Dressed in a powder-blue Alice-in-Wonderland-inspired dress, Eléna Monvoisin, 8, of Bellville, brought Mozart to life at the Artscape, this past weekend.
Eléna played the composer’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major K488 (2nd movement), at the Western Cape Youth Festival alongside the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Brandon Phillips.
This year the festival celebrated its 47th year with 12 talented young classically trained musical instrumentalists and singers.
Eléna learned how to play the piano when she was 3.
“I really enjoy playing the piano, and when I am older, I would like to become a composer like either Mozart or Beethoven,” she said.
Her mother, Marguerite, said she had played the piano when she was pregnant with Eléna and it had been apparent from an early age that Eléna was musically inclined.
“She had wind chimes in her baby room that she was enthralled with, and when I would play a sad piece of music, it would touch her emotionally. She was switched on musically from an early age.”
Eléna is home schooled; she plays the violin and oboe, and takes ballet lessons.
Her music teacher, Linda Claasen, describes Eléna as “exceptionally gifted”.
“She has perfect pitch; is very diligent and spiritual. She is also an extremely hard worker,” she said.
Eléna has a tortoiseshell cat, Anuk, and a brother Benjamin, 4, who also plays the piano.
She said if she did not become a composer she would love to follow in the footsteps of David Attenborough, the English broadcaster and naturalist.
Marlene le Roux, CEO of the Artscape, said she is astounded at the standard of the young performers this year.
“We applaud the soloists, their teachers, music institutions and parents who nurture and support these young artists, as this is a journey of many years. Stepping onto the Artscape stage in performance with the CPO is a significant milestone in their careers,” she said.