Concert tribute to Reddy

2010-08-31 00:00

A TRIBUTE concert will be held on Saturday to celebrate the life and work of acclaimed South African-born pianist and composer, Surendran Reddy, who died earlier this year.

The concert, which will be held at 4 pm at the Centre for Jazz and Popular­ Music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, will include guest performances by Ben Schoeman (winner of the University of South Africa Vodacom International Piano Competition in Pretoria in 2008); internationally renowned tabla­ performer Florian Schiertz from Germany; professor Christine Lucia, professor of music at the University of Stellenbosch; and Melvin Peters and Mageshan Naidoo from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

In addition to the performances, an excerpt from a video recording by a Swiss TV company will be screened where Surendran shares his thoughts on life, philosophies and performances of his compositions.

Reddy was a larger-than-life figure on the South African and German musical­ scenes, and he was a passionate exponent of a style of composing and playing he called “clazz”, which combined Western classical music, mbaqanga jazz, rock and Indian classical­ music.

He tried to create a new kind of South African crossover that could not be pigeonholed, but which could embrace the best of many worlds — a musical­ aspiration­ that was motivated by his strong belief in political equality and artistic freedom.

At the age of 15, Reddy won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London where he studied from 1977 to 1981. He went on to become the youngest BMus Honours graduate at the age of 19.

He later released two eclectic solo albums Reddy, Steady, Go! (1994) and Rough ’n Reddy (1996). He taught at the University of Durban-Westville in 1983 and 1984, and at the Fuba Centre­ in Johannesburg in the late eighties to early nineties, where he later headed this organisation.

Admission to the tribute concert is free. Inquiries and to reserve seats phone Rosalinda Rogers at 082 573 9496.

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