Eben Wagenstroom, South African pianist
It was probably during my kindergarten years that I had my first conscious interaction with music. This was primarily in the form of soundtracks to Disney films and their television off-shoots, as well as radio-friendly American ‘popular’ hits (from various genres) of the time being broadcast on local media outlets.
However, it was in my eighth year that I seriously became interested in Western Classical music: my father, having being born to musical parents but not having acquired their musical abilities, developed and still possesses a love for opera (Verdi and Puccini in particular). He was a subscriber to the now-defunct Classical Collection-magazine, and had magazines and cassette-recordings of music by Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Dvořák.
It was by sheer chance that I stumbled upon these. It was a hearing of Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik on one of these cassette-tapes that made me decide to venture into becoming a Classical musician.
Published by ALL ABOUT THE ARTS
Rafael de Acha has enjoyed a distinguished career in the arts as a performer, stage director, producer, and educator. He was born and grew up in Cuba. At the age of 17 he moved to the United States to study Drama at the University of Minnesota, and later Languages at L.A. City College, Music at the Juilliard School of Music, at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, and at the New England Conservatory of Music, from which he received the Master's degree. He has taught courses on the History of Music at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and at Florida International University, and contributed writings and reviews to Seen and Heard International (www.seenandheard-international.com ) and to this blog. He co-founded the award-winning New Theatre in Coral Gables, Florida, where he produced and staged twenty seasons of classical and contemporary theater, including fifty world premieres of plays that went on to have international and national productions on and off Broadway, including Ana in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz (Pulitzer Prize for Drama 2002 and Tony Nomination 2003.) In 2006 he was presented with a citation from The Dade County Cultural Affairs Council for “trailblazing contributions to the arts in South Florida.”
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