Conducting his dream

2017-05-09 10:05
Daniel Fritz

Daniel Fritz

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A broad smile stretches across Daniel Fritz’s face when he starts speaking about his passion for music.

Fritz, originally from Bonteheuwel but who now lives in Newfields, has just returned from an international conducting masterclass in the Czech Republic.

The course was led by renowned master teacher in conducting Martin Sieghart from the Netherlands.

“When I first heard that I was accepted and invited to do the course, I had to raise the euros in one month. And we know that the rand is worth very little to the euro. I had all the support from my wife, the family, friends, the church and generous donors. To them I want to say: It is you that made it possible – thank you very much.

“So I want to encourage us out there: Go for your dream – don’t tell me how old you are or that you don’t have money. Use what God has given you and increase it and God will do the rest,” says Fritz.

Fritz, who was first a teacher by profession, studied conducting at UCT where he completed the performance diploma in Conducting.

“I am a teacher and I always had the passion for doing and conducting music. I had my training as a choir boy in the Anglican Church.”
Fritz explains that he had to pursue his career before his passion due to the times he grew up in. But it did not stop him from continually learning more about music.

“I was probably about 16 when I joined up with the choir that changed my world, because then I came into contact with music. Before that it was Jonathan Butler with his song ‘Please stay, don’t go’, but I was just a young boy listening to the single and I sang. I joined the philharmonic choir of Cape Town in the 1980s and there I learnt more about music. As a teacher, I also did courses in choir training,” says Fritz.

Fritz is now contemplating conducting on a full-time basis following his European visit.

“I don’t know if I am in limbo at the moment whether to make my mind up, because I think one needs to create your opportunities. When you find that you are successful in those opportunities, you end up carrying on with it.

“This is what I want to do. I am at the threshold of going into conducting full-time as I am in the process of establishing myself. I have been out of teaching since the end of last year.

“It cost me tremendous courage to conduct the orchestra, because it calls for professionalism, it calls for a standard. Some of the main ingredients to be a good conductor is that you have to be schooled. You need to know the music and you need to know the score. That is why you need to study the music grades and further your studies at a tertiary institution where they can teach you conducting.

“Some people think that it cannot be taught, but I disagree, I think that conducting can be taught, but then you have to have the passion for it, because you have to have the feel for it and the rhythm. You don’t stop learning, like anything else in the world,” adds Fritz.

He says that should someone want to start and follow a musical passion, he has to listen to music and feel the music intricately.

“Go to concerts, see how other people conduct, measure yourself up to what they are doing and see for yourself, because sometimes you will find much to learn by watching people and listening to music.

“Normally everyone will tell you that you need to start early, which is ideal, but more importantly you need to keep your goal and dream ahead of you. It was always my dream to further my conducting studies, so I have been looking at courses that are being presented internationally for a couple of years. This time, I just decided to apply for it and took it from there.”

He says the experience shaped and contributed immensely to making him a better musician and conductor.

“I hope to pass on this knowledge in the form of conducting workshops, particularly in choral conducting where we have a great need in our country. I believe that making music is part of the solution to the social problems in our country – even as far as creating jobs in the music industry is concerned.”

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