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Second attempt for former NYMC finalist

As one of the two South African contestants who are studying music overseas, violist, Eike Coetzee, 19, was a finalist in the 2017 National Youth Music Competition (NYMC).

"It was such an amazing experience to play as a finalist with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO). I would very much like to perform with them again. This year the competition will be a bit different, as I now play the viola," he says excitedly.

Currently studying at the Musikgymnasium Schloss Belvedere in Weimar, Germany, the young artist started playing music at the age of seven at the College of the Arts in Windhoek. His first music teacher was Jürgen Kriess. However, the late Professor Jack de Wet played a major role in his development, by whom he received lessons between 2011 and 2016.

His mother is a soprano and his father is a music lover. Eike also plays the piano, "but at a very low level," he smiles. He practises three to four hours per day. His younger brother sighs a sigh of relief as he is nowadays studying overseas, which means he doesn’t have to practise at home that often.

It seems as if German is no obstacle for the rising star. He likes languages a lot, currently, he is learning Japanese. When he has time, Eike also likes camping, cycling, and sometimes reading.

For him, it is difficult to name a single favourite composer. "There are too many, but at the moment Dmitri Shostakovich is quite close to my heart," he ponders.

Eike wants to continue studying music in Germany and eventually play in a Symphony Orchestra in that country. Luckily all is not lost for South Africa as he wants to stay in contact with the music scene in the country and keeps in touch with his musician friends in South Africa.