@Fest Standard Bank Young Artist Winners 2015

Standard Bank Young Artist Winners 2015

These are the Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winners for 2015.

Nduduzo Makhathini – Standard Bank Young Artist Winner for Jazz

Pianist and composer Nduduzo Makhathini grew up in uMgungundlovu near Pietermaritzburg surrounded by music from across the cultural spectrum and in a family that treated music as a special healing gift. He studied at the then Natal Technikon (now UKZN) before embarking on a professional music career that led to stints in the bands of Zim Ngqawana, Simphiwe Dana, Carlo Mombelli, Feya Faku and Themba Mkhize and performances in Europe, Britain and the US.

Musa Ngqungwana – Standard Bank Young Artist Winner for Music

BBass baritone Musa Ngqungwana was brought up by his grandmother and single mother in the township of Zwide just outside Port Elizabeth. His introduction to opera was as a teenager when he saw a 1978 video performance of Die Zauberflote, in which Jamaican-born British operatic bass-baritone Sir Willard White played the role of Die Sprecher. Ngqungwana,who is based abroad, gave two performances – one solo and one with the KwaZulu-Natal Orchestra during the Gala Concert.

Christiaan Olwagen – Standard Bank Young Artist Winner for Theater

Raised in Pretoria, director, actor and writer Christiaan Olwagen studied drama at Stellenbosch University under the mentorship of Marthinus Basson, also a Young Artist Award winner (1989). While still a student, Olwagen won the Fleur Du Cap Award for his portrayal of the Emcee in Basson’s production of Cabaret the Musical. Olwagen’s body of work displays a contemporary fascination with theatre’s classics. Die Seemeeu, his reworking of Chekov’s classic, premiered at Aardklop in 2014 with Marius Weyers and Sandra Prinsloo, winning Olwagen a Beeld- Aartvark award for groundbreaking work. He presented a reworking of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House at this year’s National Arts Festival.

Athi patra Ruga – Standard Bank Young Artist Winner for performance Art

Growing up in Mthatha, but being schooled in East London, artist Athi-Patra Ruga says he was acutely aware of having to adapt to different contexts. In 1999, Ruga attended art classes at the Belgravia Art College in East London, where he first used his body as a tool to communicate in art. Recent performances by the 30-year old artist include The Founding Myth, staged for the opening of the South African Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale; The Elder of Azania, commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art San Francisco and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; and Next Future, hosted at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal.

Luyanda Sidiya-Standard Bank young Artist Winner for Dance

Dancer, choreographer, teacher and mentor Luyanda Sidiya first fell in love with dance as a young school boy when a short piece performed as part of a community theatre group production captured his imagination and heart. Sidiya has travelled extensively with his work, including to Botswana, Austria, Sweden and the U.S. He has taught in Bennington College in Vermont, and was a member of the UK’s Ace Dance and Music Company for three years – first as a dancer, then as rehearsal director. In 2007, he won Most Outstanding Dancer in a Contemporary Style at the Dance Umbrella in Johannesburg and has since worked on a number of pieces for the festival – including his specially commissioned piece, 7 Pillars, last year. Sidiya is currently the artistic director at Vuyani Dance Theatre and presented Siva at the Festival this year.

Kemang Wa Lehulere – Standard Bank Young Artist Winner for Visual Arts

Born in 1984 Kemang Wa Lehulere was by a single mother in apartheid South Africa, growing up in Gugulethu, surrounded by a family of actors, writers, filmmakers and creatives. As an aspirant performer, Wa Lehulere first enrolled in a performing arts course at CAP (Community Arts Project) before switching to a visual arts course as a more challenging idea. Here he learnt about drawing, painting and sculpture. Wa Lehulere’s solo exhibition at this year’s National Arts Festival, History Will Break Your Heart, was curated by Lerato Bereng and goes on a countrywide tour now.

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