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Youth concertmaster joins the fray

Jordan Brooks

First-timer to the National Youth Music Competition (NYMC), Jordan Brooks, 16, hails from Fairways in Cape Town’s southern suburbs. This young music star is the concertmaster of the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and a learner at Westerford High in Rondebosch, Cape Town.

He entered the NYMC to gain more experience, as well as the fact that he gets the chance to perform some “amazing” pieces by a wide range of composers. The NYMC is his first competition in four years.

At the age of three he fell in love with the sound of the violin, but only saw what it look like three years later on television and knew he wants to master the instrument. His first and current teacher is Anne-Marié Swanepoel.

With a mother and aunt who are singers, plus a grandfather and uncle that plays the piano and the drums, Jordan’s veins pump music. It seems as if he snatched all the musical genes as his younger sister has no interest in playing an instrument.

Since the age of 11, the young concertmaster rendered numerous solo performances of works by Mendelssohn, Lalo, Wieniawski, Bériot and others, followed with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the Hugo Lambrechts Orchestra and the Beau Soleil Senior Strings.

Maurice Ravel

Jordan also plays the piano and Maurice Ravel is his beloved composer, saying he finds the composer’s music “very satisfying” as his music just flows as one big phrase.

His family is very supportive of the rising star who practices two to four hours per day. He admits it gets a little bit too much for them if he practices more than four hours.

In 2015 Jordan was the overall winner of the SAMRO Hubert van der Spuy Music Competition. The following year he won the junior section of the Hugo Lambrechts 30th Birthday Competition. He participated as first violinist in the Miagi Youth Orchestra’s 2018 tour of Europe. Important inputs came from master classes by well-known performers and teachers such as Marc Bouchkov, Alexander Gilman, Philippe Graffin, Christina Brabetz, Gareth Lubbe and André Swanepoel.

When he has the opportunity he likes to go for a run. He says he doesn’t have a specific motto in life, but whenever he and his friend worry about something they just say to each other: “It is going to be fine”, and those words usually get him through the day.

On completion of school, Jordan would like to further his studies overseas towards becoming a professional violinist and to participate in a few international music festivals.