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A rose and five thorns vie for music title

National Youth Music Chairman, Michael Maas, with the six finalists of the 2021 National Youth Music Competition. At the back are Mike Wang, Eike Coetzee and Leo Huan. In front are Daniël Spies, Gerhard Joubert and Esihle Mthethwa.

Flautist Esihle Mthethwa, 16, from Pietermaritzburg is the only rose among five thorns to compete in the National Youth Music Competition’s Finalist’s Gala Concert on Saturday 11 December 2021.

The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) will accompany them at the concert.

The five thorns are viola player Eike Coetzee, 19 from Germany, pianists Leo Huan, 18 from Pretoria, Gerhard Joubert, 19 from Cape Town and Mike Wang, 14 from Paarl. Flautist Daniël Spies, 15 from Roodepoort completes the thorn complement.

The entire gala concert and awards ceremony will be streamed live on the competition’s website at, cost-free.