearly two decades. In July 2012 she was part of the jury at the World Choir Games in Cincinnati, in 2014 in Riga, Latvia, in 2016 in Sochi, Russia. This year, she will compete with UJ Choir and her Affies girls in the first week, but in the second week, she will adjudicate alongside the other international judges.
In 2012 she received a special award from the ATKV her for her outstanding contribution to choral music in South Africa and abroad.
Her work as conductor of the UJ Choir where she works with voices from different cultural backgrounds proves the flexibility of the voice and adaptability of young singers to different styles of music.
In 2016 UJ Choir won the hearts of South African audiences in the KykNet programme Varsity Sing! with their passionate and stylistically varied programs. They ended in the second place.
As organist, she enchanted the congregation of Constantiakruin Dutch Reformed Church with her inspirational hymn improvisations for 21 years.
Apart from her involvement with choirs, she has performed as soloist in numerous oratoria locally and abroad (Luxembourg, St. Petersburg). Her choral arrangements are sung all over the world. She has released more than 17 CD’s with choirs, ensembles and as soloist.
Susan Mouton grew up in Durban, where she began cello lessons at the age of 10. She commenced her B.Mus studies at the University of Pretoria under Professor Gerard van de Geest in 1979. Here she was the recipient of the Pretorium Trust bursary on 3 occasions, as well one of the winners of the SA Music Scholarship. After she graduated, she joined the NSO in 1983, and was appointed Principal cellist in 1987. She studied with Marian Lewin while completing her Performer’s Diploma at Wits University, and was one of the winners of the Unisa Overseas Study Bursaries in 1987, which she used to spend 3 months attending master classes in Europe with a number of esteemed cellists, including Arto Noras, William Pleeth, Johannes Goritski and Wolfang Laufer.
She is currently Principal cellist of the JPO- in addition to her orchestral playing, she is active as a chamber musician, and is frequently asked to examine for Unisa. During the past few years, she has also been involved in numerous productions with the well-known Afrikaans singer, Jannie du Toit
Valery Andreev (viola) was born in Moscow, Russia, where he attended the specialized Gnesen Music School from 1968 – 1978. He graduated from Gnesen University in 1983 majoring in viola, chamber music, orchestral playing and teaching. In 1981 he joined the prestigious Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra in Moscow, staying on to take up the post of principal A viola player in 1984. He attained first prize in the national music competition in the same year.
Following his appointment as principal with the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Valéry toured Europe extensively, performing in numerous concerts and solo recitals. Upon coming to South Africa in 1991 Valery joined the PACT orchestra and was appointed to the post of principal B viola player. He performs regularly as a soloist and is currently teaching viola at Pro Arte High School as well as the University of Pretoria.
Zanta Hofmeyr graduated from the Juilliard School of Music in New York where she was a student of Dorothy Delay and Hyo Kang. After her New York debut in Carnegie Recital Hall (now Weil recital hall), she returned to South Africa in 1985. Zanta teaches violin in Johannesburg and at the University of Pretoria. She often acts as string coach for youth orchestras and has been on the faculty of chamber music festivals in the USA and Stellenbosch, SA. She performs regularly as soloist with symphony orchestras in South Africa and was lauded for her performances of the Britten, Beethoven and Bruch concerti. In 2016 she performed the 10 Beethoven sonatas with Bulgarian pianist Ilia Radoslavov touring SA and the US. She has several recordings with different artists and has just released a new CD of French violin sonatas.
He is a sought after free-lance musician, working most often with Nataniël and Steinway Artist® Charl du Plessis.
Werner lives in Pretoria and completed his B.Tech: Music degree at the Tshwane University of Technology in 2007. He is part-time lecturer at the department
since 2009, also teaching bass guitar and double bass at the Pro Arté Arts Academy.
Werner has recorded with many artists, being featured most recently on the South African Music Award winning Charl du Plessis CD: BarocueSwing Volume 2 & Volume 3 for Swiss Record label, Claves Records.
