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Get knocked down seven times, get up eight

Student at the Yehudi Menuhin School in London, United Kingdom, violinist Pendo Masote, 17, hails from Johannesburg. At the 2019 National Youth Music Competition (NYMC), he clinched the bronze medal in the strings category.

The rising star sees this year’s NYMC as an opportunity to play live again. “It is also a barometer to see how far I’ve come since the lockdown,” he says.

Growing up in a musical household, he started playing the violin at the age of five. He tells that according to his parents, it was the instrument he responded to the most, making it like a natural transition. His first music teacher was Liz Rennie.

Since 2017 he has been a pupil of Akiko Ono at the Yehudi Menuhin School, Britain’s flagship specialist music school. He is also a fellow of the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra.

The upcoming star’s father, Kutlwano, is a cellist and conductor of note, running an entertainment organisation with his mother. His younger brother plays the clarinet and the saxophone.

Pendo’s other instrument is the piano, adding that his piano playing is nowhere as well as his favourite instrument, the violin. He practises anywhere between four and five hours on a good day. On a bad day, it varies between three to four hours.

For the 2021 NYMC the young musician is preparing to play a varied repertoire of nine works. He is an avid collector of vinyl and plays football to maintain a balanced lifestyle.

Austrian prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is this upcoming violinist’s favourite composer as his compositions are lyrical and inclusive.

At the moment his plans are not clear but he would love to one day be able to write and create music that transcends all genres of music.

A real diehard his motto is: “Get knocked down seven times, get up eight”.