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Musical World

Nokuthula Ngwenyama

  • Violinist
  • Violist

Biography

Nokuthula Ngwenyama 2009-10 engagements included appearances with the Cincinatti Symphony. She also appeared in Europe and the United States, including Washington D. C.’s Kennedy Center and New York’s Merkin Hall.

Ms. Ngwenyama has performed with the Charlotte Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Austin, Jackson and Memphis Symphonies, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She has also appeared with Christopher Seaman and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban, South Africa, as well as Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Additionally, she “fascinated on viola and violin during recital” (Washington Post) at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D. C. and with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.

Ms. Ngwenyama's domestic appearances include performances with the Atlanta, Baltimore, and Indianapolis Symphonies as well as the National Symphony Orchestra. She has been heard abroad in recital at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, the Louvre, the Ford Center in Toronto, and the Maison de Radio France. Summer festival appearances include Green Music, Vail, San Diego’s Mainly Mozart, Chamber Music Northwest, Marlboro Music Festival, Spoleto USA, and Santa Fe.

Ms. Ngwenyama is no stranger to television and radio appearances. Her performance at the White House, commemorating the 10th anniversary of Performance Today, also featured artists Wynton Marsalis, James Galway, and Murray Perahia. A vivid portrait of Ms. Ngwenyama was televised nationally on CBS Sunday Morning with cultural correspondent Eugenia Zukerman. She was featured on the Emmy Award-nominated PBS program Sound of Strings in the Musical Encounter Series, hosted by cellist Lynn Harrell. A dedicated advocate for the arts, she has testified before Congress on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts. As an artist recording on the EDI label, she has collaborated with pianist Mihae Lee on Grieg and Debussy and guitarist Michael Long on Bach Partitas as well as Corella’s Che! A Musical Biography. Her recent collaboration with pianist Jennifer Lim on the Rubinstein viola and violin sonatas was released September 2008.

In addition to her performance activities Ms. Ngwenyama served as visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame in 2007, where she taught instrumental music and lectured in the areas of African Music and Music and World Religions. She was a visiting associate professor at Indiana University from 2008-2010 and is the current director of the prestigious Primrose International Viola Competition.

Born in California of Zimbabwean-Japanese parentage, Ms. Ngwenyama graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music. As a Fulbright scholar she attended the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris, and received a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard University.