Apart from Nataniël and Charl du Plessis, recording artists include: Herman Bergman, Andra, Annari, Nell, The Phat Brass Big Band, Jannie du Toit & Christa Steyn, Jak de Priester, Pilani Bubu, Frank Opperman and the Radio Kalahari Orkes.
Werner has performed overseas numerous times including tours to China, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Scotland and Namibia.
Marnus grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and started his first organ studies in Pretoria, in 2009. He received the top prizes in the National organ competitions of SAKOV (Southern African Church Organist Society) for five consecutive years from 2011. In 2012, he completed a Teacher’s Licentiate in piano, was accompanist to the TUKS Camerata (Pretoria University Choir), and won the Pretorium Trust bursary competition. Marnus went on to win the organ category of the prestigious ATKV Muziq competition in 2015, and was a prize-winning finalist in the overall round of the 2016 competition. He completed a BMus Honours degree cum laude at the University of Pretoria under the supervision of his organ professor, Wim Viljoen.
Marnus has frequently performed with the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg, Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, Gauteng Philharmonic, Apple Green Orchestra, Johannesburg Bach Choir and Chanticleer Singers. His performances with choirs – as solo organ accompanist – include Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Great Mass in c minor, Händel’s Dixit Dominus, Haydn’s Missa Sancti Nicolai and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Big performances with choirs and orchestras include Faure’s Requiem, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Bach’s Magnificat, and Van Dijk’s San Gloria as part of the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival. A recent highlight was a performance of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in St Albans Cathedral, England.
Marnus has taught at the Deutsche Internationale Schule in Johannesburg, worked as accompanist for the Johannesburg Bach Choir and the Welsh Male Voice Choir of South Africa. He has worked closely with some of the top musicians in South Africa, and also been involved in premiering – on the continent – works by composers such as Jan Dismas Zelenka.
While completing a Master of Music degree in 2017 at Jesus College, University of Cambridge, he performed with the Cambridge University Chamber Choir and Buxtehude Ensemble, and gave other recitals in the colleges of Trinity, Clare, Downing, Selwyn, St Catherine’s and Jesus. He was also Graduate Organ Scholar at Downing College, working closely with the esteemed Christopher Robinson. During his time in the UK, Marnus has toured with Cambridge choirs to Lithuania and Wales, and recently to Sweden with the Abbey Girls Choir of St Albans Cathedral where he was also organist. Having now returned to South Africa, he has been appointed Director of Music at St George’s Church in Parktown, accompanist to The Symphony Choir of Johannesburg and the newly established Studio Chorale in Pretoria.
Shannon Frigyik is a passionate Music Educator having taught children ranging in age from infants and toddlers, Primary and High School pupils. She has had the opportunity of growing the Music Departments in a variety of schools, developed choirs, marimba bands and Orff ensembles and produced concerts and performances schools with great success. She has conducted professional workshops and presented training to both teachers and students in her field, locally and internationally. In addition to her Master’s Degree in Music (M.Mus.Ed.), her Bachelor’s Degree of Education (B.Ed.) has been critical in her approach to teaching and lecturing. She offers a wide range of relevant and effective teaching strategies to students and teachers.
To this day, Shannon continues to invest in realising her vision in Music Education by regularly attaining accreditation through courses and attending seminars in Melbourne, Salzburg, Helsinki, London, Italy, Greece, Scotland and South Africa.
She is passionate about Music Education; a keen musician; and a dedicated teacher; currently Head of Class Music in the Preparatory School at St John’s College.
Carin Jansen van Vuuren
Carin was a student at Pro Arte Alphen Park from 2004 to 2008. She completed her Bachalors degree in Music Performance at the University of Pretoria in 2012 and started her Masters degree in 2013. She has been teaching violin for the past six years.
While at Pro Arte and the university, she recieved the Pretorium Trust bursary from 2005 to 2012. In 2008 Carin was the concertmaster and soloist of the Simfonia Juventi Youth Orchestra. At the Pretoria Eistedfodd, she received the overall winner award in the string section. She also recieved the Ellie Marx bursary (R5000) in 2008, 2010 and 2013 (SA Music Teachers Association). She completed her school career in matric earning five distinctions and passed her Royal Schools Gr 8 Violin exam with distinction.
