Ben Capps (cello) & Pieter Grobler (piano)

American virtuoso cellist in concert!


20 August 2015




Exciting young American cellist Ben Capps enjoys a versatile performing career as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral principal.  His artistry has been praised as “most appealing” by the New York Times, “virtuosic and impassioned” by the Barre Montpelier Times.  The Holland Times hailed Capps as a “young cello phenomenon from New York” with “dazzling technique and a fearsomely meaty tone”, and the Epoch Times proclaimed that “Capps has it all ... cello playing of the very highest standard.” 


Ben started playing the cello at age four with Nellis DeLay.  At ten he was admitted to Juilliard Pre-College, where he studied with Anne Alton, Andre Emelianoff, and modern cello guru Fred Sherry.  He received a BMus degree at Manhattan School of Music, and an MMus from Juilliard (2010), both under the guidance of David Soyer.  He is currently enrolled in the Graduate Diploma program at New England Conservatory (Boston), where he is a student of Laurence Lesser.  He is the recipient of many awards, including the New York State Association of Music Teachers Scholarship Competition (1999); Juilliard Pre-College Symphony Concerto Competition (2001), the Lillian Fuchs Award (2004), the Francis Goelet Scholarship (Juilliard, 2008-2009), the Irving Mulde Scholarship (Juilliard, 2009-10), and the Piatigorsky Scholarship (New England Conservatory, 2012-13).  He has coached with numerous cellists, including Bernard Greenhouse, Ko Iwasaki, Paul Katz, and Nathanial Rosen, has performed in masterclasses for Steven Isserlis, Alexander Rudin, Mischa Maisky, Natalia Gutman, Peter Wylie, Timothy Eddy, Matt Haimowitz and Jonathan Biss. He has performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium, Weill and Zankel Halls, Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., Mann Hall in Tel Aviv and Sala Nezahualcoytl in Mexico City.  He has appeared as soloist with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, the New York Concerti Sinfonietta, the Manchester Music Festival Orchestra and the Manhattan School of Music Composer's Orchestra.  Recent performance highlights include a recital tour of China and recital appearances in New York, Greece and Spain.  Highlights of the 2013 season include solo performances of the Schumann Cello Concerto with the Danbury Symphony & The Liora Chamber Orchestra and Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 with the Orchestra Filarmonica de Jalisco.  At age 21, Capps was appointed principal cellist of Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas.  An avid chamber musician, he has participated in the Bowdoin Schlern Int'l (Italy), Burgos Int'l (Spain) and Summit Summer Festivals, the Perlman Music Program, and the ChamberFest and FOCUS! Festivals in Lincoln Center. Ben Capps plays a William Forester cello built in 1782 in England.


Pieter Grobler worked with Joseph Stanford at the University of Pretoria obtaining BMus and BMusHons degrees in piano performance (cum laude).  Postgraduate studies were with Joseph Banowetz at the University of North Texas (USA), where he completed the MMus and DMA piano performance degrees.  His training was further enriched through masterclasses from Leonard Hokanson, Andrzej Jasinski, Pascal Rogé and Niel Immelman, to name but a few.  During the 2003 Unisa/Vodacom National Piano Competition he was awarded the Bill van Tonder Prize.  In August 2013 he was also heard on WFMT-Classical Radio in a live broadcast from the Preston Bradley Hall as part of the International Music Foundation's Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago (USA).  He is also regularly heard on ClassicFM radio in South Africa.  After completion of his studies he worked for three years in Ohio where he was on the piano faculty of Heidelberg College. Pieter is currently on the piano faculty at the University of Stellenboschwhere he is also the head of practical music studies and maintains an active concert schedule.



Britten: Cello Suite No. 1, Op. 72

Debussy: Sonata (1915)

Chopin: Introduction and Polonaise Brillante in C major, Op. 3 

Mendelssohn: Cello Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op. 58



R130 (adults)

R90 (pensioners)

R70 (UFS staff)

R50 (students and learners)

R50 (group bookings of 10+)

Tickets available at Computicket.



Ninette Pretorius (tel. 051 – 401 2504)

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