The following are selected artists who perform regularly for Music Revival.
The Greg Sandow Blog
The MUSIC REVIVAL story was recently featured in a blog by Greg Sandow. Greg is is highly regarded and followed blogger on the future of classical music, worldwide. He also teaches at Julliard in
- To read the story (and a great number of really interesting thoughts) www.artsjournal.com/sandow/2012/01/promoting-with-gusto.html
- The Music Revival story is included here under his Julliard Course Work (the week of 28 March) www.artsjournal.com/sandow/2012/01/my-juilliard-course-updated.htmll and directly here www.gregsandow.com/popclass/
In March 2010 Christopher Duigan was invited by the world's premier piano manufacturers Steinway and Sons to join their International Steinway Artist Roster recognizing his calibre of performance, artistic commitment, profile as a musician and his contribution to music in South Africa.
The sixth pianist in South African history, as a registered Steinway artist he joins an exquisite circle of renowned musicians including Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, Arthur Rubinstein, Vladimir Horowitz as well as contemporary International Artists Evgeny Kissin, Martha Argerich, Lang Lang, Keith Jarrett and Diana Krall.
Widely regarded as one of South Africa's most innovative concert pianists CHRISTOPHER DUIGAN has maintained an busy performing schedule since his professional debut with Cape Town Symphony Orchestra in 1991. He has performed extensively with all leading South African orchestras including the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic, Cape Philharmonic and Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestras in a repertoire of more than 25 concerti. In 2006 he was invited to appear with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in the opening concert of their World Symphony Series Winter Season. In recital he has achieved a popular following through his innovative presentation and programming featuring a broad and eclectic taste in music.
International performances include those in London at St Martins in the Field, St James'- Piccadilly, South Africa House and at the Edinburgh Festival 2001 and 2003 where he was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. Many of his live performances have been broadcast on SABC Radio and TV and his CD recordings are regularly aired on ClassicFM and Fine Music Radio.
In March 2007 he shared the stage with the cream of South African pianists for the return of Steinway and Sons to South Africa. Engagements for 2009 included recitals at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town and Endler Hall in Stellenbosch and concerto performances with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Based in KwaZulu-Natal he is committed to promoting classical music locally and further afield. As producer and impresario he is the director of the widely acclaimed MUSIC REVIVAL which he established in 1997and now includes the Concert Series at the Hilton Arts Festival, the Franschhoek La Motte Classic Music Festival and performances by the Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra' including the ' Concert in the Park' as annual events. In addition Music Revival presents numerous recitals and chamber music performances throughout KZN, Johannesburg and the Cape Winelands. Through this groundbreaking work he has been able to attract new audiences, build an unusually large and loyal following and re-invent many of the norms of concert performance especially with regard to presentation and programming. His crossover presentations combining virtuoso and popular classical repertoire with jazz transcriptions, ragtime, tango and film music have been particularly enthusiastically received. Music Revival has also offered numerous performance opportunities to some of South Africa's leading young artists including sopranos Angela Gilbert and Bronwen Forbay, baritone Federico Freschi, a number of musicians and ensembles from the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Christopher Duigan studied at the University of Natal with Isabella Stengel, the University of Cape Town with Lamar Crowson and Albie van Schalkwyk, leading to postgraduate study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with Brazilian virtuoso Arnaldo Cohen. In Manchester he was awarded the Professional Performer's Diploma and won first prize in the prestigious RNCM Recital Prize for Pianists. In addition he has received the UNISA Overseas Scholarship Competition (1994), Crossly/Kramer Scholarships for International Study from UCT, 1st prize in the Adolph Hallis Piano Competition (1996), awards for the best South African pianist in the UNISA International Piano Competition (1996) and the Cape Town Symphony's Joseph Lan Award for his performance of the Bartok Piano Concerto No 3 (1994). He has participated in master classes at Dartington Summer School with Stephen Kovacevich and at the Mozarteum, Salzburg.
