After five heart bypass surgeries, a Durbanville psychologist realised his musical passion could no longer play second fiddle.
During a four-month recovery period in 2014, Dr Anthony Costandius embarked on a musical journey.
Now six pieces of his music, called Conversations, will be heard on Sunday June 19 at the Curro Durbanville Auditorium, at 7pm.
“I just realised it’s now or never,” said Dr Costandius, whose former works mostly comprised of rock, jazz and cabaret.
He said his latest works are “more serious” compositions.
After his ordeal, Dr Costandius, previously the conductor of the Cape Youth Orchestra, pianist of Bob Mowday Bigband, co-founder of the Pastiche Jazz Orchestra and chief adjudicator of the Cape Malay Choir Board, turned to more modern, neoclassical music.
In 2015 and 2016 he reached the semi-finals of the Ravel Composers Competition in Italy. The 2015 work, Snapshots of a life lived: a tribute to life of Dr NR Mandela, was named the best composition on the African Continent.
This year he commenced his studies under Professor Peter Klatzow, retired professor in Composition at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Soon after, Dr Costandius launched a search for well-known and experienced musicians to perform his work.
It was finally decided on the acclaimed classical violinist Petrus de Beer (1st Violin); the Bulgarian Valentina Koleva-Vorster (2nd Violin); the Fantasmi and Cape Philharmonic Orchestra member, Jan-Hendrik Harley (Viola); the British Cheryl de Havilland (Cello); the Dutch Roxane Steffen (Contrabass); the internationally renowned and SAMA nominee Albert Combrinck (piano); and the former member of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, Reanne de Klerk (Alto Saxophone).
Six pieces form part of the concert, Conversations. Study for Violin and Piano was commissioned by Hugo Lambrechts music teacher Charlene Bogenhagen for one of her pupils who took part in the National Youth Music Competition in 2015.
Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano was written for the Portland Composers Competition and String Quartet No 1 was originally intended for the Matan Givol Competition.
Dances of the three daughters of Night and Darkness, a violin and piano piece was another commission by Bogenhagen for a pupil.
Three Conversations between Contrabass and Piano was composed for Mariechen Meyer, who is currently working on her PhD in Music in the USA and The Portals of the Catedral de Orihuela is a composition originally written for the Orihuela Composers Competition in 2015.
According to Dr Costandius, whose passion for music is as big as his passion for psychology, “Composing is not much different from psychotherapy”.
“For me, therapy is a form of art. Many psychologists consider psychotherapy a science or recipe-like method but I see it as artistic expression. In therapy one also needs to improvise and be as creative as possible in a given moment. Just like music, however, therapy also requires discipline and structure.
“Music, just like therapy, is a journey with a beginning a middle and an ending. It’s about creating a meaningful balance and conversation between instruments and establishing an expressive dialogue between the players.”
Tickets cost R110 at www.Quicket.co.za or R120 at the door. Seating is unreserved. For more information call 083 703 3722 (after 7pm).