International duo set to perform in PMB

2008-06-19 00:00

Pietermaritzburg-born violinist Marc Uys, who is currently living in New York, is on a tour of South Africa as part of the violin and harp duo, Clockwise. They will perform at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Howard College theatre on Wednesday, June 25, at 7.30 pm and in Maritzburg College’s (Uys’s old school) Victoria Hall the following day at 7 pm.

Clockwise is made up of Uys and his fiancée, Jacqueline Kerrod. Both have earned reputations for exploring and performing fresh, new repertoire, alongside crowd-pulling classical standards.

“We decided to do a few concerts around South Africa, and commission a couple of new works for them,” says Uys. That has grown into a tour of 28 concerts, including two at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, and they have 10 new works from local composers which they have commissioned.

“There are some wonderful new pieces, with a huge range of different styles, from serious contemporary classical to jazz and rock genre” says Uys. He says, even if very few in the audiences will like all the new pieces, everyone will find something they can relate to.

However, the central work of their KZN programme is Camille Saint-Saëns’s Fantasy for Violin and Harp Opus 124, a bravura showpiece for both instruments that alternates brilliant passages with dreamy, nostalgic lyricism. They will also be playing John Cage’s highly creative Six Melodies for Violin and Keyboard (transcribed for harp), Thomas Rajna’s atmospheric Suite for Violin and Harp, and the delightful Sonatine for Harp Opus 30 by the French composer, Marcel Tournier.

Uys has a loyal following in his home country, dating from his days as the founder and leader of the former Sontonga Quartet. In 2007, he performed as a member of the Dresdner Sinfoniker in Germany, the MIAGI festival orchestra in South Africa, and as guest concertmaster of the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra. His violin is a fine 18th century Italian instrument on loan from the Lindbergh Arts Foundation.

Johannesburg-born Kerrod was a finalist in the ATKV Forte Music Competition and the Jim Joel Music Prize. Awarded the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Foundation scholarship, she moved to the U.S. in 1999 to further her musical studies. In 2001 she was the winner of the Harp Competition of the Aspen Music Festival, and appears regularly with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera, St Luke’s Chamber Ensemble and Solisti New York.

To book for the Durban recital, phone 082 335 6088 or e-mail copydog2@artslink.co.za. For the Victoria Hall concert, the format is a picnic supper with tables of six, eight or 10. The concert is at 7 pm for 7.30 pm and tickets are R80. To book, phone Denise Mitchell (am) or Jenny Bezuidenhout (pm) at 033 342 9376. For more information about Clockwise’s touring itinerary, e-mail marcuys@gmail.com

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