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Young cellist set his sights on playing with the CPO

Willie Naudé

Cellist Willie Naudé, 17, from Wilropark, Roodepoort in Gauteng is a Grade 11 learner at Monument High in Krugersdorp.

This first-time contestant in the National Youth Music Competition (NYMC) has participated in other smaller competitions and sees the NYMC as a big challenge. He is determined to do his best so that he can perform with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) at the Finalists’ Gala Concert on Saturday 12 October.

The aspiring young star began playing the violin at the age of four under the tutelage of his mother, who is a violinist. His first cello teacher was Karin Scholtz and currently he studies with Carel Henn. His first love is the cello, but like his father, he is also playing the piano. His younger brother also plays the cello and their sister is a violinist.

Willie has already notched up a string of awards, including two-times overall winner in the NEA Young Performers in 2017 and 2019. In 2013 he walked away with the laurels in the Philip Moore Competition, followed being runner-up in 2015 and 2016, as well as at the Roedean Competition in 2018 and 2019.

He is a member of the Simfonia Juventi Youth Orchestra since 2015 and participated since 2017 annually in the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival. As part of the Tres Amici piano trio that was category winners of the Pretoria SASMT Ensemble competition in 2017 and 2018.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

The rising star’s favourite composer is currently Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, describing his music as colourful and emotional Willie also has a soft spot for music from the romantic period.

With the motto: Every day is a second chance. With God all things are possible, his dream is to become a member of a Philharmonic Orchestra either in England or Germany and maybe become a teacher at a university.

He tries to practice two hours per day amid all his extramural activities that include playing with orchestras, other music ensembles and playing tennis.