A select core of musicians appear regularly in our concerts. Please visit their websites to find out more.
Chinese clarinettist JUNNAN SUN (25) currently holds the principal clarinet position in the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in South Africa. He moved with his parents to South Africa in 2003 and obtained his BMus (Hons) at the University of Pretoria under the tutelage of Lizet Smith in 2011. He continued his studies at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London. Junnan has been the recipient of numerous awards including first prize in the Clarinet Category at the Stockholm International Music Competition (2014), RCM Clarinet Prize which recognizes the top clarinettist of the RCM (2014) and the ATKV National Classical Music Competition (2015).
Widely regarded as one of South Africa's leading concert pianists CHRISTOPHER DUIGAN has been recognized as a 'South African piano icon' and 'national musical treasure' (Classic Feel June 2009). He has performed extensively with all leading South African orchestras in a repertoire of more than 25 concerti. In recital he has developed a popular following through his innovative presentation and programming of a broad and eclectic taste in music.
Based in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands he is committed to promoting concert performance, both his own and those of others, locally and further afield. As producer and impresario he is the director of the widely acclaimed MUSIC REVIVAL which he established in 1997. Major projects now include the Concert Series at the Hilton Arts Festival, the Franschhoek Classic Music Festival and a series of performances by the Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra. His groundbreaking work as an independent classical entrepreneur has attracted much attention internationally, particularly that of renowned author and observer of trends affecting the future of classical music worldwide, Greg Sandow. Sandow now includes Duigan’s story in his own teaching curriculum at the Juilliard School of Music, New York.
Christopher Duigan completed his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester with Brazilian virtuoso Arnaldo Cohen where he was awarded the Professional Performer's Diploma (PPRNCM) and won first prize in the prestigious RNCM Recital Prize for Pianists. Major engagements for 2014 included concerto performances with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra and at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown. Christopher Duigan is a Steinway Artist.
DAVID SALLERAS completed his studies at the Superior Music Conservatory of Barcelona, with distinction, when only 18 years old. He subsequently won a Spanish government scholarship to continue his studies in Paris, France with Jean-Yves Fourmeau and Nicolas Prost, winning the Gold Medal in their conservatoires. He later distinguished himself, showing an outstanding sense of improvisation, blending classical, contemporary music and traditional Spanish music idioms. His flexibility and knowledge of multiple musical genres, coupled with his unique ideas, has resulted in a highly successful international career. The recipient of numerous international awards, he has given concert performances in Europe, South Africa and South America.
David Salleras is Selmer and Vandoren Artist. His works are published by Edition Dinsic (Barcelona) and Edition Billaudot (Paris) are performed and recorded by saxophonists from around the world. Salleras recently created a new music publisher “Klo" Editions. Since 2008 David Salleras has has taught at the National Conservatoire of Girona (Spain) and is also Head of the Department for Wind Instruments.
VIOLINA ANGUELOV (mezzo-soprano) was born in Bulgaria. She obtained her Performer’s Diploma in Opera with distinction as well as Honours Degree in Singing (First Class) from the University of Cape Town under voice teacher Sarita Stern. She has been awarded many prizes including the Adcock Ingram Music Prize, the Leonard Hall Memorial Prize and Erik Chisholm Prize.
Violina has sung in operas and concerts throughout South Africa and abroad. She has performed over 30 leading operatic roles in a multitude of highly acclaimed performances in South Africa, Germany, Bulgaria, Australian and Sweden. Her South African operatic début was as Cherubino inThe Marriage of Figaro with Cape Town Opera in 1999. She made her European operatic début as Dorabella in Cosi fan Tuttein Hanover, Germany, in 2000. Since then she has sung roles such as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Fenena in Nabucco, Marguerite in Berlioz’sLa Damnation de Faust, Ruggiero in Alcina, Nerone in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Hänsel in Hänsel and Gretel, Idamante in Idomeneo, Orlofski in Die Fledermaus, Mrs. Roland in the One Act One Woman opera Dark Sonnetby Erik Chisholm in celebration of 100 years of the composers birth, Elisetta in Il Matrimonio Segreto at the Pretoria State Theatre, etc.
Violina has sung for Opera Africa in the roles of Romeo in I Capuleti e I Montecchi by Bellini performed in Pretoria State Theatre and Amneris in Aida by Verdi performed both in the Pretoria State Theatre and Johannesburg Civic Theatre. She also sang in Mozart’s Magic Flute in the famous production directed by William Kentridge. This production was performed in Cape Town Opera House and Civic Theatre Johannesburg. Her latest appearances for Cape Town Opera include her performances in the roles of Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Mrs. Patrick De Rocher in Jake Heggie’s opera Dead Man Walking (both in SA and in Sweden), Dinah in Trouble in Tahitiby Bernstein, Octavian in Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier and the title role in Bizet’sCarmen, a spectacular performance celebrated by both critics and public alike. Violina's most recent appearances have included the role of Gulietta in The Tales of Hoffman by Offenbach in the collaborated production between Cape Town Opera and UCT’s College of Music Opera School as well as Emilia in Otello by Verdi for Cape Town Opera.
