Top UKZN Student Pianist Plays Final Recital for BMus Degree
Talented pianist Ms Rashalia Pather recently performed her final Bachelor of Music recital at the Howard College Theatre.
Pather, who boasts a record number of accolades and achievements and is one of the top students in the 40-year history of the School of Arts, is studying under Lecturer Mr Andrew Warburton and pianist Dr Liezl-Marét Jacobs.
She is the current recipient of the Lawrence and Constance Robinson Scholarship in recognition of being ranked the single highest undergraduate achiever at UKZN. She also received the College Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship and Townley Williams Scholarship.
‘Music has been my passion since childhood and I have always dreamed of becoming a professional pianist,’ said Pather.
At the recital, she performed the Piano Sonata no. 17 in D minor, Op. 31 No. 2 (“Tempest”) L van Beethoven; Papillons, Op. 2, R Schumann and L’isle Joyeuse, C Debussy.
‘The works I chose encompass the full spectrum of human emotion, from the stormy angst of Beethoven’s “Tempest” to the innocence and romance embedded in “Papillons” and the infectious glee of “L’isle Joyeuse”, I’d like to think that every audience member found some personal meaning in these pieces. All three of the composers featured in this recital challenged the musical traditions of their times in their search for true self-expression.
‘I believe that, in a world littered with restrictive stereotypes that seek to define and constrain us, embracing your individuality is of paramount importance. The bravery shown by these composers in expressing their unique identities through music greatly inspires me, and I wanted to share this with my audience through my performance,’ she said.
Pather prepared for the recital by working on a range of topics, including technical exercises, theoretical analysis and issues of musical interpretation while also having private “mock recitals” in preparation for the real event.
Asked about being the top student in the Music Discipline and in the School of Arts, she said: ‘It is wonderful to receive acknowledgement for the hard work and passion I have invested in my degree, and I feel truly honoured. However, this achievement does not reflect the dedication and commitment of just one person – without the care, wisdom, and support of my family, piano teachers, lecturers, and friends, I would not be where I am today, and for this I am sincerely grateful.’