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22 August 2018
Prof Coetzee is retelling old stories in a new book
"Failing to Learn Doomed to repeat" was one of the bookworks on display.

The title of Prof Jan K Coetzee’s latest book, Books & Bones & Other Things, says it all. The book looks into the many aspects that have built our society by presenting in a new way the stories contained in old books collected over the years. 

Prof Coetzee is a Senior Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of the Free State (UFS). Books & Bones & Other Things was launched on 14 August 2018 and coincided with an exhibition of various “bookworks”   art installations by Prof Coetzee that feature old books, sculptures, artefacts, and fossils.
 
Book resulting from research programme 
   

“This is a book on books so the library is the perfect venue to launch a book on old texts as documents of life,” said Prof Coetzee.

For the past seven years he has been directing a Master’s and PhD programme in Sociology called The Narrative Study of Lives. His project, Documents of Life, from which this book came, focuses on a collection of old texts the oldest of which dates back to 1605.

“We live in storytelling societies and for as long as we can remember we have been telling stories. Over time the ability to produce books was born. Any collection of books can tell you a lot about your own life and the society you live in."

“I cannot read the stories of many of these old books because their narratives are closed. I have to re-narrate the books, change the narrative convention and present them in a way that makes sense to me. By combining the books with art and artefacts I want the books to tell their ancient stories in new ways.”

Book launches and intellectual discussions

At the book launch, Prof Corli Witthuhn, Vice-Rector: Research said: “What we have achieved with this launch and exhibition is unbelievable. We always try to create an intellectual space in the library.

“A book such as this is the pinnacle of an academic career. It is multidisciplinary and it looks at the world in a different way. That is what scholarship is about.”

A painting by Robert Hodgins was also handed over to the Johannes Stegmann Gallery, home of the corporate collection of the UFS, at the event. 

News Archive

Alexander Ramm Cello Recital with Pieter Jacobs (piano)
2016-04-15

Description: Ramm Tags: Ramm

Alexander Ramm

“Ramm plays with enormous musical authority. Unlike many young instrumentalists, he is not intimidated by the reflective or the elegiac; nor is he nervous about the length of pauses, or the creation of inter-phrase silence. He has a phenomenal technique and he demonstrated it to full effect in this captivating performance.” (Cape Times)

Alexander Ramm belongs to the new generation of cellists recognised for his appealing artistic creativity and unprecedented technical skills. Alexander started his musical education at the age of seven at the Glier music school (Kaliningrad) with Svetlana Ivanova. Her extremely serious attitude to music studies and pedagogical talent revealed the rare musical capabilities of this young cellist.

After moving to Moscow at the age of ten, he was accepted to the class of Maria Zhuravleva at the Chopin Moscow College of Music Performance. From 2007, he continued his professional education at the Moscow Conservatory in the class of the renowned musician and the People’s Artist of the USSR, Natalia Shakhovskaya, an outstanding performer and pedagogue who taught most prominent Russian cellists. Since 2012, he has become a postgraduate student at the Hanns-Eisler Hochschule fur Musik under the guidance of the famous cellist, Frans Helmerson.

From the age of nine, when he made his debut as a soloist with the Kaliningrad Chamber Orchestra, Alexander brilliantly performs with solo programmes and as a soloist with leading orchestras in Russia and worldwide.

He is prizewinner at several international competitions:
1st prize: 4th Moscow Competition for young cellists (2003)
1st prize: 1st Cambridge International Boston Competition (Massachusetts, 2005)
Grand-Prix: Moscow Festival of Romantic Music (Moscow, 2006)
4th prize: 5th UNISA International String Competition (South Africa, 2010)
1st prize: 3rd Beijing International Music Competition (Beijing 2010)
1st prize: 1st All-Russia Music Competition (Russia, 2010)
Prizewinner: Janigro Cello Competition (Croatia, 2012)
Prizewinners: Swedish Duo Competition with duo partner Anna Odintsova (2012)
3rd prize: Paulo Cello Competition (2013) – becoming the first Russian prizewinner in the history of this prestigious contest
2nd prize: XV International Tchaikovsky Competition (2015)

Alexander participated in masterclass festivals at Courchevel Academy and Holland Music Sessions, where he took lessons from the famous musicians such as F. Muller, R. Latzko, M. Kliegel and U. Wiesel. In 2011, he took part in the well-known Verbier festival, where he studied with H. Hoffmann, F. Helmerson, M. Suzuki, L. Power and F. Radosh. At the end of the festival, he was awarded the Neva Foundation top-level prize for gifted students.

Alexander cooperates with such outstanding conductors as V. Gergiev, V. Spivakov, A. Levin, K. Orbelyan, V. Polyansky, S. Kochanovsky, M. Fedotov, A. Slutsky, A. Sladkovsky.

He will be accompanied by Pieter Jacobs, a graduate of the University of Pretoria, who then furthered his studies at Yale in the United States, where he pursued his performing career with considerable success as a soloist and chamber musician in Boston, Cambridge and New Haven before returning to South Africa to perform and teach at the University of Pretoria. Pieter is regarded as one of SA’s foremost pianists and chamber musicians.

Programme:

Grieg: Cello Sonata, Op. 36 in A minor (1883)
Barber: Cello Sonata, Op. 6 in C minor (1932)
Prokofiev: Cello Sonata, Op. 119 (1949)
Piazzolla: Le Grand Tango for cello and piano

Date: 22 April 2016
Time: 19:30
Venue: Odeion
Costs: R130 (adults), R90 (pensioners), R70 (UFS staff members), R50 (students and learners), R50 (group booking of 10+). Tickets available at Computicket.

More information: Ninette Pretorius +27(0)51 401 2504.

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