Piet Koornhof, Albie van Schalkwyk, Susan Mouton

Biographie Piet Koornhof, Albie van Schalkwyk, Susan Mouton

Piet Koornhof, Albie van Schalkwyk, Susan Mouton
Piet Koornhof
has performed extensively as recitalist and chamber musician, and as soloist with orchestras, in Southern Africa, Europe, North America, Russia, Singapore and New Zealand. His recent overseas performances included recitals with American pianist Thomas Hecht at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore, and at the Echos Festival in Italy.

In 1994 he was the first South African to undertake an extensive recital tour of Russia, with pianist Vladimir Yurigin-Klevke, including a recital at the Moscow Conservatoire. In 1998 he gave master classes and performed at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. In 1999 he performed at the Palaces of St. Petersburg International Chamber Music Festival as a member of the Potch Trio, and appeared as soloist with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, both in Moscow and in St. Petersburg.

Piet’s most recent CD-recordings, both for Delos, are the complete J.S. Bach trio-sonatas for flute, violin and piano with Raffaele Trevisani and Paola Girardi, and the Hendrik Hofmeyr double concerto for flute, violin and string orchestra with Trevisani and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra led by Constantine Orbelian. Future albums planned include On Fire: virtuoso music for violin and piano, Russian piano trios, and more chamber music for flute, violin and piano.

His chamber music CD-recordings as founder and violinist of THE SOUTH AFRICAN CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY for Koch Discover International have garnered high international acclaim. His CD-recording of piano trios of Babadjanian and Vasks as a member of the celebrated POTCH TRIO was released in South Africa in 2005. Their recording of the piano trios of Mendelssohn is due to be released soon. A CD of unusual short lyrical pieces for violin and piano with Truida van der Walt, “Remembrances”, became available in 2007. “On Fire”, a CD of virtuoso works is planned for recording in 2011/12.

In addition to the standard repertoire, Piet has a special interest in surprisingly accessible twentieth and twenty-first century chamber music. He has been responsible for the first South African performances of works by, among others, Schnittke, Pärt, Vasks, Sviridov, Karaev, Toldra, Bolcom, Babadjanian, Chebodarian, Gliere, Medtner, Taneyev, Skoryk, Martinu, Ben-Haim, Koechlin, Schulhoff, Piazzolla, Schoenfield, Hofmeyr, Watt and Klatzow.

Piet was born in South Africa in 1961. He made his concert debut at the age of nine while he was a pupil of Alan Solomon. As a youngster he twice represented South Africa as soloist with the South African National Youth Orchestra on tours to Europe and Israel with conductors Alberto Bolet and Avi Ostrovsky. He was awarded scholarships by amongst others The South African Music Rights Organisation, Anglo American Corporation, The Aspen Music School and The Juilliard School where he studied with Dorothy DeLay. He also took part in master classes by Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman and Segiu Luca.

His other keen interests include gliding, somatic education and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) of which he is a certified Master Practitioner. He has authored a book on the application of NLP to music teaching and performance, titled “Of Muses and Magic: essays for musicians”. He is a keen follower of the Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement Method, and has been involved in the presentation of workshops featuring Laban/Bartenieff movement education, the Feldenkrais Method, the Alexander Technique, and Robert Masters’ Psychophysical Method. He was responsible for bringing Pulitzer Prize-winner composer and NLP trainer Michael Colgrass to South Africa for workshops in Performance Excellence. As a glider pilot he flies a LS1f sailplane from the Potch Gliding Club.

Piet has been teaching violin, viola, chamber music and methodology of violin teaching at North West University in Potchefstroom since 1986, on both graduate and post-graduate levels. He holds a doctorate in music performance from the same institution where he is associate professor at the School of Music. His Masters Thesis about the teaching strategy of renowned violin teacher Dorothy DeLay with whom he had studied at the Juilliard School in New York, provided the material for his article in Strad magazine (August 2001), which aroused the interest of the Canadian Swimming Association, who republished it on the grounds that the principles of teaching and learning elucidated by his study are applicable in any context of learning and excellence.

He is married to Esmie, a talented violinist and school teacher, who is the exquisite mother of their three children, Gerhard, Hannes and Elrie.

Albie van Schalkwyk
has established himself as performer in a number of fields over the past 30 years. One of the leading chamber musicians and vocal accompanists in South Africa, he has also performed as soloist with SA orchestras, performed solo recitals, given master classes for singers and accompanists, worked as a music producer for the SABC, and arranged music for various combinations, including Broadway musicals and operas for 2 pianos and orchestral pieces for 3 to 8 pianos. He was appointed Associate Professor in Piano and Chamber Music at the College of Music, UCT, in 2009.

After completing his B.Mus. degree at the University of Cape Town with Lamar Crowson, he spent five years in London studying with Geoffrey Parsons, Gwenneth Pryor and Martino Tirimo. During this period he won the UNISA Overseas Scholarship as well as first prize in the SABC Music Prize Piano Competition. Upon his return to SA he took up a position as Official Accompanist and Producer at the SABC in Cape Town and became the regular partner of many South African singers and instrumentalists in concert and in the recording studio. He has been a member of several well-known SA ensembles, e.g. the Endler Trio and the Potch Trio and a founder member of The Chamber Music Society, and appeared as guest artists with others like the Rosamunde String Quartet and the Sontonga Quartet.

His partnership with Austrian cellist Heidi Litschauer has produced two major tours through South Africa as well as annual visits to Austria where he is invited to play concerts and work as repetiteur at the summer school of the International Neuberg Kulturtage since 1988. He has also performed all over South Africa with visiting overseas artists such as Elly Ameling (soprano), Maarten Koningsberger (baritone), Peter-Lukas Graf (flute), Emma Johnson (clarinet), Christian Altenburger (violin) and Raphael Wallfisch (cello). He was on the staff of the summer school of the International Neuberg Kulturtage in Austria from 1988-2011, and has taught chamber music at the Franschhoek Chamber Music Workshops and at the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival.

His interest in vocal music and the art song in particular has led to many fulfilling concert partnerships with singers, culminating in the formation in 1994 of The Songmakers’ Guild, a Cape Town society which provides a regular platform to performers in the field of the art song. He has presented workshops and classes for singers and accompanists at several SA universities and spent his 2002/3 sabbatical working as repetiteur for the Vocal Department of the Mozarteum Music University in Salzburg, Austria.

He has been a regular panel member of several South African competitions, including the Chamber Music Competition in Stellenbosch, the UNISA National Piano Competition and the SAMRO National Singing Competition. He was the 2009 winner of the Huberte Rupert Prize, awarded by the SA Academy of Arts and Sciences to him for his contribution to ensemble playing and teaching over the past 30 years. He completed his Ph.D. in music at the University of the Free State in May 2012.

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