KENDA & DE MAEYER Duo with the Young classical competition Winners

KENDA & DE MAEYER Duo with the Young classical competition Winners

8:15 pm - 9:30 pm

Price: R150-R190

The Oude Libertas Amphitheatre has been presenting this concert with new classical talent for the past 4 years. The winners of national music competitions during 2017 will showcase their talent.

The program of the evening starts off with the 3 young winners :

  • Piano: Mike Wang (age 11)
  • Piano: Louis Nel (age 16)
  • Violin: Gilah Kellner ( age 14)

Mike Wang

Mike (Zi Ning) Wang (11) is a Grade 6 learner at Hendrik Louw Primary School in the Strand. He was born in China and started with piano lessons at the age of 5. Since he moved to South Africa in 2015, he is a pupil of Mario Nell.

Mike entered his first Eisteddfod in Stellenbosch in 2017 where he was awarded prizes for the Best 10 year old participant, the Bach trophy, the best Classical Sonata, the best South African work as well as the overall best pianist in the Primary School section. He made his debut as soloist with the Hugo Lambrechts Symphony Orchestra as in August 2017.

Mike was a finalist during the Samro Hubert van der Spuy Music Competition that took place in September 2017. At age 10, he was the youngest ever overall winner in the history of this prestigious national competition. He was also awarded all the special prizes, namely the best 10 year and younger participant, the best performances of a Baroque, the best Classical performance, the best South African composition, the best Romantic work as well as the piano category prize. He has been invited to perform as soloist with the Cape Town Youth Orchestra in April 2018 as part of the Suidoosterfees. Mike is also a passionate chess player and is part of his school’s first team.

Louis Nel

Louis het op 8 jarige ouderdom begin met klavierlesse by Claudine van Breda. Sedert die ontstaan van die Atterbury Nasionale Klavierkompetisie in 2011 het hy jaarliks aan die kompetisie deelgeneem, en het vantevore beide die 12 jaar en jonger asook die 15 jaar en jonger kategorieë gewen. Hy was twee jaar ‘n finalis in die Hubert van der Spuy Nasionale Musiek Kompetisie tydens sy laerskooljare. Op 12 jaar het hy die eerste keer opgetree tydens die Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra Youth Concerto Festival as solis, gevolg deur 3 verdere optredes in latere jare, asook by twee geleenthede tydens die Hugo Lambrechts Concertofees in Kaapstad. Op 13 jaar het hy deelgeneem aan die “ Virtuosi per musica di pianoforte” in Üsti nad Laben , in die Tjeggiese Republiek.

In sy hoërskooljare was hy twee keer die wenner van die klavierafdeling tydens die Lovemore-Yamaha Musiekkompetisie in Johannesburg. Hy was ook die algehele wenner van die Hennie Joubert Nasionale Klavierkompetisie in Stellenbosch in 2016.

Tydens die 2017 Atterbury Nasionale Klavierkompetisie is Louis aangewys as die algehele wenner, en het ook die pryse ontvang vir die Beste uitvoering van ‘n Barok, Romatiese en Klassieke werk, asook die Hennie Joubert Prys wat aan die algehele wenner toegeken word.

Louis is tans 16 en ‘n Graad 10 leerling van St Alban’s College in Pretoria.

Gilah Kellner

Gilah Kellner is a talented young violinist whose aim is to touch people through music. She began playing the violin at the age of eight and is a pupil of Irene Tsoniff.

Gilah was the recipient of the Gold Medal at the National Youth Music Competition 2017 where she also won the Category Strings and best performance by a string instrumentalist of a work by a Russian composer. Earlier this year she won Third Prize in the Enkor International Music Competition for Chamber Music, Duo (together with Pendo Masote). In 2016 Gilah was the winner of the SAMRO Hubert van der Spuy strings category; winner of the Philip H Moore Music Competition; SAMST Trophy most promising string player, SAMRO Trophy Junior Strings Player (joint) and Festival Junior Trophy Best Performance of a Concerto.

Gilah has performed as a soloist with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra; Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra; Rand Symphony Orchestra and the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra.

She was co-concertmaster of the South African National Youth Orchestra in 2016 and has been selected to participate again in 2017.

Gilah was the first violinist of the Embrace String Quartet and has had masterclasses with Dr Louise Lansdown, Daniel Auner and Johanna Roos.


  • Mike Wang: J. Haydn: Allegro from Sonata in F, Hob XVI no 23
  • Gilah Kellner: F. Kreisler: Tambourin Chinois; F. Chopin: Nocturne No. 2 in C sharp minor; H. Wieniawski: Caprice in A minor
  • Louis Nel: W. Bolcolm : The Serpent’s Kiss
  • Mike Wang: Berkovich : Variations on a theme of Paganini
  • Gilah Kellner: L. Beethoven: Romance No. 2 in F major
  • Louis Nel: R. Muczynski : Desperate Measures (Paganini Variations )

Nic De Jager is the MC for the evening. He will link the performers , their CV and program in his charming way, by giving information through his masterful storytelling style.

JOLENTE DE MAEYER – Violin & NIKOLAAS KENDE – Piano: “Melancholia”

During the second half of the performance the audience will be treated by a piano and violin Duo from Belgium: The Kende De Maeyer Duo.


  • Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847): Sonata for violin and piano in F Minor, Op. 4
  • Lodewijk Mortelmans (1868-1952): Romanza for violin and piano
  • César Franck (1822-1890): Melancholy for violin and piano
  • L. van Beethoven (1770-1827): Sonata no. 9 in A Major, Op. 47 – ‘Kreutzer’

Jolente De Maeyer

Jolente De Maeyer, born in 1984 in Brussels, received her first violin lessons at the age of four. When she was 14 years old, Jolente was invited by Yehudi Menuhin to pursue her musical studies at the Yehudi Menuhin School near London. She continued her studies with Natasha Boyarsky at the Royal College of Music in London, Stephan Picard at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin and Augustin Dumay at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium.

At the age of 6, Jolente started participating in several national and international competitions. That year she became the youngest ever laureate of the Jong Tenuto Competition and also received First Prizes in the Charles de Bériot Competition Brussels. Later on Jolente became a prize-winner in several international competitions like Cardona International Competition in Portugal, International Violin Competition Liana Issakadze in Russia (2004) and the Benjamin Britten International Violin competition in London (2005). She also became a semi-finalist in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2009.

Jolente performed as a soloist with the Brussels Philharmonic, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonnie, Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, het Kamerorkest Brugge, Nuove Musiche, the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra, the St-Petersburg State Academic Capella Chamber Orchestra and the St-Petersburg State Academic Capella Symphony Orchestra. Conductors Jolente has worked with include Philippe Herreweghe, Patrick Davin, Etienne Siebens, Pascale Rophé, Silveer Van den Broeck, Dirk Brossé, James Stobart, Michel Tilkin, Stefaan Fraas, Alexander Chernushenko and Rudolf Werthen.

In 2013 Jolente made her debut in America (Texas) with the Waco Symphony Orchestra and Stephen Heyde, where she performed Tchaikovsky violin concerto. This was followed by a recital tour with Nikolaas Kende.

In Belgium Jolente has performed regularly in halls like Bozar, Flagey, the Elisabeth Hall, de Singel and the Roma and she played concerts in festivals such as the Festival van Vlaanderen, Festival de Montpellier and Menton. Furthermore, she has performed in countries such as Russia, France, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, The Netherlands, Spain, as well as in London’s Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall and at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival in Switzerland.

Jolente is also passionate about chamber music. Since 2003, she has formed a duo with pianist Nikolaas Kende. Together they formed the Rubensensemble in 2007.

Jolente recorded the 6th Violinconcerto of Henri Vieuxtemps in 2010 with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Liège with Patrick Davin. This recording received the René Snepvangersprijs from the Belgian Music Press in 2011.

In 2013 Jolente recorded de 2nd Violin concerto of Saint Saëns with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Liège with Christian Arming.

Nikolaas Kende

Nikolaas Kende, born in Antwerp in 1981, studied at the Antwerp conservatory with his parents, Heidi Hendrickx and Levente Kende, and at the Amsterdam conservatory with Jan Wijn. This was followed by intense cooperation with Elisso Virsaladze at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München and at the Scuola di Musica Fiesole. In addition he was taught by people like Dmitri Bashkirov, Aldo Ciccolini, Murray Perahia, Dmitri Alexeev and Radu Lupu. Whilst training as a pianist he was given the 2013 “Oranjebeurs” and grants by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst in 2004 and 2005.

While still young Nikolaas Kende won several competitions: the Cantabile competition (Antwerp, 1998), the EPTA international competition for piano duos (1999), the Axion Classics competition (Brussels, 1999), the Stefaan de Jonghe competition (Aalst, 2000) and the Tenuto competition (Brussels, 2002). In 2002 he was a laureate of the Belgian Foundation for Young Soloists, in 2004 he came second in the competition of the Young Pianist Foundation in The Hague, and in 2005 he won the Pianisten-Parade-in’s-Hertogenbosch, in which he also obtained the prizes of the public and of the press. In the next year he was a laureate of the 6th music competition of the Ghent Rotary Club and he won the 57th competition organized by the Friends of the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In this competition too he won the prize of the press and the AVRO Klassiek prize, which enabled him to record a CD.

In 2007 he reached the semi-finals of the Queen Elisabeth Competition and he was a laureate of the Young Soloists Competition organized by the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, conducted by Philippe Herreweghe. He was still young when he began his international career with invitations to France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria and Bulgaria. His American debut (California and Texas) in 2009 got favorable press reviews, and he followed it up with another American tour in 2013.

He has performed on all the important Belgian concert stages. Recently, concerts have taken him to Spain, the Czech Republic, Romania, the Netherlands Antilles and the festivals of Montpellier, Menton and Vexin in France. He has played concertos by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Poulenc, Ravel, Rachmaninov and Barton, with orchestras such as the Brussels Philharmonic, the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic and the Flanders Symphony Orchestra conducted by Etienne Siebens, Koen Kessels, Ivo Venkov, Jurgen Küssmaul, Ernst van Tiel, Daniele Callegari, Dirk Vermeulen, Paul Goodwin, Stephen Heyde and David Angus among others.

Nikolaas Kende is also an avid chamber musician. Since 2003 he has formed a duo with the violinist Jolente De Maeyer and he was a co-founder of the Rubens Ensemble in 2007. He was the pianist of the Narziss und Goldmund Trio in their recording of Schubert’s Piano Trio in E flat (D. 929) on Phaedra Classics 292021, which got rave reviews in the press.

He has made numerous recordings for radio (the Belgian classical channel Klara, RTBF, AVRO, Radio Romania, France Musique, and WDR) and television.

In 2015, Nikolaas was appointed professor of piano at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp.