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The Quartet of Peace project seeks to promote the values symbolised by the instruments, as well as to advance the careers in musical performance and in instrument-making and repair of talented South African youngsters who lack the means to do so on their own. Since last year, a sister trust has been established in the UK, in order to realise fund-raising possibilities there.

The trustees believe that the most fruitful way they can play a role in the South African music world, is to support and enhance the work of organisations with a long record in this field.  As a start, they have reached out to the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and MIAGI (Music Is A Great Investment), inviting them to put forward possible bursars.

From those sources, they have selected the following bursars for 2014:

  • Violinist Shaeema Lakay, to further her studies with Prof. Farida Bacharova at UCT.
  • Violinist Noluvuyo Nteta, to complete the Certificate Program at the University of Stellenbosch in preparation for a B.Mus. (Ed) degree.
  • Violist Elsabé Raath, to further her studies at the Birmingham Conservatoire.
  • Cellist Abel Selaocoe, to continue his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

20-year-old Shaheema Lakay was one of the SAPQT’s first bursars last year. She started playing the violin only six years ago, but has already qualified as a Suzuki violin teacher, running the CPO’s  outreach satellite in Atlantis and acting as concert master of the Youth Orchestra.  She has proven more than worthy of the investment that is being made in her.

Noluvuyo Nteta is an inspiring teacher at the CPO’s Masidlala Strings Music Project, and currently co-leader of the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.  It is her dream to become the first fully qualified Xhosa-speaking violin teacher in Cape Town, and to have a positive social impact in her community.

Elsabé Raath graduated with a B.Mus.Hons (cum laude) from the Odeion School of Music at the University of the Free State in April 2012.  She has acted as leader of the viola sections of the SA National Youth Orchestra and the Miagi Youth Orchestra, and has toured in Europe with the latter.  She has been accepted as a student by Dr Louise Lansdown, head of strings at Birmingham Conservatoire.  Elsabé will be supported by the UK Trust.

Abel Selaocoe grew up in a dusty South African township, the son of a domestic worker. He followed an older brother to a local music project, and was hooked. At thirteen his musical prowess won him a scholarship to the prestigious private school in the heart of Johannesburg, St John’s College, renowned for their music department. His mother spent her weekends augmenting her salary by selling fruit and vegetables in the township in order to afford all the extras he needed. It paid off when he won another scholarship, this time to the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where his flair and dedication impressed his teachers. In 2013 he was chosen to play in a showcase concert in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. He started post-graduate studies at the RNCM in September 2014.

Please refer to his website to view his recent awards and his world-folk-fusion group, Kabantu, which has performed both at the BBC Proms and Radio 3.Visit Abel’s website right here: www.abelselaocoe.com/


“We are delighted to be making our first awards only some six months since the Trust was established, and also to have as our first bursars three exceptional personalities and musical talents. The Trust will continue to build its capital base in order to achieve long-term sustainability of the bursary programme, but equally will each year offer bursaries to top-class individuals” — Trust chairman, Nick Segal.

The first bursars are:

  • cellist Dane Coetzee for the completion of an advanced course at the University of Stellenbosch
  • violinist Shaheema Lakay for private tuition as well as further studies through UNISA
  • cellist Thapelo Masita for furthering his studies in the United States.

Dane Coetzee (24) is a true example of achieving against all odds.  His talent and his work ethic propelled him from the Youth Orchestra into the ranks of the professionals, and he serves as a role model for all the younger musicians.

19-year-old Shaheema Lakay started playing the violin only five years ago, but has already qualified as a Suzuki violin teacher, running the CPO’s outreach satellite in Atlantis and acting as concert master of the Youth Orchestra.

Thapelo Masita was accepted as a student by the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, USA, and managed to secure financial support and bursaries covering almost all his expenses.  He needed the Trust’s support to make up the deficit.