Date of appointment:
1 January 1999
BMus (NWU), BMus (RAM – London, UK), MMus (NWU), DMus (NWU), LRAM(piano), UVLM(piano)
Piano Performance, Piano Pedagogy, Postgraduate Supervision
My main interest as a pianist is collaborative work. It is a wonderful privilege to perform with many different artists.
I will always be a student of some sort and forever curious about a great variety of subjects (mathematics, economics, politics, travel, and of course music). The human brain and mind has always fascinated me. My specific research interests therefore include music cognition, performance psychology, learning theories, and also philosophies of interpretation.
Who are/were your professional mentors/inspiration?
I am glad the question does not require a single answer. Many people have inspired me on a professional level over the years. Great international artists – pianists, violinists, singers, and conductors – are a constant source of inspiration. Prof Piet Koornhof, Prof Bertha Spies, and Prof GW Koornhof have mentored me over the years with regards to my career in music.
Top 5 must-hear music:
1. WA Mozart — Clarinet Concerto, K622: 2nd mvmt Adagio
2. J Brahms — Any of the four symphonies
3. G Donizetti — Madness Aria from Lucia di Lammermoor performed by Joan Sutherland
4. Charles Ives — “Concord” Sonata for Piano
5. F Chopin — Piano Concerto Op. 11 and Op. 22 performed by Krystian Zimerman and the Polish Festival Orchestra AND D Scarlatti — Sonatas by Mikhail Pletnev
Which personal music experiences are most memorable to you?
• Pierre Boulez conducting the London Symphony Orchestra from memory: Stravinsky – Petrushka; Ravel – Mother Goose Suite; Haydn – Symphony No. 104 (“London”); Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 3 in c minor, Op. 37 (Soloist: Maria-João Pires)
• Krystian Zimerman – Solo recital at the Royal Festival Hall in London
• Attending the Verbier Music Festival in the Swiss Alps in 2007, especially master classes for pianists by Menahim Pressler (aged 84). His experience as teacher and performer was astounding!
Top 5 must-read books:
1. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
2. Any of the books by Bill Bryson
3. Any of the books by Malcolm Gladwell
4. Short stories by Heinrich Böll
5. Poetry by JW Goethe and Elizabeth Eybers
• “In this world you’re either growing or you’re dying, so get in motion and grow.” – Lou Holtz
• “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
• “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein
Top 5 must-see movies:
1. Schindler’s List
2. The Pianist
3. Inglourious Basterds
4. Dancer in the Dark
5. Amadeus, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2, Dead Poets’ Society, Django Unchained, No Country for Old Men, and …
Which television shows can you watch over and over again?
The News, The Weather Report, advertisements, Friends, The Big Bang Theory, ER
Melktert, pancakes with cinnamon sugar, cheese, braaivleis, bobotie, all breads.
Coffee (on repeat …)
How do you relax?
Road running, reading, listening to classical music, a bit of gardening and enjoying nature, going to the movies.
Family (spouse / children):
Married to Elsabe, mathematics lecturer at the NWU.
Which places would you still like to visit?
Too many to name them all: New Zealand, Canada, the North Pole, Paris, Berlin, New York, New York, and Iceland …
What is the ringtone on your cell phone?
I have no idea.
What is your favourite moment of the day/week/year at the Conservatory?
Day: a musical and aesthetic moment during a piano lesson.
Week: Friday afternoon – another one down!
Year: January – preparing and getting ready for another year of teaching, performing, etc.