Since february 2010 he has presented Celebrating Chopin, recital programmes marking the 200th anniversary of Frederic Chopin's birth, in more than 35 performances including those in Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Franschhoek, Johannesburg, the Memorial Concert Hall at Hilton College and ClassicFM Soirees in Pretoria. This programme was presented in four performances at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in June. ( see review below)
Other major forthcoming performances include recitals in Durban at the Howard College Theatre in Durban and at the Franschhoek Literary Festival in May, concerto performances with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in the City Hall Pietermaritzburg (August) and in the World Symphony Series in the City Hall, Durban.
In March 2010 Christopher Duigan was invited to join the Steinway Artists Roster joining an exquisite circle of renowned musicians including Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Alfred Brendel and Lang Lang.
Doing it Steinway
Doing it Steinway
22 Apr 2010
PIETERMARITZBURG pianist Christopher Duigan has just been named a Steinway Artist, joining what the piano company calls an "exquisite circle of pianists" that includes Vladimir Horowitz, Arthur Rubinstein, Alfred Brendel, Martha Argerich, Lang Lang and Diana Krall.
"We are delighted to welcome Christopher Duigan to our band of 'local heroes' as a member of the Steinway family," says Deon van Vuuren, owner of Pianoforte Steinway SA in Cape Town.
Steinway & Sons has previously added five South African names to its worldwide artist roster — Abdullah Ibrahim, Bheki Mseleku, Anton Nel, Charl du Plessis and Jill Richards.
Speaking to The Witness about the accolade, Duigan said: "I am thrilled. It is an enormous privilege to be recognised by such an iconic group and a premium international brand such as Steinway & Sons. The level of commitment in the manufacture of these instruments is itself an inspiration."
He added that as a musician it is a wonderful affirmation, which recognises both his commitment to promoting music in South Africa and the artistic level he is constantly striving for.
"It is unsolicited and comes from a very 'real world' organisation," Duigan said. "As a freelance musician who works largely in isolation it is a hugely important acknowledgment for me."
Asked if he had known Steinway & Sons, which returned to South Africa in March 2007, was planning to recognise him, he said: "I have been aware for some time that they had an eye on my work and the profile I enjoy as a concert pianist performing around South Africa.
"Deon van Vuuren attended several of my concerts in recent years and invited me to perform in the launch concerts in Cape Town and Johannesburg. [And] James Ledgerwood, district sales manager for overseas territories in the Steinway & Sons Hamburg head office, also noted my performances at these events."
Duigan, who owns a Steinway piano, also considers it a privilege to be given the opportunity to be associated with the company and its instruments on such a public platform. "In my testimonial I mention the notion that only a Steinway can produce the unique 'sound' that I call my own. And music is all about sound," he said.
Widely regarded as one of South Africa's most innovative concert pianists, Duigan has maintained an active performing schedule since his professional debut with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra in 1991.
He has performed extensively with all leading South African orchestras, including the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic, Cape Philharmonic and Johannesburg Philharmonic orchestras, and internationally at St Martin- in-the-Fields, St James's Piccadilly and South Africa House in London, and at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland in 2001 and 2003, where his performance was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
Locally he hosts the popular Music Revival concerts at his home in Athlone, as well as the concert series at The Witness Hilton Arts Festival.
Later this year Duigan will be performing Celebrating Chopin, a recital programme marking the 200th anniversary of Fr é d é ric Chopin's birth, at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, and concerto performances with the KZNPO in the Pietermaritzburg City Hall and at the World Symphony Series concerts in the Durban City Hall.