Apart from her vast repertoire of operatic roles, Violina has performed as a soloist with great success in many sacred works in and around South Africa. These have included all the major oratorio works by Mozart, Pergolesi, Vivaldi, Haydn, Handel, Elgar, Beethoven, JS Bach, Berlioz, Mendelssohn and Verdi amongst others. Violina has worked as a soloist with numerous famous conductors including Dr. Barry Smith, Arnold Bosman, Chris Dowdeswell, Dr Donald Hunt, Richard Cock, Kamal Khan, Sebastian Lang- Lessing and Martin Panteleev, etc. She has also just had the great privilege to sing with the world renowned conductor Sir Richard Bonynge.
DARIUS BRUBECK & MIKE ROSSI
During the 1970s, pianist and composer Darius Brubeck toured the world with Two Generations of Brubeck and The New Brubeck Quartet (Dave, Darius, Chris and Dan Brubeck). He moved to South Africa in 1983, where he initiated the first degree course in Jazz Studies offered by an African university, eventually founding the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where he taught until 2005. Since then, Darius was selected for Fulbright visiting professorships in Romania and Turkey.
Career highlights include a commissioned work for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, co-composed with the late Zim Ngqawana, and performances of his arrangements with the London Symphony Orchestra. He is now based in London and tours internationally with Brubecks Play Brubeck and The Darius Brubeck Quartet, releasing CDs with both groups.
'Darius, the eldest [of Dave Brubeck’s sons] and most visually like his father, plays stylish piano and knows the score.' Jack Massarik, Evening Standard.
Michael Rossi is Professor of Jazz and Woodwinds at the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town, South Africa. He performs both classical and jazz music and has been a featured soloist with the Prague Symphony and other orchestras.
He regularly appears at jazz festivals and conducts workshops and master-classes in South Africa, Europe and the United States. Advance Music in Germany has just published Rossi's book co-authored with Darius Brubeck ,"Odd Times: Uncommon Etudes in Uncommon Time Signatures" .
Recording credits include "Two in One" with Ulrich Suesse and "Before It's Too Late", "For Lydia and the Lion" and "Two and Four" with Darius Brubeck.
Rossi is the first recipient of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Studies from the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Some of his performing and recording credits include appearances with Tony Bennett, Lou Rawls, Aretha Franklin as well as many jazz instrumentalists.
Rossi is the President of SAJE (South African Association for Jazz Education) and is an artist representing Rampone & Cazzani, makers of Hand Made Italian Saxophones
Award winner for Best Male Artist at the 2010 ABSA KKNK JAMES GRACE is one of one South Africa’s leading concert artists. In recent years he has appeared with the Cape Philharmonic, the Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic, the Johannesburg Festival, the Johannesburg Philharmonic and the Free State Symphony in concerti by Rodrigo, Villa – Lobos, Giuliani and Vivaldi.
James’s recent concert schedule has taken him throughout South Africa, the U.A.E, Windhoek and Zimbabwe. James 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.
James has released his fifth solo album, World Café, under his own record label, Stringwise Records. His previous two releases Sevilla – Music of Spain II and Café Latino both topped the Classic Fm Top 20 South African Charts and earned James SAMA nominations for Best Popular Classical Album and Best Instrumental Album respectively.
Born in Durban, 1989, ARISTIDE DU PLESSIS haswon numerous prizes in competitions such as the Kiwanis Chamber Music Prize (Switzerland) ATKV Musiq and has as soloist performed with several of the country’s leading orchestras including the KZN and Cape Philharmonic. A graduate of the University of Cape Town, his initial training was with Kolio Kolev and later Boris Kerimov in Durban and at the Zürich University of the Arts, where he studied with Thomas Grossenbacher on an Oppenheimer Scholarship. Since his return to South Africa in April 2015, he has held the position ofCo-Principal Cellist with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra.
THE KWAZULU-NATAL PHILHARMONIC STRING QUARTET Reformed and revitalized in 2014, the premiere KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic String Quartet is comprised of Concertmasters Joanna Marie Frankel and Violeta Osorhean, principal violist David Snaith, and principal cellist Boris Kerimov. Each member brings elite performance experience to South Africa from around the world, and the quartet truly embodies the essence of the “Rainbow Nation-” in spirit, diversity, and excellence.
