BEAUTIFUL BRAHMS

Saturday 26 May 17:00

Moravian Church Greyton

R140 - tickets available at Computicket or at Tourism Info Greyton

Junnan Sun (clarinet), Peter Martens (cello) and Elna van der Merwe (pianist) present an all Brahms programme. Their programme will include the sonatas for clarinet and piano, cello and piano as well as the well-known Brahms clarinet trio in a minor op 114.  The cello and clarinet are the most suitable instruments to show off the wonderful melodious qualities of Brahms. BIOGRAPHIES BELOW

SPONSORED BY THE RUPERT FOUNDATION

BIOGRAPHIES

ELNA VAN DER MERWE

Elna van der Merwe was a full-time accompanist and part-time piano lecturer at the Conservatory of the University of Stellenbosch until 2001. Since then she is an ad hoc pianist and sought-after collaborative artist for local as well as international artists such as Michell Breedt (mezzo soprano), Douglas Masek (Saxophonist), Maria Kliegel (cellist), Susan Milan (flautist).

Ms van der Merwe studied piano and organ at the University of Stellenbosch , she won several awards, stipendiums and competitions. She performed as soloist with various national orchestras. Local instrumentalists and singers with whom she regularly performs are Zanta Hofmeyr, Zanne Stabelberg, the South African Sopranos, Niel Rademan, Maria du Toit, Liesl Stolz, Peter Martens, Suzanne Martens.

In May 2011 she performed as collaborative pianist with Zanta Hofmeyr in Malta. She also accompanied the Libertas choir on their tours to Belgium and the USA.

She has been awarded by Samro in gratitude and recognition for excellent service in accompaniment in the Overseas Scholarship Competitions. As accompanist she has appeared in all the Unisa International singing-, strings- (since 1990) and recently the flute and clarinet competitions.

As multi talented pianist she has played in two piano arrangements with Zorada Temmingh as part of the Blondes in all the major festivals in South Africa. In 2011 The Blondes performed in Israel and London.

She has recorded many Cd’s and Dvd’s with different artists and served on several music competition panels as adjudicator.

JUNNAN SUN

Chinese clarinettist Junnan Sun (27) currently holds the principal clarinet position in the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in South Africa. He moved 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 where he studied with Michael Collins, Richard Hosford and Janet Hilton, obtaining a Masters of Performance (specialising in Orchestral Studies) with distinction. His studies in the UK were made possible by the Wilkins-Mackerras Scholarship from the RCM, and the P.J. Lemmer UNISA Overseas Music Scholarship.

Junnan has been the recipient of numerous awards, highlights of which include: first prize in the Clarinet Category at the Stockholm International Music Competition (2014); Outstanding Young Artist Award, awarded to him by the Provincial Government of Jiangsu Province, China (2014); RCM Clarinet Prize which recognizes the top clarinettist of the RCM (2014); RCM Savage Club Prize for the best performance of a concerto (2014); Over-all winner of the RCM Concerto Competition (2013); and the RCM Rising Star award (2013). Junnan was also named the over-all winner of five South African music competitions, namely the ATKV National Classical Music Competition (2015), the UNISA Overseas Music Scholarship Competition (2011), the Phillip Moore Music Competition (2010), the UNISA South African Music Scholarship Competition (2009), and the Lubner Solo Music Competition (2008).

As an orchestral musician Junnan has worked with foremost conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Roger Norrington, Wolfram Christ and Daniel Raiskin amongst others. He has performed solo and chamber music recitals in concert venues abroad – such as the Berlin Konzerthaus (Germany), the Royal Albert Hall (UK), the Royal Festival Hall (UK), Cadogen Hall (UK), the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall (UK), and St. Paul’s Cathedral (UK) – as well as prominent concert venues in South Africa, including, but not limited to, the Baxter Hall in Cape Town, the Endler Hall in Stellenbosch, the Durban City Hall, the Linder Auditorium and the UNISA Enoch Santonga Hall. Junnan has appeared as a soloist with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the RCM Philharmonic Orchestra, and the South African National Youth Orchestra. Junnan was the soloist for the first annual concert featuring the combined orchestra of the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra and the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Junnan has performed at and been interviewed by radio stations such as Classic FM and East Coast Radio. 

Junnan has received masterclasses from prominent clarinettists, the likes of which include Andrew Marriner (London Symphony), Anthony McGill (New York Philharmonic), Robert Pickup (Zurich Opera House), Mate Bekavac (international soloist), Einar Johannesson (Iceland Symphony), and Robert Plane (BBC Welsh Symphony).

Junnan regularly performs solo and chamber music recitals around South Africa in prestigious concert series’ includingthe Cape Town concert series, the Durban Friends of Music concert series, The UNISA concert series, Johannesburg Music Society concert series, Hermanus FynArts Music Festival, Greyton Genadendal Classics for All Festival, Hilton Music Festival and the Michaelhouse Music Festival. Recent highlights involve a sold-out tour of South Africa as soloist for the Last Night of the Proms concert series with Richard Cock, and teaching and performing as a faculty member of the Xiquitsi International Music Festival in Maputo, Mozambique. Receiving rave reviews as “the magician of the clarinet” (Paul Boekkooi – Die Burger), and hailed for possessing “consummate technical mastery” (William Charlton-Perkins – www.artlink.co.za) Junnan Sun has quickly become South Africa’s foremost clarinettist. 

PETER MARTENS

Peter Martens holds a Masters Degree from the University of Cape Town and a PhD from Stellenbosch University where he studied in his formative years with Dalena Roux before studying with Heidi Litschauer at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. In 1993 Peter returned to South Africa and occupied principal positions in the New Arts Philharmonic Pretoria and Cape Town Philharmonic before moving to Stellenbosch University where he currently holds the position of Director of the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival.

He is a member of the Amici String Quartet, enjoys chamber music with amongst others, Leon Bosch (double bass), David Juritz (violin), Benjamin Schmid (violin) and Leslie Howard (piano), and has performed with the Brodsky String Quartet in London. Concerto engagements have resulted in collaborations with a number of fine conductors including Victor Yampolsky, Bernard Gueller, Douglas Boyd, Wolfram Christ, Nicholas Cleobury and Jonas Alber. He has participated in festivals in Russia, Holland, Salzburg, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Portugal as well has having performed in the U.K. and U.S.A. Many South African composers have written for him, the most notable composition being the Cello Concerto by Allan Stephenson, which he recorded for Meridian Records with the Cape Town Philharmonic. He has recorded the Beethoven Cello Sonatas with Luis Magalhäes and the Bach Cello Suites for TwoPianists Records. Peter has recently acquired a Baroque cello having performed with L’Orfeo Baroque in celebrating Dr. Barry Smith’s 50 years of music making in Cape Town.

He is married with two children to violinist, Suzanne Martens.