A Coniston Park man was one of ten musicians chosen to perform solo pieces with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the Youth Classical Music Concert, at the Artscape, on Saturday.
Cellist Dane Coetzee, 32, played Kol Nidrei, a composition for cello and orchestra written by Max Bruch.
The ten soloists represented young classical musicians of the past, present and future. Their performances were part of the concert’s 50th anniversary celebrations. The Artscape theatre is also marking its 50th anniversary this year.
Coetzee says his love for music started when he was about 9, watching his mother and brother take part in their church orchestra. He believes that if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.
“I was introduced to the cello at church. Before then, I had never heard of the instrument because it wasn’t common growing up in Steenberg.”
His mother then insisted on more lessons for him and, at 16, he auditioned for the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra after seeing an ad in the Southern Mail. He was accepted and has been performing ever since. He has studied cello performance at UCT and Stellenbosch University.
His long list of musical accomplishments includes solo cello performances on the soundtracks of the local movies, Fiela se Kind and Noem My Skollie.
He encourages parents to foster a love for music in their children as his parents did.
“My parents didn’t discourage me and made it possible for me to make a living by doing something I love. They encouraged me to follow my dreams which was the basis of my success.
“Music breaks barriers, and it helps you forget about all your problems at that moment. It serves as something that uplifts you. I’ve had many bad days, but the moment I picked up the cello, I felt better.
“Music is very important for our youth, and it teaches you so much. I wish every child can experience playing an instrument because once you have that skill, it’s one you will have for the rest of your life.”
Coetzee is a full-time member of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and is doing post-graduate studies in cello performance at Stellenbosch University.
The Youth Classical Music Concert concert will be aired on Fine Music Radio (FMR) on Sunday October 10, at 3 pm. It will also premiere with free access on the Artscape YouTube channel.