American violinist Joanna Marie Frankel was trained in New York City at The Juilliard School and Carnegie Hall, and maintains a busy performance schedule in South Africa and abroad with orchestral, chamber, and solo appearances. She joined The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic as Concertmaster in 2013. Romanian violinist Violeta Osorhean earned her performance degrees at The G.Dima Music Academy in Klausenburg, and is former Concertmaster of The Napoca Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she is a former member of The National Romanian Opera and The Transylvania Philharmonic Orchestra. She was appointed Associate Concertmaster of The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic in 2005. English violist David Snaith studied viola and conducting at The Royal College of Music in London, and has 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. Born in the Soviet Union, cellist Boris Kerimov graduated from The Novosibirsk Conservatoire and was a winner of the Conservatoire competition. After leaving The Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra in 1999 Boris was appointed Principal Cellist of The KZNPO. He is regularly performing as a soloist with Orchestra as well as a chamber musician.
JOANNE ROZARIO's international career has taken her from her home town of London to venues all over the world including Hong Kong, China, South Africa, Canada, America, Spain and Greece. Joanne studied clarinet and saxophone at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Whilst there, she also founded a prize-winning saxophone quartet who received a scholarship to study at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada, went on to perform in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and played live on Classic FM.
In her final year at the Academy she joined the Hong Kong Philharmonic as Assistant Principal Clarinet where she performed concertos by Saint-Saëns and Glazunov, played live on Hong Kong Radio and Television and took part in the Sunset Ceremony which marked Hong Kong’s return from colonial Britain to China.
After a few months in England she moved to South Africa where she was Principal Clarinet with the Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban for two and a half years. During her time in Africa, she played the Mozart concerto and the Debussy Rhapsodie with the orchestra. She performed regularly as a solo recitalist and also appeared in many chamber music concerts, including the prestigious Grahamstown International Festival.
When she was offered the post of Principal Clarinet with Northern Ballet Orchestra Joanne returned to England. She now tours extensively with the company alongside performing solo and chamber music concerts all over the country . She lives in London and maintains strong links with South Africa, where she recently completed a month long recital tour.
CHRISTOPHER COCKBURN was born in Pietermaritzburg and studied music at the University of Cape Town where he obtained the B.Mus degree in Education and the M.Mus degree in Organ Performance. While in Cape Town he became Assistant Organist at St George’s Cathedral, and then continued his studies in London where he was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists. On his return to South Africa he was appointed Organist and Choir Director at Grahamstown Cathedral and Lecturer in Music at Rhodes University. In 2003 he took up an appointment as Lecturer in the Music School at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where he subsequently obtained the PhD degree in Musicology for a thesis on the performance and reception history of Handel’s Messiah in South Africa. He has given organ recitals throughout South Africa and in England,and has given concerto performances with orchestras in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth.
After completing postgraduate studies in History of Art, baritone FEDERICO FRESCHI studied towards a Performer’s Diploma in Opera at the UCT College of Music. He subsequently sang with the CAPAB Singers’ Studio, appearing in a number of operas, operettas and musicals. Returning to Johannesburg, Federico has performed several roles, including Germont in La Traviata, Marcello in La Bohème, Dr Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Danilo in The Merry Widow, and Zurga in Les Pêcheurs de Perles, amongst others. Following a period as an associate professor in History of Art at the University of the Witwatersrand and director of the Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, in January 2013 Federico was appointed a full professor in, and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg. He maintains a regular concert schedule in collaboration with Christopher Duigan.
LUKHANYO MOYAKE is currently working at the Cape Town Opera Company, South Africa. He has been performing at this opera house since his graduation in 2010, stepping into a multitude of roles including Alfredo in La Traviata, Jaquino
in Fidelio and Belmote in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Leicester in Maria Stuarda, Camille de Rosillon in The Merry Widow. With the Cape Town Opera production of Porgy and Bess, Lukhanyo spent the 2014/15 season touring in Spain, singing the part of Sportin’ Life at both the Teatro Real de Madrid and the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona. In the summer of 2015 and 2016 he made it to the final round of the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, held in Amsterdam and Cape Town. Lukhanyo won 3rd prize in the Neue Stimmen International Singing Competition, held in Germany Alongside his career in opera, the tenor holds regular concerts, performing Lieder and oratorios. In 2016 he won the Emmerich Smola forderpreis in Landau Germany. He recently sang the role of Naraboth in Salome. He is busy preparing for Don José in Lisbon.
