Saturday 25 May, 17:00 — Moravian Church, Greyton
The Lyric Trio consisting of internationally esteemed musicians Suzanne Martens (violin), Peter Martens (cello) and Elna van der Merwe (piano) will be playing works such as the Haydn Gypsy Trio (cello and piano), Saint Saens “The Swan” from Carnival of the animals (cello and piano), Kreisler selections (violin and piano) and Piazzola’s Oblivion (violin, cello and piano). Both Peter and Suzanne serve on the faculty of the annual Stellenbosch International Chamber Festival, the former as Director, and they are both active chamber musicians. Artists’ biographies below
ELNA VAN DER MERWE
Elna van der Merwe was a fulltime 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.
Peter Martens holds a Masters Degree from the University of Cape Town anda 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 withthe 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 withL’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.
SUZANNE MARTENS studied violin at the University of Pretoria under Prof. Alan Solomon, where she obtained BMus and BMus Hons degrees. She furthered her studies in The Netherlands under Jan Repko (Academie Minerva, Groningen) and in Austria under Lavard Skou-Larsen (Mozarteum, Salzburg). She subsequently obtained a Masters Degree in Chamber Music from the University of Stellenbosch and a Doctorate in Performing Arts from the University of Pretoria. As a student, Suzanne was the winner of several competitions and prizes. Until June 2000, she was associate concertmaster in the now defunct New Arts Philharmonic Orchestra Pretoria and was a founder member of the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa.
In June 2001, she was appointed concertmaster of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, a position she resigned from to take up a lecturing post at the University of Stellenbosch. Suzanne has been appearing as guest leader of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra since 2005. She is an active chamber musician, and particularly enjoys playing in string quartet and piano trio formation. Suzanne serves on the faculty of the annual Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival and appeared in Portugal in a similar capacity in 2008 and 2009.
In 2016 she served on the faculty of the annual Summer Music Institute at the University of New Mexico, USA. She premièred the violin concertos of South African composer, Allan Stephenson, Thomas Rajna and David Earl (double violin concerto). She is currently Senior Lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch. Suzanne is married to cellist Peter Martens and they have two daughters.