Just after I finished school at Grey College in Bloemfontein, South Africa I moved to Pretoria in 1996 to study piano with master piano teacher Joseph Stanford at the University of Pretoria. At the time I did not know a single soul in Gauteng and acted purely on recommendation and the reputation of this great teacher.
I was fortunate to be welcomed into his studio with so much encouragement and with his knowledge and experience of many years it was the information overload I had longed for. My fellow students included some of the big names in piano circles of South Africa at the time and I had a lot of catching up to do. Learning form a great teacher is one of the most exhilarating feelings I have ever experienced. Every lesson was an adventure and an eye opening journey in music.
Last week I took a young student of mine to professor Stanford for a master class and after years of not being in his studio I was once again amazed at his ability to pin point the most important elements of taste, nuance and colour in each score. This photo was taken in the ZK Mathew’s Hall in 1998 after I was awarded the first prize at the UNISA Overseas Music Scholarship Competition.
I am humbled to have studied with such a great teacher and will always treasure the many jokes, stories and insight I take with me on my journey in music every day.