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Pianist driven to share the beauty in music

Silver medallist of the 35th National Youth Music Competition in 2019, pianist Gerhard Joubert, 19, is excited to participate again in this year’s competition.

In 2019 he was the piano category winner. He received the prize for the best performance of a South African work and the Pauline Nossel prize for the best performance of a classical work by a pianist. He was also awarded the invitation prize from the Namibian National Symphony Orchestra (NNSO) to perform at its Concerto Festival in Windhoek.

Born in Pretoria, Gerhard is currently studying piano under Francois du Toit at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He resides in Rosebank, a student-dominated suburb of Cape Town.

Measured by his extramural activities, he seems like a real strategist and brain box. These include mathematics, chess and running. Gerhard loves many musical instruments, including the French horn, double bass, viola, organ, and harpsichord. He took organ, recorder and singing lessons in the past, but the piano remains his favourite and his focus as an instrument.

He started music lessons on the recorder at age six with Oerka van Tonder as his first teacher. Piano came later at age nine and his first teacher was Alta du Preez.

Music runs strong in the family. His mother is a pianist and his physicist father plays the piano as a hobby. “I have an older brother who plays the piano beautifully,” he says proudly. According to him, his family is very kind. They do not mind hearing him practise when he is home.

German composer Johann Sebastian Bach is his favourite composer. "His music combines and balances the intellectual and the emotional," he explains.

On completion of his undergraduate degree, Gerhard wants to further his learning by delving into the musical compositions that he loves and learning more about their backgrounds.

With the motto: "You will lead a meaningful life if you work hard, with passion and dedication," he entered the NYMC as he enjoys performing and sharing his favourite music with people. “The competition provides one with a rare chance of playing with a professional orchestra in the final round, something that I value greatly,” he says passionately.