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Category: Music

RIP Durban Noise guru, Jürgen Braüninger

NOT ONE TO crudely ‘blow his own trumpet’, New Music composer Jürgen Braüninger was a humble, yet vital composer and teacher based in KwaZulu-Natal, set afire by anything from Stockhausen to Zappa and African tonalities. A man with an ongoing wish to forge a new postcolonial South African […]

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My heart belongs to Chopin

BECAUSE A PIANO is not the easiest thing in the world to transport, you may find it surprising that Israel-born pianist Amit Yahav, a fundi of the work of Frédéric Chopin, who visited South Africa last year and returns this month, spent most of his formative years travelling. […]

Stripping Nina’s legacy down

SHE WAS ONE of black America’s iconic figures during the turbulent 1960s. And her songs were grist for the protest mill. But that wasn’t all. You think Nina Simone (1933-2003) – born Eunice Waymon – and you think of the wealth of beauty and subtlety, nuance and fire […]

Wit and mechanics of the holiday composer

IT WAS A music teacher in the early youth of composer Hans Roosenschoon (pictured) who suggested the boy write music for piano, instead of take the conventional route of mastering the instrument first. “I think it was out of desperation,” says Roosenschoon, this year’s composer-in-residence for the Johannesburg […]

On Aïda and losing the plot

  A TALE OF politics and love, betrayal and death, Verdi’s opera Aïda, composed in 1870, is arguably one of the opera genre’s most known works. Indeed, it’s probably the repository for the most famous ensembles, tunes that you can whistle on your way to the theatre in […]

Freddie: a mercurial champion

IN THIS LIFETIME, you may be lucky enough to come across a dinkum sprite. A piece of quicksilver. A someone who doesn’t fit in anywhere, who makes their own rules and in doing so, changes the world’s parameters. And if you’re not lucky enough to meet that magical […]

Where music seeds get sown

CLASSICAL MUSIC IS not necessarily something that the average child imbibes with their mother’s milk. Serious composers of the ilk of Benjamin Britten, Camille Saint-Saëns and Sergei Prokofiev, amongst others, were proactive in their day, addressing this scenario, in ways that filtered boldness and magic, humour and fantasy […]