Young violinist wow crowd at the festival

Pendo Masote, thirteen year old violinist made his debut performance at the Grahamstown Arts Festival this week Picture: Sibongile Ngalwa
Pendo Masote, thirteen year old violinist made his debut performance at the Grahamstown Arts Festival this week Picture: Sibongile Ngalwa
Young violin maestro Pendo Masoteʼs dream to perform on iconic stages with the best in the music world was birthed this week as he made he made his début at the National Arts Festival yesterday and again today to impressive crowds of music lovers.

The thirteen (13) year old violinist is making waves in the music industry, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, Kutlwano and Michael Masote.

Crowd members, young and old, gathered inside the Beethoven room at the Rhodes Music School on Friday evening to hear the young man create magic with his hands.

Displaying a high quality of finesse and focus, Masote and his band JF Viljoen on the piano, Elizabeth Rennie and Hayley Jackson on violins, Michaela van Blerk on viola and Caleb Vaughn Jones on the cello treated the crowd to renditions of classical music stalwarts such as Mozart, Antonio Vivaldi, Fritz Kreisler as well as John Legendʼs All of me and Adele’s Someone like You.

His different pieces allowed the audience to enjoy various sounds of the violin. Masote and his pianist set the tone in the dimly lit room as they alternated the violin and the piano.

As the performance heated up, audience members experienced various musical textures as the violin and piano, as well as the rest of the ensemble, kept the crowd fixated on the interchanging dynamics of the music.

On some parts, the renditions would get increasingly loud until all the instruments met at the top with a bang, and then steadily change to a moderate level until the music concluded, with Masote leading the flow of the performance.

Young Masoteʼs talent was cultivated in an environment where arts was embraced.

His grandfather Michael was one of the country’s most loved classical music, stalwarts, known best for his conducting and educators, while his father Kutlwano has earned his reputation as an acclaimed classical music conductor and cellist.

Their love for music gave birth to a third generation of talent in Pendo, who fell in love with music at age three, and began his violin lessons at the age of five.

Pendo is currently the youngest member of the South African National Youth Orchestra. He also has numerous awards under his belt, and is off to Italy in July to participate in II Piccolo Violin Magico competition. The world is an oyster for Pendo who is off to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School in England as of September.

Masote is a natural on strings. Taking his sound in with your eyes closed, you are reminded of scenes from the movie August Rush. His musical interests reflect the tastes of a young teen fascinated by mature, classic sound. His shows are enjoyable to an ear which appreciates intellectually stimulating music.

Catch him tonight for his final show at the Graham Hotel, as he entertains the audience with the lighter sounds of Adele, Michael Jackson and Clean Bandit.-

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