Roxburgh singers perform with world renowned pianists

South African pianists Tessa Uys and Ben Schoeman are to perform in Melrose Parish Church on Saturday, May 25.

Performing with the duo will be the popular community choir, the Roxburgh Singers, conducted by Marion Dodd.

Both Tessa and Ben are established concert pianists in their own right, performing all over the world.

In 2008, Ben became the first South African to win the first grand prize in the 11th UNISA Vodacom International Piano Competition in Pretoria.

He has won several other prizes, including the contemporary music prize at the Cleveland International Piano Competition, USA in 2013.

Tess made her concert debut, aged 13, with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. Winning a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Gordon Green, she was the recipient there of the MacFarren Medal.

In 2000, to mark the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death, Tessa recorded the Goldberg Variations released as a double CD for GSE Claremont records and subsequently toured this virtuoso work both in Britain and abroad, to great acclaim.

She has also enjoyed the distinction of working with the director John Schlesinger on his film Madame Sousatzka, starring Shirley MacLaine.

Tessa and Ben have recently performed five of Beethoven’s Symphonies, arranged for piano duet by Franz Xaver Scharwenka, and hope to record all nine of them in the autumn.

The concert in Melrose opens with Ben Schoeman as soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia (first performed in 1808) with a small instrumental group arranged by Tony Kime.

Ben is joined by Tessa in the second half in Brahms’ own arrangement of ‘A German Requiem’ for piano duet.

The Roxburgh Singers are joined by local soprano Jessica Leary and Andrew McTaggart (baritone), who will also sing two duets - ‘My love is like a red, red rose’ and ‘One hand, one heart’, by Bernstein, both of these arranged for the instrumental group by Tony Kime.

Concert starts at 7.30pm. Tickets £10 at the door, from Maid by Marion, Melrose, and the Buccleuch Arms Hotel, St Boswells.

Visit the Roxburgh Singers facebook page for more information.