Silent Mourning – Music for Easter Meditation
Lynelle Kenned (soprano), Albert Combrink (piano), Sally Minter (flute), Sarah Acres (cello)
Simonstown Methodist Church
Sunday 13 April
Arias and instrumental items were specially chosen to provide a non-denominational devotional experience for audience members to reflect and meditate on the Easter experience. Reflective works for soprano and obbligato instruments centred around the great St. Matthew Passion by J.S. Bach are interspersed with works as removed in time as they are interconnected in subject matter, including Hildegard von Bingen and Sergei Rachmaninov. The programme will include the world premiere of a “Silent Mourning” by Dr. Steven van der Merwe, written especially for this ensemble at the request of Albert Combrink.
Combrink & Acres are well known for their “Reflections” and “Meditation” programmes that have been so successful over the last few years. Expanding this concept into a larger ensemble is Royal Academy Graduate Sally Minter (flute) and soprano Lynelle Kenned (Top Billing, Passella, Blood Brothers). An unforgettable experience of exquisite music for Easter, in an exquisite setting.
Lynelle Kenne CV:
A star graduate of the UCT Opera School and a member of the award-winning South African Sopranos, Lynelle is no stranger to the stage. She has been entertaining audiences for years from the local Baxter-, Artscape- and State theaters, to Brown University and even the British Parliament. Lynelle became a beloved TV personality as the runner-up in the Top Billing Presenter Search, subsequently joining Pasella as their latest presenter and expanding her skills by adding voice over artist, MC and motivational speaker to her vast repertoire. Career highlights include performing with Katherine Jenkins, and master classes with Juilliard’s Brian Zeger. This past year saw her making her debut in David Kramer’s musical “Blood Brothers”, and collaborating with DJ Fresh’s Big Dawg Productions.
Sally Minter CV:
Sally Minter recently graduated with a Master of Arts with merit from the Royal Academy of Music in London. Studying under Paul Edmund-Davies and Patricia Morris, Sally performed in the Royal Academy of Music Concert Orchestra under such esteemed conductors as Marin Alsop and Semyon Bychkov in a highly acclaimed performance of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony. During her time in London, Sally excelled in the competition circuit as a semi-finalist in the Orpheus Musician of the Year Competition and receiving the highest accolade of “outstanding” in the Croydon Concerto Competition. As a highlight of her Masters degree, Sally performed in masterclasses for some of the most famous flautists in the world, including William Bennett, Emily Beynon and principal of the Berlin Philharmonic, Andreas Blau.
Sally was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, and first started learning the flute at the age of thirteen under Corvin Matei before moving to Bridget Rennie Salonen with whom she studied for eight years. During her undergraduate degree at the University of Cape Town, Sally performed as a soloist with every major orchestra in the country, including the Cape Town, Johannesburg and KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestras. She also performed as an on-stage soloist in Cape Town Opera’s production of Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims which was described by the Cape Times as “beguiling”. She graduated in 2011 with distinction, receiving the class medal for three consecutive years as the highest performing student in her year. As a highlight of her performance career thus far, Sally was the winner of the Fine Music Radio Nussbaum Award in 2011, resulting in a live radio interview and a generous study bursary. Orchestrally, Sally has performed as the principal flautist of both the Free State Symphony and Cape Town Festival Orchestras. In 2014, Sally will be performing with internationally famous flautist, Paul Edmund-Davies.
Sarah Acres CV
Born in London, Sarah studied the cello with Michael Evans at the Royal College of Music. She won several RCM awards including the Ivor James Prize for her performance of the first Shostakovich Cello Concerto, and the Helen Just Recital Prize, before graduating with a GRSM(Hons) degree and ARCM Teaching Diploma in 1983.
She free-lanced with many British orchestras before gaining a permanent post with the RTE Symphony Orchestra in Ireland. In 1985 she came to South Africa to join the Natal Philharmonic orchestra, where she became the co-principal cellist. During this time she made several appearances a soloist with the NPO, made many recordings for the SABC and was a regular performer of chamber music. She has also been member of the RTE Symphony Orchestra in Ireland and the Cape Town Symphony -and Philharmonic Orchestras. She coaches for both the annual Franschhoek Chamber Music Week, and for the South African Amateur Chamber Music Players. She has given Masterclasses in Grahamstown to both school and university pupils.
Sarah is a busy free-lance player and is also actively involved in performing chamber music around the country, including regular appearances in the Concerts 4×2 series of Baroque Music with Professor Shirley Gie.
Albert Combrink (Piano) CV:
Albert Combrink performs as pianist and accompanist in classical and contemporary music. He recently returned from touring South-East Asia (Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia) where he performed solo concerts and held masterclasses during the Arts Festivals of Singapore and Bali. Albert completed his MMUS at Natal University and also holds three UNISA Licentiates in Solo Performance, Piano Accompaniment and Piano Teaching (Cum Laude). He made his concerto debut with the Natal Philharmonic at the age of 18.
He was finalist in the National ATKV Music Competition. Other prizes include the UND Performer’s Prize, UND Composer’s Competition, the Young Natal Chamber Music Competition, and the Durban Youth Concerto Festival. He received Master Classes from amongst others, Graham Johnson, Anton Nel, Martini Tirimo, Prof Bernd Goetzke. His recordings include Hindemith’s Piano Concerto Four Temperaments with the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra under David Tidboald, through radio and television broadcasts (including BBC World), works by Hofmeyr and Schnittke with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and was reviewed in the international Gramophone Magazine.
He was repetiteur for the UCT Opera School as well as Cape Town Opera. He was vocal coach for the Portabello company’s Magic Flute which sold out in London’s West End and won the prestigious London Critic’s Olivier Theatre Award. With this company he had the chance to work with BBC’s “The Face of Classical Music”, Charles Hazelwood, and Sir Simon Rattle.
As member of the Cape Town Tango Ensemble he has performed at all the major festivals in the country, with performers and directors such as Mark Hoeben, Ina Wichterich and Marthinus Basson. His work with the CT Tango Ensemble includes two CD’s, El Tango En Africa and Tango Club and has been used on television and in film.
He also co-wrote 3 Arts & Culture Textbooks and Teachers’ Guides for Maskew Miller Longman publications, which have sold more than 100 000 copies.
As concert organiser and accompanist he has worked with a number of South African and international singers, including Prof. Virginia Davids, Hans van Heerden and Virgina Oosthuizen, to name only a few. Highlights with international artists include a concert tour with American soprano Judith Kellock of American and South African Contemporary Art Song. He was also repetiteur for British superstar Lesley Garret on her tour to South Africa and appeared on Top Billing accompanying Welsh Superstar Katherine Jenkins.
Dr Steven van der Merwe has been studying composition with Peter Louis van Dijk and was awarded the degree M.Mus (composition) cum laude in 2013. He is also director/conductor of the Chamber Orchestra, Pro Musica Divina, which holds regular concerts in the Southern Peninsula. Steven’s composition “Eleven – a Requiem for a Parent” for choir and orchestra premiered at the St. George’s Cathedral in 2011 under his baton and with the talents of the UCT choir and the St. George’s Singers.
He has composed various other works for cello sextet; cello and piano as well as works for string orchestra. Other compositions include his “Blacksmith Mass” (for choir; organ and string quintet); “Dans la Pluie” (for Harp; flute and string orchestra (premiered by Liesl Stoltz and Jacqui Kerrod in 2012) and “Tantum Ergo” – composed for the Herschel chorale