Russian Trios

Albert Combrink presents a “Heart Music” project on Sunday 22nd October at Erin Hall with a programme of Russian music.

All the pieces chosen are those he has loved for many years and finally has found musicians who feel an equal passion. The Piano Trios have a very special quality – rich and melodious, virtuosic and challenging, and containing some of the most beautifully luscious music in the chamber music repertoire. From the young Rachmaninov’s first passionate foray into the intimate world of the trio, to the almost symphonic scope of the war time trio by the mature Shostakovich, the programme will also include solo works for each of the instruments: Scriabin Piano Etudes, Rachmaninov’s Cello Sonata and Vocalise as well as the romantic film soundtrack of Shostakovich’s “Gadfly”.

Albert, one of South Africa’s most versatile pianists, is joined by Cheryl de Havilland on cello and violinist Nicole D’Oliveira. Cheryl – a Royal College of Music graduate who counts Jaqueline du Pre amongst her teachers- is an established performer in orchestral and chamber music, and Nicole is a UCT Graduate with a wide range of performing and teaching interests. Both were recently seen performing as part of the first Cape Town Baroque Festival at St Andrews.

This “Heart Music” project marks their first performance together as a trio. They are joined for some ultra-romantic Tchaikovsky songs, by Albert’s long-time stage partner, the multi-facetted soprano Louise Howlett, known for her performances from Baroque oratorio to Jazz. As always, the artists will introduce the works, providing context and stories to ensure maximum audience engagement for all age-groups.

The concert is held in the beautiful and intimate Erin Hall, Erin Road, Rondebosch at 4pm on Sunday 22nd October. Tickets: R120 /R100 /R80 at the door although advance booking is advised from QUICKET

For more information: 082 365 6634 or email

Albert Combrink (Photo: Elzahn Johnson)

Albert Combrink
(Photo: Elzahn Johnson)

Albert Combrink is a multi-faceted pianist working in a variety of genres: from classical, instrumental and vocal accompaniment, chamber music, musicals, opera, jazz and tango, as well as composer and arranger. Whilst his first musical studies were on french horn and piano, his love of working with voices took him into the realms of accompaniment and coaching at the UCT Opera School, Cape Town Opera and the award winning Isango Portabello Company. He has coached many of South Africa’s great singers and was vocal coach for Brett Bailey’s Macbeth which has received international acclaim. He also ran a performance academy with musical greats Judy Page and Kim Kallie. He is invited regularly to accompany artists on Kyknet, Ontbytsake, Expresso including the international cross-over star Katherine Jenkins on Top Billing. He is Music Director for projects including Concert in a Convent Garden and Dance for a Cure. He performs regularly with local and international artists, most recently violinist Amelia Chan and in 2016 he won a Fiesta Award for Hunkering na die Ses which he co-wrote with Lynelle Kenned and Clint Lesch.  He is a long term member of South Africa’s premiere Cape Town Tango Ensemble with whom he has recorded three award winning cds. In addition he also loves to dance tango when he gets time. Other skills include being co-author of 3 Arts and Culture Textbooks which have sold over 100 000 copies. Albert is currently teaching at Springfield Convent.

Nicole D'Oliveira (Violin)

Nicole D’Oliveira (Violin)

Nicole D’Oliveira grew up in Namibia and moved to South Africa in 2008 when she began her music studies at the College of Music at UCT. Under the tuition of Prof. Farida Bacharova, she obtained a distinction in her BMus degree in 2012 and graduated with a Post Graduate Diploma in violin performance in 2014. During her studies, she was concert master of the UCT Symphony Orchestra for two years, was a soloist at their concerto festival and also took part in the ATKV competition, where she proceeded to the 2nd round.

In the second year of her studies, Nicole was invited to perform the first movement of the Mendelssohn violin concerto in Swakopmund at the annual Musikwoche. She has been a violin lecturer at this prominent Namibian festival for the past 5 years. Nicole was invited as a guest soloist to perform the Bruch violin concerto in Windhoek with the Namibian National Orchestra in 2015 as well as “Winter” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in their Baroque Concerto Festival in 2016.

Currently, Nicole is the violin teacher at the Silvermine Music Academy and Western Province Preparatory School. Her String Orchestra at WPPS has been on tour to the Eastern Cape in 2016 and performed works by Offenbach, Handel and Vivaldi at their concert held in the Cape Town City Hall in June 2017.

Nicole performs regularly with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, Camerata Tinta Barocca and will also be joining the prominent Juliet String Quartet in their performance in Franschoek later this month.


Cheryl de Havilland (Cello)

Cheryl de Havilland (Cello)

CHERYL DE HAVILLAND was born in London and began playing the cello at the age of 8. At 11 she won a bursary to study music at the Royal College of Music and she later went on to study cello with Thomas Igloi and Lilli Phillips at the Royal Academy of Music. Cheryl has attended Master classes with, amongst others, Joan Dickson, Christopher Bunting and Jacqueline du Pre.

Cheryl first came to South Africa for the inauguration of the Pretoria State Opera House, and then to Cape Town as co-principal cellist in the Capab Orchestra. Later she joined the CTSO and the CTPO. She has extensive experience playing chamber music and held the position of cellist in the Cape Town String Quartet for 5 years, giving concerts both in South Africa and overseas in Chile, South America. She is a member of the cello sextet, I Grandi Violoncellisti. Cheryl is an established cello teacher in Cape Town with many years of experience at all levels of playing.