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Amelia Islander

Anton Nel Concert on March 29

Mar 25, 2015 02:00AM
Anton Nel will be performing a concert with Christopher Rex at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church on March 29 at 5 p.m., as part of the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival’s Spring Series. Anton Nel, first prize winner of the 1987 Naumburg International Piano Competition at Carnegie Hall, has amassed a remarkable career that has taken him to North and South America, Europe, Asia, and South Africa. With an active repertoire of more than 100 works for piano and orchestra, he is an acclaimed Beethoven interpreter. Mr. Nel has performed the complete Beethoven concerto cycle several times, most notably on two consecutive evenings with the Cape Philharmonic in 2005. He also has performed all-Beethoven solo recitals, complete cycles of the violin and cello works, and most recently a highly successful run of the Diabelli Variations as part of Moises Kaufman’s play, 33 Variations. Mr. Nel also was chosen to give the North American premiere of the newly discovered Piano Concerto No. 3 in E Minor by Felix Mendelssohn in 1992.

Following an auspicious debut at the age of 12 with Beethoven’s C Major Concerto after only two years of study, the Johannesburg native captured first prizes in all the major South African competitions. While still in his teens, Mr. Nel toured his native country extensively and became a well-known radio and television personality.

He made his European debut in France in 1982 and in the same year graduated with highest distinction from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He came to the United States in 1983, attending the University of Cincinnati, where he pursued his Masters and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees under Bela Siki and Frank Weinstock. In addition to garnering many awards from his alma mater, he was a prizewinner at the 1984 Leeds International Piano Competition in England and won several first prizes at the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition in Palm Desert in 1986.

Highlights of Mr. Nel’s nearly four decades of concertizing include performances with the Cleveland Orchestra and the symphonies of Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Detroit, and London, among many others. As a recitalist, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum and the Frick Collection in New York; at the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena; Davies Hall in San Francisco; and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Internationally, he has appeared in recitals at major concert halls in Canada, England (Queen Elizabeth and Wigmore Halls in London), France, Holland (Concertgebouw in Amsterdam), Japan (Suntory Hall in Tokyo), Korea, and South Africa.

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