Khanyisile Mthetwa is a multi-award-winning flutist.
Mthetwa was born in Orlando West-Soweto in 1985 when South Africa was in a state of emergency during apartheid rule. She was one of the first children to attend multi-racial schools in the early 1990s. She attended high school at the National School of the Arts. She went on to study at the University of Pretoria and finished her Masters at Nice conservatoire in France. She currently holds a Licentiate and Fellowship diploma in flute performance from Trinity college of London. She has studied and had masterclasses with notable flute pedagogues and performers such as Jacques Zoon, Trevor Wye, James Galway, Robert Dick, John Hinch, Dawid Venter, Helen Vosloo, Maretha Davel, and Gordon Mashobane.
She has been named by the Mail & Guardian as one of the top 200 Young South Africans in 2019, the same year she rose to international acclaim after being the first African in history to be the winner of the Myrna Brown international scholarship awarded by the National flute association of America.
Mthetwa has also been awarded the international contemporary flutist award by flute Specialists of Michigan. In 2019 she was awarded the Mbokodo award for classical music and Opera. This award recognises women that have shown excellence and leadership in the arts.
In 2018, she won a Standard Bank Ovation award with Pianist Peter Cartwright. She was the winner of both virtuoso classical and jazz categories at the Unisa competition and was awarded the overall winner and Unisa Foundation Prize. In 2019 she went on an extensive tour of the United States performing a programme of only South African music which was received to critical acclaim. She has been described by critics as being “a revelation on how to play the flute.”
Mthetwa is currently the Principal flute of the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. She has also played as principal flute of the Free State symphony and the Eastern Cape philharmonic orchestra. She was shortlisted for the principal flute post of the London philharmonic orchestra, has performed under the Baton of many notable conductors, and continues to be invited to perform as a guest in Orchestra’s in South Africa and Europe.
Mthetwa was appointed as the flute lecturer at Wits University in 2017. She is a passionate teacher and has had her articles published in internationally distributed publications such as The Flutist Quarterly, Sunday Times and Cosmopolitan. She has served on the jury of the national youth competition and the Hubert Van de Spuy competitions and is considered one of the leading performers and pedagogues of flute performance. Her recordings can be regularly heard on Classic FM.