Violinist JOANNA FRANKEL consistently garners worldwide acclaim for her technical prowess, her artistic sensitivity, and her captivating performances of the classical repertory’s most challenging masterpieces. She has toured as a concerto soloist and chamber musician across the United States, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, implementing her passionate vision of performance excellence and arts advocacy on a global scale. Born in Philadelphia in 1982, Ms. Frankel began studying the violin at age 3. She trained at The Juilliard School in New York City, and received the school’s prestigious 'William Schuman Prize for Outstanding Artistic Excellence and Leadership' upon graduation. Her post-graduate work continued at Carnegie Hall, where she entered the inaugural class of “The Academy,” the Hall’s groundbreaking initiative that trains ambitious young musicians to be 21st century arts leaders. Appointed First Concertmaster of The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in 2013 (Durban, South Africa), she performs on the 1846 Jean Baptiste Vuillaume violin labeled ‘Joseph Guarnerius fecit Cremonae,’ on extended loan from a generous patron through the Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation in Chicago.
Stanislav Angelov (accordion), leader of the renowned Cape Town Tango Ensemble is a graduate of the Academy of Music and Dance in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He has performed regularly with Christopher Duigan in an innovative series of programmes that stems from their highly creative collaboration. A typical programme will include popular tangos 'La Cumparsita', 'Por Una Cabeza' ( as used in the film ‘Scent of a Woman’), music by Piazzolla and original compositions by both performers.
BONGIWE MADLALA - Soprano
Born in Pietermaritzburg, Bongi’s father and her choir mistress introduced her to the idea of singing Opera. Her vocal training started at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) where she sang the role of Hanna in Lehár’s Die Lustige Witwe. In 2001 Bongiwe was one of four singers elected to sing at the Global Summit Women of the World, which was held in Hong Kong. As a member of The Black Tie Ensemble (BTE) Bongi strives towards developing vocally and to prepare herself for the prospects the Opera world may offer. Her love for opera and singing is her driving force. In June 2004 she performed as a soloist with members of BTE for His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and later in 2004 during a visit to Austria with the support of the Department of Arts and Culture, she performed with BTE in four concerts - three concerts in the city of Graz and one in Vienna. She understudied the role of Mimi for the BTE’s 2004 production of Puccini’s La Bohème, and in 2005 she sang the role of Lauretta in BTE’s production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. In 2005, at the invitation of the Department of Arts and Culture, she performed with BTE in Japan at the AICHI World Expo 2005 in Nagoya, as well as at the South African Embassy in Tokyo. In 2008, Bongiwe took part as Bess in the Cape Town production of Porgy & Bess, which toured to Germany. In April 2013 she was one of Sibongile Mngoma's 10 South African Sopranos concert that took place at Carnival City.
BEVERLEY CHIAT is a coloratura soprano from Cape Town. She graduated from the UCT Opera School, South African College of Music with a Performer's Diploma in Opera in 1995 as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Performance from her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK in 2000. Apart from performing with orchestras across South Africa, Beverley has performed abroad in the UK and Europe as well as in the Arab Emirates and Africa, to great acclaim. She has won numerous awards including the prestigious Peter Moores Foundation award for 2 years in the UK.
Beverley's experience gained from the opera and concert stage allows her to expand, with great ease, to other genres of music including Yiddish Folk Songs and Jewish Liturgical Music. She was a founding member of the Annual Yiddish Song Festival which took place at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town for 10 years, with great success. Beverley performs the role of 'Cantor' for the High Holy Days at The Progressive Jewish Synagogue in Green Point and helps officiate at Reform and Non-denominational wedding ceremonies.
NJABULO MADLALA Winner of the 2010 Kathleen Ferrier Competition, of the Singer Sections Final at the 2012 Royal Overseas League Competition and of a 2012 Worshipful Company of Musicians Award, Njabulo Madlala was born in South Africa. He studied on the Post-graduate opera course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London under Robert Dean and at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice. Njabulo Madlala was also a Britten Pears Young Artist and a Samling Foundation Scholar.
At the Guildhall, Njabulo Madlala sang Le Calender La rencontre Imprévue and The King The King Goes Forth to France. Since graduating, his engagements elsewhere have included Don Fernando Fidelio, Bello La Fanciulla del West and Schaunard La bohème for Opera Holland Park, Moralès Carmen for Dorset Opera, and Mel The Knot Garden at the Montepulciano Festival.
With Sarah Walker, he has made a special study of recital repertoire, appearing as part of the Oxford Lieder Festival as well as at the Wigmore Hall and participating in the Steans Young Artists Programme at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival. His broadcasts include In Tune for BBC Radio 3.
Engagements have included the Opera Highlights tour for Scottish Opera, Scarpia Tosca for Grange Park Opera ‘Rising Stars’, Beethoven Choral Symphony with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Belshazzar’s Feast with the Philharmonia at the 2013 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester and with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall.