South African viola/violinist Gina Beukes presents a multi media programme entitled: Chopin, a lover, a war and an astronaut.
With works for violin and viola written by or inspired by women, Gina takes us on a journey through the story of Chopin’s lover George Sands to the first woman to go into space- with storytelling and video projections to add to the music, and partnered on the piano by Esthea Kruger.
Gina Beukes was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and started studying the violin aged 5 with Alan Solomon, later sudying chamber music with Betty Pack and also playing in her string chamber orchestras.
By the time she left in 1982 to study in the US, she had performed concertos with all the major South African orchestras and recorded for both SABC radio and television. Whilst in the US, Gina studied with Dorothy Delay, Kurt Sassmanshaus, Masao Kawasaki and Zinaida Gilels. She also studied chamber music with the Lecel and Julliard Quartets and with Felix Galimere. She graduated from the Julliard School of Music in 1989 with a Master’s Degree.
Gina Beukes has had a diverse and multi faceted career. During the past 18 years she has taught, judged competitions and given masterclasses. She was Concert Master of the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra, Principal Second violin of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and member of the viola section of the London Symphony Orchestra. This has given her the unique perspective of having studied and performed 1st and 2nd violin as well as viola orchestral repertoire with an impressive array of international conductors.
In addition she is an accomplished chamber musician and solo artist having performed concertos by Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Viotti, Vieuxtemps, Kabalevsky, Kachaturian, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Lalo, Saint-Saens, Beethoven and Schubert. She has recorded and performed a large chamber repertoire for piano trio, clarinet trio, string quartet and quintet.
She has also been involved in coaching youth orchestras in South Africa, Belgium and England. Gina is currently based in Munich and is solo violist at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen in Belgium.
South African pianist Esthea Kruger obtained her BMus and MMus (Piano Performance) degrees (both cum laude) at Stellenbosch University under the guidance of Prof. Nina Schumann and Prof. Luis Magalhães, and was awarded Stellenbosch University’s prestigious Chancellor’s Medal in 2009. After she had received scholarship offers from several music schools in the United States, she enrolled in a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance in 2009 at the University of North Texas under the tutelage of Prof. Vladimir Viardo. Having completed her doctorate in 2012, she then commenced her Meisterklasse degree at the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg, Germany, studying in the class of Prof. Bernd Glemser. She was awarded the Meisterklassendiplom at the beginning of 2015, after which she returned to Stellenbosch to substitute as piano lecturer at Stellenbosch University for the 2015 academic year.
From the end of 2015 until the beginning of 2019 Esthea Kruger returned to Germany to enroll in a second Master’s degree in Liedgestaltung, studying with Prof. Gerold Huber and Alexander Fleischer. At the end of her studies, she founded a festival for contemporary art song in Würzburg called “Neues Lied”. The first festival in December 2018 was met with great critical acclaim.
Esthea Kruger has won prizes at many major competitions in South Africa, such as the SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition, the ATKV-Muziq Competition, the FMR/Pick ‘n Pay Travel Award Competition, the Stonehage Bursary Competition, the Mabel Quick Overseas Scholarship Competition and the UNISA National Piano Competition. She has performed with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa. She has also been the recipient of numerous bursaries for her overseas studies: the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Scholarship, the P.E.O International Peace Scholarship, and a DAAD scholarship from the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg. Apart from her solo performances, she regularly appears in concert as accompanist and chamber musician. As Lied accompanist she was awarded the prize as best pianist at the Armin Knab Singing Competition in 2013, 2015 and 2017. In 2018 she performed at the DAVOS FESTIVAL – young artists in concert in Switzerland.
Since February 2019 Esthea Kruger is piano lecturer at the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town.