Charl du Plessis most recently made headlines when he became the first pianist ever to perform on top of Table Mountain. He rose to fame when he was the youngest pianist in Africa to be named a Steinway Artist in 2010. He has since embarked on an international career working simultaneously as classical and jazz pianist and has illuminated the music of from Bach to Billie Joel for a new generation of listeners.
In 2017 Charl du Plessis became the first pianist ever to perform on top of Cape Town’s wonder of nature; Table Mountain and was invited to perform at the opening of Steinway Hall, Beijing.
Since making the decision to establish his own jazz trio 2006, Charl du Plessis has alerted audiences to the complexities and capabilities of combining jazz and classic music. The creative possibilities of this musical unit have offered him the means to produce a wide range of music not confined by any style or genre.
His specialisation in the arrangement and refined treatment of crossover music sets him apart from other pianists and has enabled him to build a new audience where the classic music connoisseur and jazz enthusiast meet. The confidence which is afforded by performing his own and thoroughly original arrangements, combined with his classical piano expertise allows him to combine the art of improvisation with insightful and interpretative musicianship.
Charl du Plessis has collaborated with many pre-eminent musicians and has performed with South Africa’s most prestigious orchestras: Johannesburg Philharmonic and Cape Town Philharmonic. International concert tours to Europe and the Far-East in concert halls ranging from London’s Royal Albert Hall, Hamburg’s Elphilharmonie to Shanghai’s Oriental Arts Centre have contributed to the press hailing Du Plessis as a “cult pianist” an “edu-tainer” and a pianist with “x-factor”.
For the past 20 years he has performed in more than 60 concerts per year with singer and iconic South African entertainer Nataniël.
Charl du Plessis lives in Pretoria, South Africa and has spent the first part of his life, dividing his time between concert life, and chamber music and, over the last few years, a teaching position at the University of Pretoria. He performs more than 130 concerts per season and pursues a comprehensive approach to the musical profession, organising his own management, recording under his own independent label, as well as Swiss label Claves, and studying the art of piano building and the latest sound technology. He has developed a similar approach to recording, a process that he controls at each and every stage. He has released 9 CD and 2 DVD recordings.
During his work as classical pianist and the 11-year collaboration with his trio has earned him many awards and prizes. His recordings have featured as no. 1 on classical billboard charts and have been awarded distinguished awards at National Arts Festivals for productions that include his GERSHWIN SONGBOOK and Charl du Plessis Trio Baroqueswing. He has won a Ghoema, Fiësta and most recently two SAMA awards for Best Classical/Instrumental album in 2017 and 2018.
Charl du Plessis studied with master piano teacher Joseph Stanford at the University of Pretoria and was the first student ever to complete a doctoral performance degree specializing simultaneously in classical and jazz piano. He also studied with well-known musicians, including György Sebök in Ernen, Switzerland, Dan Hearle and Stefan Karlsson at the University of North Texas, USA and Ulrich Koellah at the Musikhochschule Winterthur-Zurich, Switzerland. He has been the recipient of major prizes at International Scholarship Competitions of the University of South Africa (UNISA) and the South African Music Rights Organization (SAMRO).
His most recent recording is Freehand – his first solo album.