Knowing Me, Knowing You — Ms Katrien Klopper (née Jooste) [alumna]
Instrument(s) / Discipline(s):
Period of study at the NWU School of Music / PU for CHE Department of Music:
Qualifications completed at the NWU / PU for CHE:
Notable professional achievements:
As a member of different ensembles I have played at numerous corporate events including Classic FM soiree 2006, Bidvest, SAPPI, BarloWorld and Volkswagen. I have played at several arts festivals including Grahamstown, KKNK and Aardklop. I have been part of the orchestra of Huisgenoot Skouspel. Other productions I participated in, includes The Sound of Music (2005), Princess Magogo (2006), Fiddler on the Roof (2007), The King and I (2008) and Phantom of the Opera (2012), Swan Lake (2013). I was the electric violinist for the Barnyard Show, Celtic Rock, in 2007 in Umhlanga, Kwazulu Natal and Rock me Amadeus, in 2008 at Cresta, Johannesburg. During my years as a professional orchestra violinist I have shared the stage with artists like Luciano Pavarotti, Helmut Lotti, Patrizio Buanne, Sibongile Khumalo, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Miriam Makeba, the Parlotones, Freshly Ground and more recently Il Divo, Katherine Jenkins and Michael Buble.
Current professional position / occupation:
• Professional violinist freelancing in South Africa, mostly Johannesburg, playing in such orchestras as Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra & Johannesurg Music Initiative.
• I have a music studio, and I teach violin, piano & music theory. I am also a professional accompanist, accompanying my own (and other) students.
• I have a company called Violinergy, organising live music for any event. Nothing is impossible.
• I am also working part time as an administrative assistant for Winskoop Toere/Bargain Tours, organising tours to Europe for South Africans.
Top 5 must-hear music:
1. Saint-Saens — Organ Symphony
2. Brahms — Violin Sonata Nr 2
3. Bach — Solo Violin Partita Nr 2, Ciaccona
4. Shostakovich — Piano Concerto Nr 2, second movement
5. Pharrell Williams — Happy
Which personal music experiences are most memorable to you?
• I was a member of the Sasol National Youth Orchestra for four years. In 2001 I was invited to play in the National Youth Chamber Orchestra participating in the International Classical Music Festival in conjunction with the English Chamber Orchestra.
• Nothing beats the enthusiasm of the youth! Once you become a professional player, you really have to be careful not for it to just become a job. You have to remember how lucky you are to have a life full of music.
• Also: Being on stage with Michael Buble in March 2015! What an artist! What an experience!
Top 5 must-read books:
Can’t remember when last I read for relaxation! The last 3 books I read were:
1. New toddler taming by Dr Christopher Green
2. The no cry sleep solution by Elizabeth Pantley
3. Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison & Pearl Barrett
• “If you don’t know where you are going, you might end up someplace else.” — Yogi Berra
• “Practise makes perfect.”
• “We do not remember days, we remember moments.” — Cesare Pavese
• “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” — Mae West
Top 5 must-see movies:
1. Life is Beautiful
3. The Sound of Music
5. Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling
Which television show(s) can you watch over and over again?
Ally McBeal, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Friends.
Red wine, Mojito.
How do you relax?
Spending time with my family and friends. We ‘braai’ at least twice a week!
I married the love of my life in 2009: Jaco Klopper, baritone, former student of Prof Werner Nel. We met while rehearsing and performing The Marriage of Figaro, performed by the NWU opera singers of Prof Nel and accompanied by the PUK orchestra, in 2001. We have two sons, Andre (almost 4 years) and Stef (9 months). We are blessed beyond words!
Which places would you still like to visit?
Croatia, Italy, New Zealand.
What are your funniest / fondest memories of your time at the Conservatory?
We were a fun group of students and friends and lecturers! There were so many fun times and laughs! ‘Donkerkamertjie!’, Kitch-Concerts, visits at Ommihoek. We practised our instruments for hours with breaks in between, the smokers would smoke and we would all just sit and have fun, until the new rehearsal session would start. That way, we practised a lot!
You don’t know how special it is until you don’t have it anymore. Then you think back, and realise with a shock, it has been more than 10 years ago. You miss your friends and you realise it was one of the most amazing times in your life, when you were a student at the Conservatory!
Thank you to all the lecturers who formed us (or tried to form us!) as musicians in our own way. And thank you to my father, Fanie Jooste, my violin teacher, Piet Koornhof, and my piano teacher, Truida van der Walt, who taught me so much about performing, practising and teaching. I hear your voices and teaching methods still every day when I teach my own students or perform somewhere. It was an honor! And I actually miss being the student!