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Pianist believes hard work brings fun

Gerhard Joubert

With the motto: “Extreme hard work is the key to fun”, Gerhard Joubert, 17, from Stellenbosch in the Western Cape is a learner at Jan van Riebeeck High School in Cape Town. This year’s National Youth Music Competition (NYMC) is his second. He currently studies piano with Prof François du Toit.

The young star’s music career started at the age of 6 when his mother Liza, a pianist, bought him a recorder that he used to play some tunes. His first piano teacher was Alta du Preez. Apart from the piano, he also plays recorder, organ and he can sing too. He says his family is very accommodating with him practicing at home.

Music runs in the family with his father a keen amateur musician and an older brother who also plays music. He was a member of the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir from 2011 to 2014, where he won numerous academic and music prizes and travelled the world as a soprano soloist.

With piano as his instrument of choice, Gerhard plans to follow a career in music.

Last year, he won the silver medal in the National Hennie Joubert Piano Competition, as well as two special prizes. He was also the runner-up in the piano category of the NYMC. He was also awarded the Pauline Nossel Prize for the best performance of a classical work by a pianist.

Johan Sebastian Bach

Johan Sebastian Bach is his favourite composer as Bach’s music combines intellect, spirit and emotion.

Gerhard has four times been a participant at the Franschhoek Chamber Music Workshop. His other extramural activities are mathematics, tennis, cross country and chess.

His motivation for entering the NYMC is that it offers him “a great opportunity to perform lots of beautiful music in a brilliant hall”.