Friday 12 May 2023, 17:00, Dutch Reformed Church, Greyton, R160

Classics for All is delighted to welcome an amazing group of young SA talents making waves in the classical world. The Kirby Quartet was formed in 2022, with members Nicholas Bruiners (violin), Kaitlin Visser Downie (violin), Micaela Arries (viola) and Ashlin Grobbelaar (cello). All four members study at the South African College of Music (SACM) at the University of Cape Town. The quartet is named after the Kirby Collection at the SACM which houses over 600 African, European and Asian instruments, as well as sound recordings, field notes, photographs and correspondence. In September 2022 they placed as a runner up in the Stellenbosch University National Ensembles Competition. In October 2022 they won the 15th Annual Schock Prize for Chamber Music with their performance of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 3, Op.73 in F Major, presented as the Cape Chamber Music Collective’s eighth project with pianist Gerhard Joubert.


Ashlin Grobbelaar

ASHLIN GROBBELAAR started their musical journey as part of the Mangaung String Programme in Bloemfontein and is currently studying with Graham du Plessis at the South African college of Music. They lead the cello section of the UCT Symphony Orchestra and they are also the current principal cellist of the MIAGI Youth Orchestra and the South African National Youth Orchestra. Ashlin plays regularly as an ad-hoc cellist with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. They recently participated in the UCT Strings Competition where they placed as a runner-up. In October 2022, they took part in and won the 15th annual Schock Prize for Chamber Music with their chamber group. Other than being an active chamber- and orchestral musician they strive to create opportunities to make music education more accessible to those of a similar background to them.

Kaitlin Visser Downie

KAITLIN VISSER DOWNIE is currently studying at the South African College of Music under Farida Bacharova. Kaitlin was a member of the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra from 2015-2018. In 2018, she was concert master of the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival Concert Orchestra. In 2021 and 2022 she took part in and won the UCT Schock Chamber Music Competition with her chamber groups. In August 2022, she attended Festival Quattro Corde in Sant’Agata Feltria in Italy receiving masterclasses and playing in concerts. Kaitlin draws inspiration from and has received masterclasses from Michael Duffett, Louise Lansdown, Ian van Rensburg, Jan Repko and Radu Blidar. She has also received numerous chamber music coachings from Alissa Margulis, Xandi van Dijk, Madeline Adkins, David Cohen and Marc Bushkov.

Micaela Arries

MICAELA ARRIES is currently a 3rd year BMus performance student at the South African College of Music. She is under the instruction of Paula Gabriel. Micaela was part of the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra from 2015-2019. In 2022, Micaela participated in the UCT strings competition where she was a semi-finalist and received the award for best semi-finalist. She also participated in and won the 15th annual Schock Foundation prize for chamber music with the Kirby quartet where they performed Shostakovich String quartet 3 Op 73. Micaela is the sub principal violist of the viola section in the University of Cape Town symphony orchestra. Micaela has also performed as an ad hoc violist for the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra as well as University of Stellenbosch Symphony Orchestra.

Nicholas Bruiners

NICHOLAS BRUINERS is currently working towards his Honours in Classical Performance at the University of Cape Town under Professor Farida Bacharova. Nicholas completed his Bachelor of Music in 2022. He is currently leading the university‘s Symphony Orchestra and led the Symphony at the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival 2022. Nicholas and his chamber music groups placed first for the Annual Schock Foundation Prize in 2020, 2021, and 2022. Nicholas has also taken part in masterclasses with Jan Repko and Daniel Rowland.

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