Having mastered the works of classical greats such as Beethoven, the 15 year old Jordan Brooks recently proved his worth when he was named the Overall Winner at the prestigious National Youth Music Competition.
Generally considered to be the best young violinist in the country, the teen protégé was one of 6 finalists and won in several categories.
He won the prize for the best concerto performance for his rendition of the Sibelius violin concerto, the best strings prize and the prize for the best performance of a work by a South African composer.
The competition itself is the most prestigious in the country and is intended to identify the best young classical musicians from ages 14 to 19.
The finalists are chosen after 4 intense rounds of competition and each finalist performs their concerto with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.
Jordan walked away with the overall prize of R30000, a final round prize of R2500, a Concerto prize of R4000, a strings prize of R5000 and a South African work prize of R2500.
This may be his first time entering the competition but it is part of a long list of achievements.
He fell in love with the violin at the age of 3, started playing it at the age of 7 and his teacher, Anne-Marié Swanepoel, says that it did not take her long to realise that there was something special about Jordan.
With the support and encouragement of his musically talented family as well as that of Anne-Marie, by the time he was 11, he was already a well-known classical soloist, performing with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the Hugo Lambrechts Orchestra and the Beau Soleil Senior Strings.
In 2015, at the age of12, he won the SAMRO Hubert van der Spuy National Competition for Primary School learners, not only taking the overall prize, but also prizes for the Best Performance of a Baroque composition, the Best Performance of a Romantic Composition, the Best Performance of a South African Composition, as well the Strings Category Prize.
In 2016, he won the junior section of the Hugo Lambrechts 30th Birthday Competition and he was the first violinist in the Miagi Youth Orchestra’s 2018 tour of Europe as well attending master classes by the world’s best violinists.
As a cherry on top of his already enormous cake, he was appointed the concert master of the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra as well as the Beau Soleil Senior String Ensemble.
Jordan says that as part of his routine, he practises two to four hours a day, which includes Saturdays.
Although the constant sound of the violin can at times be a bit too much for the family, they are very supportive of him, especially given the fact that they are all musically gifted.
His mother and aunt are singers; and his grandfather and uncle play the piano and drums.
For now however, the grade 10 learner will be waiting for his exam results and preparing for his next round of concerts, both of which of course, he will excel in.