Piano fest at Rustenburg Girls’

STAFF REPORTER

Rustenburg Girls’ High School will host its seventh annual piano festival on Monday April 25, at 7.30pm.

Pupils from Bishops, Herschel, Rondebosch, Rustenburg and Westerford will perform works by Erik Satie, Sergey Prokofiev, Alberto Ginastera, Enrique Granados and Arnold van Wyk.

Guest speaker José Dias will also give an illustrated talk on quirky French composer Satie. This year is 150 years since his birth.

Dias, who was born in Portugal, first travelled to South Africa in 2001 to enrol at the University of Stellenbosch, where he was to complete his BMus Honours cum laude, then furthering his studies at the Hochschule für Muzik und Theater in Zürich (Switzerland) where he obtained his Konzertdiplom with distinction.

In 2007, he took up a position as repetiteur at Cape Town Opera (CTO), where he accompanied artists in countless concert performances and was involved as repetiteur and vocal coach in productions ranging from Monteverdi to Jake Heggie.

He is still a regular collaborator and guest artist with CTO, most recently and notably as musical director and pianist of the CTO African Angels production, which has been touring locally and internationally since 2013.

He is also co-creator and curator of RISE concert series, in co-operation with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra – a platform for the display of young South African classical talent – and is also an avid supporter of contemporary music, having premiered works by composers such as Hendrik Hofmeyr, Alexander Johnson and Braam du Toit. Many of these (some written especially for him) have been recorded and are available on CD.

Rustenburg spokesperson Geila Wills said besides the various CD prizes up for grabs on the night, this will be the first time that The Judith Dernier Piano Prize of R1 000 is offered

“The prize was established through donations on the occasion of Judith Dernier’s retirement from full-time teaching at Rustenburg in 2015,” she said.

Tickets for the event are available at the door, and are R60 for adults and R20 for pupils. Call 021 686 4066 for details.