Music inspired by dance can be enjoyed in the Midlands this weekend


JOIN accomplished musicians, Morné van Heerden (clarinet) and Lara Kirsten (piano), for The Dance on Friday, April 22 at 7 pm in the Amber Valley Auditorium in Howick and at the Michaelhouse Chapel on Sunday, April 24 at 2.30 pm – the latter concert is part of the Michaelhouse Music Festival.

This year marks 16 years of the musical partnership between Morné and Lara. Their earliest collaboration was initiated during their student days at the University of Pretoria. Over the years they have performed together at venues such as Lucit Candle Garden in Pretoria, the Johannesburg Performing Arts Library, the Odeion in Bloemfontein (for the ATKV Musiz competition, where Morné won first prize in the Wind Instrument category), and at the Sandton Theatre on the Square.

Their concerts are remembered for its varied and exciting choice of music and their energetic and passionate renditions. The programme consists of an eclectic mix of vibrant and sensually attractive music from Hungary, Argentina and Poland: Four Hungarian Dances – Kókai Rezsö (1906-1962); Histoire du Tango – Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
(Arrangement by Dmitriy Varelas); I Bordel – 1900; II Café – 1930; III Nightclub – 1960; IV Concert d’aujourd’hui; Five Dance Preludes – Preludia taneczne – Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994).

Tickets for the Howick concert are R50. Phone Lara to book at 082 325 4258. Tickets for the Michaelhouse concert are R50 from


Morné van Heerden obtained a B.Mus. degree (Cum Laude) from the University of Pretoria in 2001. After university Morné continued to study clarinet with Mario Trinchero and won the woodwind category of the ATKV Musiq competition in 2003.

In 2009 he received masterclasses from clarinettist Anthony Pay in Oxford, England. The same year he obtained a Performer’s Licentiate from the University of South Africa with distinction.

Morné is a freelance clarinettist for the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, the Johannesburg Music Initiative, and is currently the principal clarinettist of the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra .

As a chamber musician Morné is part of the 007 Ensemble, the South African New Music Ensemble, and various other groups that perform at music festivals such as the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Aardklop and the annual Wakkerstroom Music Festival. Morné is currently a music coach at Kingsmead College in Johannesburg.

Lara Kirsten is a pianist and performance poet. After completing her high school career at the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg in 1997, Lara received her BMus and BMus Honours degrees, both cum laude at the University of Pretoria.

Joseph Stanford and Wessel van Wyk were her mentors in solo piano and chamber music respectively. In 1999 she was awarded a SAMRO bursary for undergraduate students. In 2002 she received her chamber music licentiate from UNISA. She was appointed junior lecturer at the University of Pretoria where she taught piano from 2003 to 2005.

For the past decade Lara has been active as both a solo and chamber musician performing with musicians such as soprano Linda van Coppenhagen, tenor Sandile Mabaso, clarinetist Morné van Heerden and cellists Wessel Beukes and Francois le Roux. She often performs her poetry within her music recitals.

She has performed in venues such as the Sandton Theater on the Square, the Baxter concert hall in Cape Town, the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria, the Guy Butler Theater in Grahamstown and the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg.

Since 2007 Lara’s poetry has been published in the South African Literary Journal New Contrast. In 2008 she became part of the Eastern Cape poet-group, Ecca, who presents readings and publishes collectively each year. Lara’s poetry and creative projects can be viewed on her blog at


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