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Vermaak | Entertainment > Musiek | Music > Optredes | Gigs

Jan Hugo, winner of the National Unisa Piano Competiton 2011, on national concert tour

Ina van Rooyen - 2011-08-18

Untitled Document

This year’s grand prize winner of the Fourth National Unisa Piano Competiton held in July, Jan Hugo (20) has returned from his home in Italy for a bumper concert tour in South Africa – but he is breaking boundaries when he kicks off with two concerts in Lusaka on 20 and 21 August. He will then start with concerts in South Africa.

Jan has actually broken boundaries at the age of 13 when he was invited to study piano full time in Italy with an acclaimed professor, and forsook his high school training. He caught up with that by studying at home, and wrote his matric examination in Pretoria and passed with flying colours and a string of A’s, only a few months before graduating in Italy!

He returned to South Africa for his first national tour last year. This year he came to his fatherland to grab the first prize and most of the special prizes, and is now returning for yet another national tour of recitals and concertos in various centers.

He also has the honour of stepping into the famous shoes of the Grammy nominated Petronel Malan who resides in America, but who had to cancel her concert tour on short notice because of illness. He will replace her in a recital in Bloemfontein, his city of birth, on Wednesday 25 August. (Contact Ninette Pretorius 051 402 2504.)

Jan will also end his concert tour in the Free State as the soloist with the Free State Youth Orchestra  on 17 September in Kimberley and 18 September in the Odeion in Bloemfontein with Gerben Grooten on the podium. Jan will perform the Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25 by Mendelssohn.

On Wednesday 24 August, he will perform in Muizenberg (Lindburg Arts – George Hill 021 788 5542) His programme will be the same as in Bloemfontein the next day:

Schumann – Novelette Op.21 n°8
Beethoven – Sonata in c minor Op.111
Liszt – Aux Cyprès de la Villa d'Este. No 1 Thrénodie Andante –  Harmonies du Soir (from Etudes d’ execution trancendante)
Ravel – Gaspard de la Nuit

  1. Ondine
  2. Le Gibet
  3. Scarbo

The following recitals of different programmes are:

  • Saturday 27 August – Stellenbosch: Contact Louise Howlett 084 682 1337
  • Sunday 28 August 15:30 – Hermanus: René du Plooy 082 940 4238
  • Tuesday 30 August – Auberg Restaurant (Auslese): Cathrine Tel: 021 465 4909 & 082 679 2902.


Soloist with the CPO, Cape Town

Thursday 1 September – Jan Hugo will be the soloist with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Sebastian Lang-Lessing, playing the Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25 by Mendelssohn.

Sebastian Lang-Lessing is the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. He is regarded as one of the most talented award-winning German conductors. He has released numerous compact disc recordings on ABC Classics. Among his guest appearances have been engagements in Japan, Germany, France and Australia. In 2008 he conducted Porgy and Bess for Cape Town Opera and Den Norske Opera in Oslo.

The programme in full is: Ruins of Athens Overture, Op. 113 by Beethoven, the Concerto no 1 Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25 by Mendelssohn and Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 by Beethoven.

The contact for the  symphony concert is Ursula at 021 410 9809.

Jan Hugo then resumes his recitals consisting of varying programmes at the following venues:  

  • Friday 2 September – St Andrew's Spring/Summer 2011 Concert Series, Greenpoint: Pierre van Wyngaard 083 355 637 
  • Saturday 3 September – La Motte: Anton Els 082 457 0784
  • Monday 5 September – Port Elizabeth: Erika Bothma 041 504 2507
  • Wednesday 7 September – Knysna: Aloise Lamprecht 0443 820699 /
    071 473 3339
    Friday 9 September – White River: Sophia de Jongh 013 751 1879
    Sunday 11 September – Pretoria – two recitals of the same programme at 11:00 and 17:00 in the intimate Tauromenium Music Room: John Roos 012 429 3344 / Alet Joubert 012 429 3336
    Tuesday 13 September – Friends of Music Durban: Dr Vera Dubin 031 202 7822
    Saturday 17 September – Symphony Concert Free State Youth Orchestra, Kimberley; and:
    Sunday 18 September – Symphony Concert Free State Youth Orchestra, Odeion Bloemfontein. Contact for both concerts: Chrisna Smit, Manager Free State Youth Orchestra (smitc@ufs.ac.za).

Jan Hugo – Biography
Born in Bloemfontein, South Africa in 1991, Jan started his music tuition at the age of 7 with the well-known youth teacher, Claudine van Breda in Pretoria. He distinguished himself in local art festivals, eisteddfods,and passed all examinations for practical piano and theory with distinction.

At the age of 11 he participated in the International Competition for Pianists "Virtuosi per Musica" in Usti nad Labem in the Czech Republic and at 12 years he won the Musicon Senior Primary Piano Competition in Bloemfontein and the Sanlam Music Competition in Cape Town.

In 2006, 15 years old, he won the category "Soloists 18 years old" in the International Piano Competition "Carlo Soliva" in Casale Monferrato, Italy.

Only 13 years old, Jan was invited to further his studies in Italy and became a student of Francesco Cipolletta at the Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicali "Vecchi-Tonelli" in Modena, Italy where he passed all his exams cum laude.

During December 2006 he was admitted to a 'Corso di Alto Perfezionamento in Pianoforte' (Master's Diploma in Piano Performance) at the Accademia Pianistica Internazionale “Incontri col Maestro” in Imola, where he currently studies with Franco Scala and Boris Petrushansky.

In the academic year 2007/2008 he was accepted for the Diploma Accademico Superiore di 1°Livello, (Bachelor of Music Degree) at the Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicale “Vecchi-Tonelli” mentioned above, where he studied under the tutorship of Prof. Giuseppe Fausto Modugno and graduated in March 2010, obtaining 110/110 cum laude.

Jan has participated in various master classes with internationally acclaimed professors and pianists such as Michel Dalberto, Robert Levin, Jin Ju, Riccardo Risaliti, David Ascanio, Adam Wodnicki,and Joseph Stanford.

He has played recitals in Rome, Milan, Bologna, Modena and various other towns in Italy in important concert-seasons of Italian music associations. He has also performed as soloist with the Kwa-Zulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra.

Hugo performed as soloist with the Orchestra of the Istituto “Vecchi-Tonelli” in the Teatro Comunale of Modena and he is also active in chamber music.