The Art of Romanticism

Samson Diamond & Laura Pauna in concert

19 November 2015




Samson Diamond – concert master of the FSSO and leader of the Odeion String Quartet - performs with pianist Laura Pauna in an exciting programme titled The Art of Romanticism with works by Khachaturian, Ysaÿa, Lekeu, Ravel and Strauss. 


Samson is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester, UK), where he obtained his BMusHons degree First Class (2006) and MMus performance degree with distinction (2007). He got his first taste of music in Soweto where he studied with founder director of Buskaid, Rosemary Nalden and further on with Richard Ireland, Pauline Nobes and Philippe Graffin. Samson won numerous prizes including the 2010 Standard Bank Young Artist for Music, the Charles Hallé Award, the RNCM Eric Nicholson Bow Prize, the RNCM Major Entrance Award, Edward Heaton Scholarshp, the RNCM Philip Newman Violin Prize, and appeared in the 2010 publication of Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans: Arts and Culture.


As a freelance orchestral player in the UK, he played in the Hallé Orchestra, the Academy of St Martins in the Fields, BBC Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, and the Academy of Ancient Music. Diamond was leader of the internationally acclaimed Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble from its inception in 1997.   Samson has performed before many distinguished guests including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. In 2009, he performed privately for Mr Nelson Mandela under the invitation of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. He has received quartet masterclasses from internationally acclaimed chamber musicians such as Andras Keller, Johannes Meissl, Christoph Richter, Seppo Kimanen, Roger Tapping, Vladimir Mendelssohn, members of the Endellion String Quartet and The New Zealand String Quartet.  He plays a fine 1803 Wagner violin.


South African/Romanian pianist Laura Pauna has established herself internationally as soloist and chamber musician. She was awarded a Master’s in Performance Diploma from the prestigious Hannover Music Conservatoire (Germany). In Germany she studied under Prof Einar–Steen Nokleberg and the Silver Garburg Duo.


As duo pianist she has performed at many prestigious venues.  Carnegie Hall have had rave reviews ("...lavish, enthusiastic, brilliant"); Laura has also performed  at the Salzburg Grosse Saal, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Jerusalem Theatre, Yasi (New York), Zagreb Institute Hall, Z.K. Matthews Hall, Cape Town City Hall, to name a few.


Competition prizes and scholarships include 1st Prize in the Grieg Competition, "Prix de Oslo" in 2007 and again in 2009. IBLA Grand Prize winner (2006), Valentino Bucchi (Rome, 2006), and the Mozarteum Prize in 2007.


Laura is also the recipient of the National Arts Council scholarship 2009, Ottilie-Selbach Stiftung (Berlin, Germany), and the Oscar und Vera Ritter Stiftung (Germany).   She has performed with orchestras such as Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss am Rhein, Cape Town Philharmonic, KZNPO, Pro Musica et al, and at series such as the Piano Fortissimo series (Croatia), Piano Duo Festival Bad Herrenalb, Oslo Grieg Festival, UNISA Concert Series, and the Johannesburg Music Society concert series. Laura had her solo debut in 2011 at the Bucharest Music & Film Festival.



Khachaturian: (1961) Andante from piano solo sonata

Lekeu: Sonata for violin in G

Ravel: Tzigane

Ysaye: Sonata No.3 for solo violin Op. 27 in D minor “Ballade”

Strauss: Sonata for violin in E flat major Op. 18



R110 (adults), R70 (pensioners), R60 (UFS staff), R40 (students and learners), R40 (group bookings of 10+)

Tickets available at Computicket.



Ninette Pretorius (tel. 051 401 2504)



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