In 2009, she started her B-Mus studies at the University of Pretoria and became a member of the University Symphony orchestra. In 2010 she was a finalist in the Philip Moore music competition. She also performed as soloist with the UP symphony orchestra in September. During this year she recieved 94% for her Gr 8 Unisa violin exam and was invited to take part in the Unisa music bursary competition. At the gala evening she recieved the Jennie Pereira prize for the best string player as well as the Du Toit-van Tonder bursary. Throughout her studies the University of Pretoria awarded Carin an achievement bursary of R7500 for earning distinctions in all her subjects during 2010 and 2011. She was also chosen to compete in the 2nd round of the national Muziq music competition which took place in Stellenbosch during September. In her fourth year at university, she became the concertmaster of the University Symphony Orchestra.
In 2013 she passed her Royal School’s diploma exam with a distinction in the practical section. Since 2011, she was involved in productions presented at the Brooklyn Theatre in Pretoria, performing in small ensembles as well as becoming a member of the Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra (2014), sometimes standing in as concertmaster. In March 2016, she completed her Masters degree in music performance and graduated in August (2016) with distinction.
She is currently teaching violin at Midstream Ridge primary while performing in monthly productions at the Brooklyn Theatre. She also enjoys performing with the Pretoria Bach choir and the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra each year. She is currently the first violin of the Serendipity Quartet based in Pretoria (2015).
Mia Björkman-Sun is currently employed as full-time Tutti violinist in the Kwazulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, where she often doubles as acting principal or co-principal second violin.
Mia completed her B.MUS (Hons.) cum laude in 2011 at the University of Pretoria where she studied under Johanna Roos, and received her UNISA Teacher’s Licentiate with distinction in the same year. She obtained a Masters in Violin Performance from the University of Stellenbosch (studying under Suzanne Martens), where she was the first violinist of the University of Stellenbosch String Quartet as well as the concert master of the University of Stellenbosch Symphony Orchestra (2012-2013). She received cum laude for all three of her Master’s performance exams, as well as her thesis, which was entitled ‘Teaching violin holistically: toward a deeper understanding of the Colourstrings violin approach’. During her tenure as leader of the University of Stellenbosch String Quartet, the quartet was named the Over-all Winner in the Stellenbosch National Ensemble Competition (2013). The quartet regularly performed with South Africa’s foremost quartets the Amici and Odeion quartets, as well as the renowned Arianna Quartet (USA), and held acclaimed performances at the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival (2012) and the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Zimbabwe, 2013).
As a student she had master classes with well-known violinists Daniel Rowland, Jan Repko, Natalia Lomeiko and Frank Stadler, amongst others, and played first violin in prominent youth orchestras – undertaking tours to Germany (MIAGI 2009), Spain (The World Orchestra 2013), and Lebanon (The World Orchestra 2015).
Mia has experience in teaching pupils of all ages, and her interest in teaching has led to her attendance of various music education courses to deepen her knowledge of teaching. Most recently, she was one of the first South Africans to attend the Colourstrings violin teacher training Level 1 (2016) and Level 2 (2017) courses in Helsinki, Finland, with renowned pedagogues Géza Szilvay and Yvonne Frye. Mia has a keen interest in the various aspects of music, including chamber, orchestral and solo performance and is passionate about developing enthusiasm for music in young people by means of teaching.
Laetitia van Wyk
Laetitia started with piano at the age of 6 and cello at the age of 8, excelling in music exams and eisteddfods. Relocating to Pretoria with her family Laetitia continued her cello studies in 2009 under the tutelage of dr Anzél Gerber, and piano with prof Joseph Stanford. In 2011 she commenced her music studies at the University of Pretoria and completed her BMus cum laude in 2014. After being awarded a scholarship from the Birmingham Concervatoire and with the help of a generous grant from the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Fund she was able to commence her MMus studies in England in September 2015. Over the course of these two years abroad she dedicated a big part of her studies teaching cello in and around Birmingham and working for the Birmingham Music Service. She was also member of the Lobkowitcz string quartet who performed across the UK. In September 2017 she returned to South Africa having completed her MMus with distinction in cello performance at the Birmingham Conservatoire in 2017, under the tutelage of Catherine Ardagh-Walter.
