On 4 and 5 September 2019, internationally acclaimed South African concert pianist Megan-Geoffrey Prins will join the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Lykele Temmingh. Praised for his technical prowess, imaginative interpretation, and keen sensitivity, Prins is fast making his mark on the world of virtuoso pianism.
Megan-Geoffrey Prins is a pianist whose prodigious talent was evident early on – he had performed with all of South Africa’s major orchestras by the age of 14. ‘There was a lot of music in my house,’ says Prins. ‘The radio was always on and my dad loves humming tunes while he works. I grew up singing in church at least once a week, so I think in many ways, music was just part of every day in our family. My mother inherited a piano, which was in our main room and, when I was very young, I started showing an interest in the instrument. My mother had some beginner piano books and started teaching me how to read. By the time I was 8 years old, my family decided to find me a professional piano teacher.’
Prins, who was born in the small town of Riversdale in the Western Cape, today traverses the world as a solo performer and chamber musician, often returning home for concerts, teaching engagements and community outreach initiatives. He has performed as a soloist and collaborative artist in North America, Europe, Africa, and Hong Kong. Recently named the Standard Bank Young Artist for Music, Prins has featured in various local and international piano competitions, including the Honens International Piano Competition, the Hong Kong International Piano Competition, the Unisa National and International Piano Competitions, and the Midwest International Piano Competition. Prins made his concerto debut at the age of 11. He has appeared as soloist with orchestras in Germany, the USA, Botswana, and South Africa. His recent performances of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3 were praised by German and South African critics for ‘technical precision’, ‘artistic expressivity’, and ‘transcendent’ interpretation.
Prins studied a master’s in music and is completing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree under Antonio Pompa-Baldi at the Cleveland Institute of Music where he was awarded the Sadie Zellen Piano Prize, the Arthur Loesser Memorial Prize, and the Maurice and Judith Kaplow Prize for Uncommon Creativity. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. Local achievements include first prizes at the Unisa 120th Anniversary Competition, the inaugural Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival Competition, the 5th Unisa National Piano Competition, the 2016 Muziq Instrumental Competition, and the 2017 SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition.
Speaking of the future of classical music in South Africa, Prins says, ‘The circles that I move in are full of young people who are very passionate about classical music. I think there are misconceptions that classical music is not relevant to young people or to the new South Africa. This simply isn’t true. I think there are a few institutions that are working hard at showing this and making music more accessible. I really hope that our arts will receive more funding and public interest in the coming years. I think that there is also an increase in collaborations across artistic and musical disciplines, which might help us to understand how different sectors of the arts cope with the current economy and hopefully learn from each other.’
Prins will perform with the Johannesburg Philharmonic under the baton of conductor Lykele Temmingh on 4 and 5 September at the Linder Auditorium. The programme includes Rossini’s Overture to L’Italiana in Algeri; Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21; and Schubert’s Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, D. 485.
Season and single tickets are available online at www.computicket.com or by calling 0861 915 8000. Visit www.jpo.co.za for more info.
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