I am an established Solo Harpist, Teacher and Inventor. I perform widely in Gauteng.
I have established myself as a solo concert harpist around Gauteng and as far as Bloemfontein and Gabarone. In addition to solo work, I have found a particular niche in weddings and corporate functions.
I have formed a Harp Quartet with my colleagues in Johannesburg. We have learnt and performed all the works in existence in the world, for harp quartet. Then I arranged a 4 th part of a variety of arrangements for harp trio, so that we have a quartet as well. Now we can perform as a Trio or as a Quartet. Then I also arranged two works for Harp Quartet myself – The Gold and Silver Waltz of Léhar, and the Ouverture to Orpheus in the Underworld, incorporating the main Waltz theme from Gaieté Parisienne, by Offenbach. I am responsible for about 30 minutes of the world repertoire for harp quartet.
I have made extensive arrangements for harp of the piano accompaniments of a wide selection of Lieder and opera arias for various vocal ranges, and performed these with singers in a multitude of harp and voice recitals over 20 years.
Together with flautists such as Amanda du Preez-Bosch, Malané Hofmeyr-Burger, Meryl Neille and Dawid Venter, I have performed some of the most respected original concert compositions for this combination, including the Casilda Fantasy (Doppler and Zamara), Sonata by Damase, and Mozart Harp and Flute Concerto, with piano accompaniment, as well as accompaniment by Salon Music’s ensemble (Willem Vogel’s arrangement). I performed a harp and flute recital in the State Theatre with Amanda Bosch. I performed the Mozart Harp and Flute Concerto together with Marlene Verwey and the Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra at the Brooklyn Theatre.
I arranged 6 hours of music for harp, upper voice and lower voice obligato, of which I wrote the obligato parts myself. I have all the harp accompaniment scores, and I can perform them all, and I have the other two instrumentalists’ parts available, each in their appropriate keys and clefs. They can all be performed without the 3rd voice obligato, as duos. This is predominantly gig music, but it is about 6 hours. If I could publish it, it would make 3 handy albums for gig musicians of this trio combination.
I have frequently performed with Salon Music, as harpist in their small to medium ensembles. For these performances, I have mostly made the arrangement of my harp parts myself, per Director Willem Vogel’s directives.
I have formed a unique Duo with Symphonic Accordionist and international juror Sergio Zampolli. According to our knowledge, we are the only two people in the world doing this, we could not find any repertoire from any publisher anywhere in the world. Our repertoire now comprises 120 arrangements (our own) of popular classical works including one full harp concerto – I play the harp and Sergio plays the orchestral accompaniment.
In addition to my concerto, I have learnt the piano reduction of an accordion concerto, then I accompany this for Sergio on the piano. We can have a double concerto programme.
For fifteen years running, we performed together regularly, in ± 300 concerts all over Gauteng, and as far as Bloemfontein and the Drakensberg, at various Arts Festivals as well as private concerts and functions.
I have established myself as an orchestral harpist. I have played in every orchestra in the country, except in Cape Town. I have played the harp part in most of the major operas performed by these orchestras, as well as shows, musicals, and a wide range of symphony concerts. I consider myself an experienced stage orchestra and pit orchestra harpist. I have made a name for myself as the harpist who can always be called in for an emergency.
I have invented a Pedal Display Unit for Harpists, which could help overcome the tremendous difficulty of the pedals, which is experienced by every harpist in the world. I presented my design to an electronic engineer, Graham Guthrie, who installed it into my harps. It can be installed into a harp, or attached separately. It will revolutionise a harpist’s problems with pedals, the same way Maelzel’s invention of the metronome revolutionised problems with rhythm and the way electronic tuners revolutionised problems with tuning. It is also small and compact, and the engineer will supply fitting instructions.
In order to keep up with all the arrangements I am doing, I have mastered Encore, Overture, and Sibelius for the production of my arrangements. I prefer to work with Sibelius.
I have established myself in teaching of all my major disciplines – theory, harp and piano, digital keyboard, and since 2015 the piano accordion. I have taught students up to Gr 7 UNISA in theory and I have taught harp up to 4th year performance level at the University of Pretoria.
The piano has always been my second instrument, but upon having to teach the digital keyboard in recent years, I have become very fascinated with the instrument. I obtained a Yamaha Clavinova CVP 403 and I studied it thoroughly, to the point that I can produce recordings, make backtracks, and perform repertoire with numerous registration changes, as a solo, or together with backtracks that I produced. I love the instrument and foresee a fruitful future for myself with it. I even endeavoured to undertake Grade 7 with Trinity College of Music (London), on the Digital Keyboard and passed with merit in 2009. In 2010 I undertook Grade 8 with Trinity College, and passed with merit, as well as Grade 8 with London College of Music (University of West London), and passed with distinction. I am thrilled to have Grade 8 from two different Examination Boards.
In 2015, my husband Sergio Zampolli and I were commissioned to compile the Accordion Syllabus for the London College of Music (University of West London). This inspired me to learn the accordion as well, and in 2018 I completed Grade 8 Accordion from the London College of music, with distinction. I am now able to play the accordion, teach and make arrangements for accordion, for myself or for my pupils. I arrange many solo pieces for accordion duet.
I have transcribed 4 files of music for accordion, of intermediate level, that can be used at functions. The four file are accessible for all accorionists, who would like to perform at functions with the following themes:
• French Songs
• Spanish Songs
• Italian Songs
• Around-the-World Songs (a large variety of songs that do not fall into either French, Spanish or Italian repertoire, e.g. songs from countries like Turkey, India, Australia, Czech Republic and Poland, etc.)
So far, I have also taught the accordion up to grade 5 level and my pupils have obtained outstanding results over the last few years.
A few exceptional other highlights of my life include:
- In my matric year, I accompanied the Drakensberg Boys Choir with the Ceremony of Carols of Benjamin Britten, in concerts all over the country.
- In 1981, I was awarded the D.J. Roode overseas scholarship for Teacher’s licentiate in Harp, from UNISA.
- 1999 Orchestra member for the Three Tenors (Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti), during their Bravo Africa! Concert, at the Union Buildings, Pretoria.
- 2000 Duke of Edinburgh Awards Dinner with Duo 2000 performing as artists for Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, at the Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg.
- 2010 Guest artist with Duo 2000 at the St David’s Day concert of the Welsh Male Voice Choir of Africa at the Linder Auditorium in Johannesburg.
- 2010 Guest artist with Duo 2000 at the Music in the Mountains Festival with the Drakensberg Boys Choir, Rina Hugo (soprano) and JP Malan (cellist).
- On Friday 8 July 2010, I was the harpist in the Festival Orchestra, for the FIFA World Cup Final Concert, featuring Andrea Boccelli, Flautist Andrea Griminelli and Bryan Adams, together with South African singers Pretty Yende and Nianell, at the Coca-Cola Dome in Northworld, conducted by Marcello Rota.
- In 2015 I was commissioned by the London College of Music (University of West London) to compile an Accordion Syllabus. At the moment, this institute is the only examination board that offers Accordion grade examinations. This event launched the accordion component of my activities as a musician.
- in 2017 I was appointed as the Randburg Representative of the London College of Music.
- in 2018 I completed an apprenticeship which qualified me as an Accordion Technician. Since then I could commence business by starting AccordionClinicSA. At the end of 2019 I had repaired 118 accordions.