Listen to a love affair in music

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Music lovers and hopeless romantics will be excited to hear that Grahamstown's Juan, Mariel and Friends will present “Robert and Clara Schumann: A Love Affair in Music” on Wednesday evening.

Music lovers and hopeless romantics will be excited to hear that Grahamstown's Juan, Mariel and Friends will present “Robert and Clara Schumann: A Love Affair in Music” on Wednesday evening.

Starting at 7.30pm in Rhodes University’s Beethoven Room, husband-and-wife team violinist Juan Munoz and pianist Mariel Ilusorio will be joined by special guests violist Duncan Samson (Grahamstown) and cellist Kutlwano Masote from Soweto.

The evening will feature works by husband-and-wife team Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio as well as Robert Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces for Cello and Piano and the Piano Quartet in E-flat major.

Samson is an avid chamber musician. He was born into a musical family and developed an early love for chamber music. Over the years he has performed as a tutti player with numerous orchestras and ensembles around South Africa, including the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra in Port Elizabeth, the PACOFS orchestra in Bloemfontein, the National Chamber Orchestra in Mmabatho, and the Eastern Cape Chamber Orchestra in Grahamstown.

Samson plays both violin and viola and performs regularly with chamber groups in the Eastern Cape, where he is currently based. He holds a doctoral degree in Mathematics Education and is presently a researcher for the FRF Mathematics Education Chair hosted by Rhodes University.

Born into a musical family in Soweto, Masote began violin lessons at an early age under the tutelage of his father, Michael, a respected music teacher and founder of the Soweto Symphony Orchestra.

He took up the cello at the age of 11 and matriculated from St John’s College, Johannesburg in 1991. After studying at Wits University he was awarded a scholarship by Yehudi Menuhin to study cello and chamber music at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland.

Upon his return to South Africa in 1998, Masote joined the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO). After the closure of the NSO, he became involved in various music NGOs like the Johannesburg Music Initiative (co-founder in 2001), Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (board director in 2001), MIAGI (2005-2007), the Arts and Culture Trust (chairman in 2007 and 2008) and currently serves on the SAMRO Foundation’s Artistic Committee.

Masote’s 13-year broadcast career has included stints at SAfm and Classic fm where he was the head of music. He is also the sound designer for the Freedom Park Museum. His growing reputation as a conductor has seen him conduct at all the major concert venues throughout South Africa.

In 2010 he conducted performances of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with the Philharmonia Moments Musicaux from Taiwan. Masote is also member of the Diamond Quartet, one of South Africa’s most versatile string quartets.

He has also served on the panel of the various Unisa music competitions, the Artscape Youth Music Competition, the SAMRO Foundation and the South African Music Awards.

Juan, Mariel and Friends is sponsored by the Rupert Musiekstigting.

Tickets are available at the door: R60/40.

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