Chamber Music Festival Harare 2017
Chamber Music Festival Harare 2017 Chamber Music Festival Harare 2017 Chamber Music Festival Harare 2017 Harare Chamber Music Festival Harare Programme 2017 Chamber Music Festival Harare 2017  
Suzanne and Peter Martens

Powerhouse Musical Couple from South Africa - Suzanne and Peter Martens
Peter and Suzanne Martens, prominent South African cellist and violinist respectively, are no strangers to Zimbabwe. This talented musical couple have performed here multiple times - at both the Harare International Festival of the Arts and the Bulawayo Music Festival. 

Peter Martens studied at Stellenbosch University, the Mozarteum in Salzburg and the University of Cape Town. He has held principal positions in the New Arts Philharmonic and Cape Philharmonic and is now at the University of Stellenbosch where he is Director of the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival and Artistic Administrator of the Music Department. 

He is a member of the Amici String Quartet, has enjoyed many other chamber music partnerships besides, participates in festivals all over the world and is Artistic Director of the Stellenbosch University Camerata. Peter ordinarily plays on a Lockey Hill cello, but inspired by the Historically Informed Performance Practice movement, has acquired and now plays a Baroque cello as well. 

Peter and suzanne Martens Bulawayo Music FestThe Martens seen playing together at the Bulawayo Music Festival with Coady Green and other musicians

Suzanne Martens studied violin at the University of Pretoria where she attained her BMus and BMus Hons degrees. She furthered her studies in Holland and then Austria at the Mozarteum, Salzburg, where she was a member of the Salzburg Chamber Orchestra. She subsequently obtained an MMus degree in Chamber Music at the University of Stellenbosch. Concertmaster of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra in 2001, she became a lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch in 2002.

She has been guest leader of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra since 2005, and is currently a member of the Amici Quartet, the Quartet of Peace and the Lyric Trio.

She serves on the faculty of the annual Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival. This highly talented partnership have two lovely daughters.

Second Chamber Music Festival for Harare features these world class musicians

South African Pianist Elna van der Merwe
Returning for the second festival is the delightful South African pianist Elna van der Merwe, who featured prominently at last year's festival. She endeared herself to all involved. Elna accompanied the other participating musicians, as well as performing solo in her own right.

When South African musicians go on tour elsewhere in the world, she is frequently invited to accompany them. She is also accompanist of choice at the most prestigious annual national music competitions in South Africa. Accompaniment is a musical art form in its own right, requiring great skill and many years of experience to carry out with the proficiency, adaptability and sensitivity it demands.

Elna also plays with organist and pianist Zorada Temmingh in their well-known piano duo, The Blondes. This entertaining pair arrange classical and light music in innovative medleys for two pianos. They regularly feature in South Africa’s most prestigious arts and music festivals. They tour internationally, and are also called upon to perform at high profile private functions.

Elna studied piano and organ at the University of Stellenbosch. She is a highly accomplished soloist and accompanist, in much demand in both roles. She is often invited on tours to accompany top notch classical musicians who visit South Africa to perform.

Elna van der Merwe

Junnan SunJunnan Sun, clarinettist extraordinaire

Coming to the festival from South Africa, where he now resides, is the extraordinary young Chinese clarinettist, Junnan Sun. Principal clarinettist in the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sun came to live in South Africa in 2003 when his diplomat father was posted to the Chinese Embassy. 

Aged 13, speaking no English, he initially struggled to settle, turning to his love of classical music for solace. His lost passion for the clarinet was re-ignited. 

In 2006, entered by his teacher in the ABSA National Youth Competition, he scooped Best Woodwind Performance.  Over the next five years, he won the Lubner Solo Music, UNISA South African Music Scholarship and Phillip Moore Music Competitions, and in 2011, as overall winner of four South African music competitions, won the UNISA Overseas Music Scholarship Competition. 

When his parents returned to China, Sun remained in South Africa.  Graduating from the University of Pretoria with his BMus Hons, he proceeded, with two scholarships, to the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London, attaining his Masters in Performance with Distinction. He was overall winner of the RCM Concerto Competition and won the RCM Rising Star Award in 2013.  In 2014, he won the RCM Clarinet Prize and RCM Savage Club Prize for best
performance of a concerto, as well as first prize in clarinet at the Stockholm International Music Competition and Outstanding Young Artist Award, from Jiangsu Province, China. 

In 2015, he scooped the top ATKV-Muziq Trophy, plus Best Woodwind Player and Best Rendition of a Classical Piece.  His prestigious performing career sees him at venues such as the Berlin Konzerthaus, London’s Royal Albert, Royal Festival and Cadogen Halls and St Paul’s Cathedral, and in South Africa as soloist with the KwaZulu-Natal, Johannesburg and RCM Philharmonic Orchestras, and the South African National
Youth Orchestra.