In 2016 we wrote about how the 12 year old Qden Blaauw won one of the most prestigious national music competitions in the country. Since then, his list of achievements has only grown and this year, he became the first African to be invited to one of the most prestigious Masterclasses in the world.
The now 13 year old prodigy was one of only 10 pianists from around the world and the only African to be invited. The Masterclass will held under the guidance of Prof. Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy. Prof. Schmitt-Leonardy is a world renowned, award winning pianist; a professor at the “Hochschule für Musik und Theater” in Munich and he teaches at the prestigious ‘École Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot’ in Paris. His students have won numerous international awards and have also gone on to become world renowned pianists. Qden will also receive master classes from Prof. Rudolf Meister, Dean of the Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts.
Although the Masterclass is for free, Qden’s parents had to pay for travel and accommodation, which amounts to R60000. They could not afford to pay this amount, so Qden’s father, Denric, set up a ‘Go Get Funding’ page where he asked people if they want to donate towards helping Qden get to Germany. Given Qden’s remarkable talent, supporters have donated everything from R100 to R30000 and within a matter of days, Qden’s supporters had donated the full R60000. That is how much faith they have in this young protégé.
Denric says that during his stay in Germany, Qden will be performing four concerts including a concerto with a leading German orchestra. The proceeds of this concert will go to ‘Schools for Africa’, a project run by UNICEF. The ‘Schools for Africa’ project supports quality education for more than 30 million children in 13 African countries.
This is not the first time he has made history as an African. He also attended Masterclasses in Poland under the guidance of the celebrated pianist, Lang Lang. He was once again one of 10 international protégés invited and once again, he was the first and only African to be invited. He was also invited to attend Masterclasses from several internationally recognised pianists such as Valentina Lisitsa, Gloria Campaner, Prof Martina Bauer, Motoki Hirai, Nina Schuman, Luis Magalhaes, Liezl-Maret Jacobs and Jan Hugo.
If you want to listen to Qden play, click HERE to check out his Youtube page.