Coming from a musical family, Pendo Masote, 15, from Victoria in Johannesburg is another first-timer at the National Youth Music Competition (NYMC).
According to his parents, this rising star responded to music while still in the womb. The sound of the violin particularly got him kicking. No surprise that this young violinist started playing his favourite instrument at the age of five. He has a younger brother who plays the clarinet and piano.
His first music teacher was Lizzie Rennie. In 2014 he became a pupil of Irina Tsoniff, an exponent of the Russian school of violin playing. Currently, he is studying music at the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin School of Music in London. Luckily, he will be at home on vacation when the NYMC takes place.
His father is a cellist, conductor and well-known voice as a radio presenter on Classic 1027 in the City of Gold.
He became the youngest member of the South African National Youth Orchestra and in 2016 he was chosen to take part in the South African National Youth Orchestra/Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra master classes conducted by members of the Concertgebouw in Johannesburg.
In 2016 Pendo won the first prize in the Great Composers Online Music Competition for the best 17th-century composition performance in the category 11-13 years. He was awarded the first prize in the primary schools' category of the 2016 Grahamstown National Music Competition as well as the prize for the Best Overall String player at the competition. Pendo has also performed as soloist with the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Johannesburg, and the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra.
He also plays the piano, but the violin is by far his favourite instrument. According to him, he practices roughly between four and five hours per day. It translates to an average of 30 hours per week.
The young star entered the NYMC to measure how far he has progressed in terms of his playing ability. In his free time, Pendo likes to play football, swimming and doing art. On completion of school he plans to do further studies in music, as it has always been close to his heart and “is part of me”.
His favourite composer is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his dream is to travel the world through music.