Special Projects
South Africa Tour 2008
South Africa Tour 2007
  Special Projects
Friedrich Danielis: South Africa Report 2008
Pied Pipers of Soweto, Live Out Loud magazine, March 2009  
Strings of Hope, Classic Feel magazine, February 2009  

David Krut Publishing: African Youth Ensemble with Susan Salm, October 2008
  South Africa Tour, 2008

From the first time I heard the African Youth Ensemble it was obvious that a miracle was taking place in Soweto: the dedication, vision and talents of one extraordinary person were giving youngsters a tangible goal and a new meaning to their lives, and the tools and training possible to become serious musicians. That person is Kolwane Mantu. Continue...


Most of the finest string players in South Africa have been trained by him, they have gone on to join major orchestras, including the best in South Africa, and some go on to teach other young students. Their commitment and love for music is so apparent when one sees and hears them - these young people spend every afternoon and weekend taking lessons, rehearsing, and performing great music.

When I was in SA last year under the auspices of the Austrian Embassy I had been taken to listen to the AYE and was asked by Kolwane to spend an afternoon with the students and give them some guidance and professional "pointers". I was touched and amazed at the remarkably high level of musicianship in these young people, who all clearly were thoroughly enjoying every moment of their time.

Although the AYE receives no public or private funding, this program offers musical training on stringed instruments to children and young people (from age 4-30) at no charge to the students.

The Ensemble has performed in major venues throughout the country and abroad and has played with members of the English Chamber Orchestra and with violinist Maxim Vengerov.

As the culmination of our intensive workshop, we performed five Vivaldi cello concertos in concerts at the Pretoria State Theatre and at the Joburg ProMusica Theatre.

In addition to a documentary film (by award-winning filmmaker Stefan Lukacs) and an audio CD (David Krut Taxi Projects) soon to be released, there was a flurry of media activity concerning the workshop, the new instruments we arranged to have donated to the AYE, and our concerts:
  • SABC TV (television interview)
  • Music Today (radio interview)
  • Mail and Guardian (newspaper interview and photo shoot)
  • Classical Feel (magazine interview)
  • The Sowetan (newspaper)
  • David Krut Publishing (online news publication of projects undertaken with the support of David Krut)
  • Photojournalist Eva-Lotta Jansson (photo shoot)
  • Live Out Loud (magazine interview and photo shoot)
  • Press Conference with the Austrian Ambassador and Minister

For a week in Cape Town, with the support of the Austrian Consul General, I was giving master classes at Cape Town University, the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and at Artscape (an outreach and educational organization working with young people from townships and the inner city.)