This week three of the best young South African orchestral musicians will embark on a journey to Amsterdam to spend a week with the world famous Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO). This exchange programme is part of a partnership between the RCO, the KZN Philharmonic and the South African National Youth Orchestra.
Members of the RCO came to South Africa to give classes and workshops to the National Youth Orchestra, and during these workshops they identified the three musicians to represent South Africa on the exchange: Kamo Magau (22, a violinist from Bloemfontein), Samantha Durrant (23, a violinist from Cape Town) and Siyolise Nyondo (22, a double bassist from Bloemfontein).
“It is so rare, that at any time in one’s life, an exciting opportunity like this comes about. It is even more encouraging when it happens at the start of one’s career. I am so truly humbled,” says Samantha Durrant.
Kamo Magau had this to say about the opportunity: “I’m incredibly excited to learn as much as I possibly can from such exceptional musicians. To be able to say that I have been coached by some of the best musicians in the world is not only an honour, but a privilege.”
During their stay in the Netherlands, the musicians will have hours of master classes, learn from rehearsals with the orchestra, visit art galleries, and perform in a concert at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. They will discover what life is like as a professional musician in one of the best orchestras in the world, and the exchange will help them jumpstart their professional careers.
“This is a fantastic learning opportunity for our young artists. The great thing about this exchange is that these artists will come back to South Africa and share the skills that they have learned with their fellow students,” says Bongani Tembe, CEO of the KZN Philharmonic.
The travel for the three young musicians has generously been sponsored by KLM and the Royal Embassy of the Netherlands.