MAXINE MATHEWS (alto saxophone)
Born in Mauritius, South African saxophonist Maxine Matthews, started playing the flute at the age of twelve at the Kimberley Academy of Music. At fifteen she decided to start the tenor saxophone as her second instrument and continued under the tutelage of Werner Dannewitz and at the Durban Music School when she moved to Durban in 2004. While studying at DMS she received distinctions for her grade 8 practical exams through the Royal Schools of Music in the same year, as well as her Performance Diploma exam and was awarded her Licentiate two years later. In May 2006 Maxine moved to Athens, Greece, to study on a full scholarship at the Athens Conservatoire. It was here where she struck up a songwriting partnership with the Spanish saxophonist and composer, David Salleras, which has led a number of original pop/rock songs. In the August of 2008 Maxine moved to Besancon, France, to audition for and be accepted to study at two Conservatoires in Besancon and Dole under the renowned classical saxophonists Cecile Dubois and Laurent Blanchard. After two years she was awarded the "Diplome dʼEtudes Musicales" (Diploma of Musical Studies), and was awarded her "Diplome de Perfectionement" (Perfectionment Diploma) in June this year with distinction, bringing her studies in France to a close.
Maxine has vast experience, both professional and amateur, on the performance stage. She has played professionally in a number of big bands, jazz bands, and wind bands from the age of fourteen and was the saxophonist in a rock group this year in France. She has also performed on a number of occasions as a soloist and extra with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra. Maxine is moving to Liverpool in September next year (2012) to take up the highly sought after position in the class of music at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA). This is Paul McCartneyʼs school of performing arts which specialises in Music, Dance, and Drama. Maxine was accepted into the undergraduate program where only 55 candidates are offered a place of which about 1800 people audition each year. Maxine is exceptionally grateful to be sponsored by Yamaha Instruments South Africa and plays on a "6 Series" soprano saxophone and a "Custom EX" alto saxophone.
JAMES GRACE is one of South Africa's leading concert artists. He is the first guitarist ever to have received the Tagore Gold Medal from the Royal College of Music in London, where he studied with Carlos Bonell. Returning to South Africa in 2004 James made his debut performance with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra as the soloist in Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez. The following year James released his first CD entitled Granada - Music of Spain and was appointed Head of Classical Guitar Studies at the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town. James released his second album, Portrait, in August 2007 on his newly founded record label; Stringwise Records. As well as sustaining a full time performing and teaching schedule, James recently wrote and presented 'Guitar – a Timeline' on Fine Music Radio. This year James will be making his debut with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra as the soloist in the Aranjuez Concerto with Bernard Gueller. He is also planning to record his third solo album. James plays on a guitar made by Australian luthier Jeff Kemp.
Baritone Federico Freschi studied opera at the University of Cape Town's College of Music, where he received a number of prestigious awards and bursaries, including the first prize in the Wendy Fine Singing Prize, and being placed as a finalist in both the Oude Meester Music Prize and the SABC Singing Competition. He was subsequently invited to join the CAPAB Singers' Studio, and made his professional début singing Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. Since relocating to Johannesburg, Federico has been a sought after opera soloist, and has sung the principle baritone role in various highly successful productions in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Windhoek, including Germont in La Traviata, Marcello in La Bohème, Dr Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Dr Falke in Die Fledermaus, Sulpice in La Fille du Régiment, Count Danilo in Die Lustige Witwe, Escamillo in Carmen, Pappacoda in A Night in Venice and Zurga in Les Pêcheurs de Perles. Federico maintains a busy concert schedule, and is regularly invited to perform at festivals and concert venues throughout South Africa, including orchestral concerts with some of the country's leading orchestras. Together with pianist Christopher Duigan he is pursuing an ongoing exploration of baritone concert repertoire – particularly in the genre of French song – with performances throughout the country. Recent CD recordings include Salon Music's popular Boulevard Café. Federico's multi-faceted career has seen engagements as director of Tom Johnson's The Four Note Opera for the New Music Indaba at the Grahamstown National Festival of the Arts (in which he also sang the role of The Baritone) and Strauss's Gypsy Baron for Salon Music, as well as writing a number of scripts for Salon Music operas. Federico shares his talent for singing with a love of the visual arts and holds a Doctorate in History of Art, in which he lectures at the University of the Witwatersrand's School of Arts.