South African star cellist Abel Selaocoe is hot property! He has recently launched his debut album ‘Hae Ke Kae’ (Where is Home) and appeared on the BBC’s Later with . . . Jools Holland. He acknowledges that Sinfonia Cymru has played a pivotal role in springboarding his professional career and is excited about this new collaboration, ‘Hiraeth, Love & Longing’.
“Sinfonia Cymru is a fantastic orchestra that has given me great opportunities to create and develop my own music. Working with them has always opened up new paths and inspired so many new ideas. The music I’ve developed with this orchestra has become an integral part of my music life. I can’t wait to be back ‘home’ with them, developing Hiraeth, Love & Longing, which will explore themes of love and longing around the world, and sharing it with audiences in Wales.”
– Abel Selaocoe
Raised in Sebokeng, a big township south of Johannesburg, he fell in love with the cello when he was just 8 years old, attracted to it because it was big! Having to drag this beast of an instrument for miles to and from the station to get to the music outreach school where he lived, certainly paid off! Abel is now one of the most exciting and experimental cellists on the planet.
His journey with Sinfonia Cymru began when Abel appeared at one of the orchestra’s regular Lunchtime Concerts at the Riverfront, Newport. His outstanding talent and creativeness shone through, particularly during the Birdsong project with Kizzy Crawford and Gwilym Simcock in 2016, when Abel brought his own ideas with his amazing cello improvisations and his now trademark throat singing which led him to be an integral part of the project. He later developed his own concert with the orchestra as part of its annual Curate gigs, where musicians are invited to send in proposals for one-off performances on a theme of their choice. The title of Abel’s Curate was MotherTongue, the music he developed during this project, inspired him to develop his solo career and his own compositions as well as bringing his own take on existing pieces, later developing his popular trio – Chesaba – who will also be taking part in the tour.
Tammy Daly, Sinfonia Cymru’s General Manager, said:
“We cannot wait to work with Abel again. We have known him since 2016 and he has been integral to some of our most interesting and exciting projects. We were fortunate to work with Abel in the early stages of his career, seeing him and his music develop in the most organic and inspiring way! It feels very special that he will now be leading this project and tour with our string orchestra.”
Sinfonia Cymru is not your typical orchestra! All players are under 30 and amongst the best in the country. Unlike other orchestras there’s no conductor, just a lead player, with musicians coming together a few days before the performance to develop the programme and style together, resulting in fresh and unique experiences for the audience.
It’s not all about classical music either. During the tour with Abel, the audience can expect a unique and impassioned musical fusion of Abel’s own African-inspired music, ‘Longing’ from Tabakova’s Cello Concerto, exhilarating improvisations by Abel’s trio, Chesaba, some magical orchestra only moments – and more!
“Audiences are in for a treat, and we can guarantee an uplifting, truly engaging and original performance like no other, even if you have seen Abel perform before!”
– Tammy Daly, General Manager at Sinfonia Cymru.
There will be just three opportunities to experience ‘Hiraeth, Love & Longing’ in Wales this February:
Thursday 16th February at the Royal College of Music and Drama, Cardiff @ 7:30pm
Friday 17th February at The Mix, Theatr Clwyd, