Second-timer at the National Youth Music Competition, Liam Slabbert, 16, from Durbanville in Cape Town is a learner at Durbanville High School.
The tall young musician is the only bassoonist at the NYMC. It is the only instrument he plays, but he would like to start playing the cello. Prior to him starting lessons with Carin Bam when he was nine years old, he played like most children, the recorder. Carin is still his tutor.
With the motto: Do what you love, Liam’s parents are both doctors, but his older sister plays various musical instruments with the violin as the prominent instrument.
Since starting out as a Bassoonist, the rising star has passed all the ABRSM exams with distinction, including Grade 6 in 2018. He has been selected to play as a soloist with the Hugo Lambrechts Symphony Orchestra and was a semi-finalist and runner-up in the woodwinds category in the SAMRO, Johann Vos Piccolo and Mini-Maestros Competitions.
At last year’s NYMC Liam went through to the semi-finalist round. He was also awarded the prize for the best performance of a South African work, the runner-up prize in the category for other instruments and the shadow jury prize for the most promising competitor who was not a finalist.
Time allowing the young bassoonist pushes to practice two hours per day, but at times he has to deal with his sister’s irritation as she is writing her matric this year.
Like fellow contestant, Pieter Joubert, his favourite composer is Camille Saint-Saëns, saying his music is really colourful and he feels as if his specific style of composing for the bassoon is very dynamic and truly encapsulates all the good aspects of the bassoon.
The budding young bassoonist enters the NYMC as he believes it would be good experience for the future to be prepared to showcase himself on an international level.
This member of the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra wants to study music when he finishes school. Music has always been his dream. It will give him the chance to express himself every day doing his job while living his passion.