[ During November 2017, Prof Tinus Botha travelled to the USA and United Kingdom for a number of solo piano recitals. He tells us about, and shows us, his experiences during this concert tour. ]
My first stop was at Pulaski, NY for a recital at the beautiful First Congregational Church as part of the LaVeck Concert Series. This concert series is the brain child of Prof Robert Auler, Chair of the music department at SUNY Oswego. It has turned out to be a tremendous success, drawing performers from around the globe. Performances are also broadcast on National Public Radio. Despite having to drive a gigantic rental car on the right-hand side of the road in sub-zero temperatures, it was a wonderful trip. Pulaski is a little gem of a town in upstate New York, on Lake Ontario. The concert was well attended and well received, and the patrons of the series are warm, generous and appreciative.
Great Coxwell, Oxfordshire
After a quick stop back in South Africa for a concert at Northwards House in Johannesburg with Prof Piet Koornhof, it was onwards to the United Kingdom for two recitals. The first of these was at the Stonevale Concert Series in the picturesque Great Coxwell, Oxfordshire. The intimate venue with its warm Steinway model B was the ideal setting for a programme of character pieces. The concert was expertly organised and hosted by Lynette Stulting, a South African pianist and teacher who has made the UK her home several years ago. The programme was well-received, and I will be returning for another recital in June 2019.
Hampstead, Greater London
After saying goodbye to the magnificent Oxfordshire, it was back to London for a shared recital at the Burgh House in Hampstead. The concert was organised by Diederick Potgieter, an excellent amateur pianist, who is a risk specialist at the Bank of England. The concert was a fundraiser for the Burgh House, an imposing old mansion in the heart of Hampstead. The concert room with its beautiful wooden panelling and Blüthner grand was a fitting setting for a programme of piano music from the 19th century. As an encore, Diederick and I played the first piece of Arnold van Wyk’s Improvisations on Dutch Folk Tunes (Ik heb mijn wagen volgeladen), and the (mostly) British audience absolutely loved it.