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Caroline accidentally plays the cello

Caroline Robertson

Cellist, Caroline Robertson, 19, from Newlands, Cape Town accidentally became a cellist. The second-year University of Cape Town (UCT) student, majoring in Biochemistry and Genetics initially wanted to audition to play the violin at her school but was rejected.

According to the budding star, there was a long queue of young hopefuls wanting to play the violin, but a substantially shorter queue wanting to play the cello.

The school was happy to take anyone to play cello. She started her cello lessons with Theresa Mills at the age of seven and moved four years later to Cheryl de Havilland, who is still her tutor.

The 2019 National Youth Music Competition (NYMC) is her third bite at the cherry. She was selected to compete in the competition in 2016 and 2018. She progressed both years to the semi-finalist stage.

Although this young musician is not majoring in music, she entered for the NYMC as she likes to have goals to work towards. She says practising on your own is a solitary activity. The competition allows her to meet other young musicians who share her enthusiasm for music.

Caroline’s parents are not playing music, but she has an older brother who plays the violin and piano in his spare time. During her high school years, she took piano lessons with Olga Leonard and achieved the UNISA Grade 7.

Apart from her previous participation in the NYMC, she has participated in many eisteddfods, exams and competitions, including the Hubert van der Spuy Music Competition and the SACS National Music Competition.

Edward Elgar

She admires many composers, saying it is difficult one out. She enjoys the lyricism of the music of composers from the romantic period. In particular, she likes Edward Elgar’s cello concerto and the sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven and Sergei Rachmaninov.

Ludwig van Beethoven and Sergei Rachmaninov

The rising star’s practising hours vary, depending on her UCT commitments. Her other interests include sewing and keeping tropical fish.

On completion of her studies, she would like to pursue a career in Biology.