Laetitia has performed as soloist with the Simfonia Juventi, Rand Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Pretoria Symphony Orchestra. In 2015 she was hand-picked to perform the complete Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto no 1 in A minor as soloist with the University of Pretoria Symphony Orchestra as part of the prestigous farewell concert for prof Eric Rycroft. Laetitia has been principal cellist in several orchestras, including the South African National Youth Orchestra, MIAGI, the University of Pretoria Symphony Orchestra, and the Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra. In 2013 she toured nationally as a member of SANYO under the baton of the world renowned Sir Roger Norrington alongside the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. In July 2014 Laetitia participated in a European tour as a member of Miagi and the leader of the cello section where they performed in highly acclaimed concert halls such as the Berlin Philharmonie and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.
Beside being passionate about classical music, Laetitia enjoys playing various different styles of music. Laetitia currently teaches cello and piano, and she performs on an ad hoc basis for JPO, JFO and other orchestras in Gauteng.
Siobhan Lloyd-Jones is a versatile violinist. She plays a wide variety of styles including folk, jazz and classical music. She has her diploma in classical violin performance as well as a Btech degree in jazz training. Siobhan has attended jazz workshops and recieved master classes from world renowned jazz violinist Tim Kliphuis. She has also played with numerous orchestras and travelled with the MIAGI youth orchestra to Europe a couple of times. She is currently a member of the Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra and performs in a string quartet called AVO. Siobhan is a jazz lecturer at TUT and is involved in ensemble instruction and individual jazz lessons. Siobhan also sings and writes songs in her spare time for a band called FOXTROT.
Sungha (Song) Choi-Lee
Song was born in Seoul, Korea in 1992. When aged two, she moved to the Philippines where she formally began her piano (4) and violin lessons (7). She moved to Pretoria, South Africa in year 2000 and lived there since.
She had always been active in music performance since she came to South Africa, singing solo and receiving prizes, touring China, Indonesia, Wales and England for international choir festivals and playing violin at the church band. She studied Violin under the tutelage of Valery Hohls (2005), Srdjan Cuca (2010), and with Johanna Roos (2012); Singing with Antoinette Olivier (2010) and Dierdre Blignaut (2012); Chamber music with Denise Sutton (2011), Prof. W van Wyk (2011), Brian Wallick and Prof. R Goveia (2012); and Violin method (pedagogy) under Larissa Babenko (2010). Song has also received masterclasses with acclaimed musicians Alissa Margulis, Suzanne Martens, Evgeny Bushkov, Denise Sutton, Frank Stadler and Jan Repko. She completed her BMus at the University of Pretoria and commenced her Masters in Performing arts with a full scholarship. She appeared as soloist in the annual concerto festival for UPSO (2013) and was invited as concertmaster for the Potchefstroom university orchestra (September 2017) and the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra (June 2018). She is active in performance of all fields (solo, chamber, orchestral and band setting), pedagogy (currently teaching violin at Pretoria High school for Girls). She is versatile and open to new sounds and experiences- performing symphonies, ballets, musicals, pop and jazz.
She is a regular member of many numbers of groups, mainly Johannesburg Philharmonic (2013-current) and one of the founding members of Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestras (2014-current). She plays in the Brandenburg Ensemble, in which violinist Zanta Hofmeyr played prior, with Christopher Evans, Morkel Combrink and Wessel Beukes (2014-current) where she plays regularly.
Song enjoys performances of all types but enjoys chamber music the most, as she believes that it is the most intimate part of playing together and is the grounding voice for ensemble playing in orchestras. She not only plays chamber music but promotes chamber music at private lessons and at schools. Song is also a Colourstrings educator- using solfege and rhythms to assist in sight-reading and tone quality whilst playing.