Kristel Birkholtz

Based:  Johannesburg

Kristel is an accomplished musician, having undergone extensive formal training from age 6, which culminated in a MMUS (Masters of Music) degree from Wits, where she majored in performance. During her student years she received numerous awards and prizes. Besides being a highly experienced violinist, she is also proficient in piano, flute, and singing and as a composer.

The highlights of her performance career include performing in the Subaru car advert in 2007, playing the lead violin role in various Barnyard Theatre productions including: Beethoven Rocks Again
(2003/4), Harvest Moon (2006), Rock Me Amadeus (2006/2008) and Natural Women (2007).  She has made guest appearances on e-TV’s Backstage (2005), and has appeared as a violinist on Egoli (2006/7/9). Other notable performances include playing for the curtain raiser to the Lions vs. Lions Rugby Match at Ellis Park (2009) and the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown (2009/2010). She does frequent session work for various recording studios and has had the opportunity to perform overseas in Bahrain, Dubai, Botswana and Zambia.

Her instruments include acoustic violin, electric violin and a custom-made tin-can electric violin crafted by AfriCan in Cape Town and an LED-lit, spark throwing custom made Phoenix Electric Violin/Viola.  Kristel has recently completed her Masters in Music Degree at Wits University and also finds time to compose her own music.
Her MMUS research topic is located in this realm of live music and performers in South Africa. As a researcher in this field, Kristel has presented papers at the Moshito conference 2009
and SASRIM conferences 2007/8. She has previously released a 5-track EP of her original music, a popular classical album titled Burning Bridges, play on words that refers to the bridge on
the violin. Her second classical album The Sea in Spring was released in late 2009.The live DVD concert of The Sea in Spring was nominated for a SAMA award in 2010.
In 2012 Kristel released an instrumental Christmas Album with guitarist Rory Gaddin.
Her plans for 2014 include recording a full-length original music  album. In her spare time, Kristel performances and fundraiser concerts for charitable organisations and performances for the elderly.

 

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