The Arts Culture Trust (ACT) announced the 2014 winners of the ACT Lifetime Achievement Awards and ImpACT Awards for young professionals at The Maslow Hotel in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening.
Two Port Elizabeth born artists received prestigious awards: Richard Cock received a Lifetime Achievement Award and Monfundo Xaluva received an Impact Award.
In awarding Lifetime Achievement Awards ACT also honoured Sam Nzima for Visual Art, Andre P. Brink for Literature and Richard Loring for Theatre along with Richard Cock for Music. The Lifetime Achievement Award for Arts Advocacy, honours patrons in the arts who have devoted a lifetime of work to supporting the arts, and this year this award has gone to Mandie van der Spuy.
Each year, for the past 17 years, the ImpACT Awards has acknowledged young professionals in the arts who have promising careers ahead of them, already having made a fine imprint on the arts and culture on home soil, and are within five years of their professional careers. The finalists are nominated by the public, and adjudicated by a chosen panel of expert judges, the following winners received an award: Jade Bowers for Theatre, Thabo Makhetha-Kwinana for Design, Bevan de Wet for Visual Art, and Nomfundo Xaluva for Music.
“We never cease to be inspired by the ImpACT Award winners each year. They follow in the footsteps of remarkable artists who have continued to soar to greater heights, not only locally but internationally as well. We are privileged to have had the opportunity to, at a crucial juncture in their careers, encourage them to continue pushing boundaries and testing limits. We wish this year’s winners well in their future endeavours while watching in anticipation as their careers unfold,” says ACT CEO Pieter Jacobs.
The Judging Panel for the 2014 ImpACT Awards was headed by ACT Ambassador and creative professional Caroline Smart who commented: “Every year the Arts Culture Trust honours four ImpACT Awards to young professionals on their achievements. The judges look for impressive progress and excellence in both the individual and the impact that they have made in their communities. ACT is committed to supporting their development path and ultimate success.”
Port Elizabeth born Richard Cock was educated at Woodridge Preparatory School and the Diocesan College, Cape Town.
Cock is best known by Port Elizabeth audiences for his conducting of the annual Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (ECPO) Concert in the (Victoria) Park.
He pursued his musical studies at the Cape Town College of Music, from which he graduated in 1971. In 1972, Richard Cock won a scholarship to the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), where he was awarded several prizes and diplomas. In 1978 he became Director of Music at the Cathedral Choir School and assistant organist at Chichester Cathedral. During his years in England he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists.
After his return to South Africa in 1980, Richard Cock, as Music Director from 1991, breathed new life into the National Symphony Orchestra. His innovative spirit saw the orchestra expand its horizons with open-air events, such as the successful Emmarentia Gardens Winter Series, Musical Fireworks and Pops concerts, music in the zoo and tours from Cape Town to Cairo.
As conductor, he is in much demand countrywide for the popular Last Night of the Proms concerts and Songs of Praise; new milestones in recent years were conducting his first full-length opera, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, for PACOFS in Bloemfontein, and conducting the Julian Lloyd-Webber South Africa tour. !n 2001, he conducted the Joshua Bell tour of South Africa and that of Lynn Harrell, and he regularly conducts Starlight Classics for Rand Merchant Bank.
However, it is as a choral trainer and conductor that Richard Cock is best known. He was organist and director of music at St Mary’s Cathedral for 12 years and was elected a Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music for his services to Church Music in South Africa. He founded the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg and the internationally recognized Chanticleer Singers 28 years ago. Both are recognized as leaders in their respective fields.
Born and raised in Port Elizabeth, Nomfundo Xaluva was introduced to classical piano at the Victoria Girls Primary Boarding School in Grahamstown, when she was 12 years old.
In her final year at high school Xaluva was determined to study jazz and enrolled for a BMus in Jazz Studies at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2003. In that same year she joined the National Youth Choir, where she made her solo debut in 2009. Xaluva then completed her Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies (Voice Dissertation) from UCT, where she graduated with Distinction. For her Master’s Degree she did a dissertation on the music of Mama Afrika and entitled it The Analysis of the Musical Style of Miriam Makeba.
Xaluva recorded her first album, Kusile, in 2011, produced by Mandisi Dyantyis. Xaluva has shared a stage with jazz legend Sibongile Khumalo, she has also performed at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival as part of the Mzansi Golen Voices who tributed Brenda Fassie with the German Orchestra Kicks and Sticks.
In August 2014, Xaluva headlined her own concert at the Port Elizabeth Opera House as part of the inaugural Nelson Mandela Bay Concert Series. Here, she also taught a Vocal Masterclass as part of the mentorship aspect of the initiative. Currently she is Head Vocal Coach at the Cape Academy of Performing Arts.
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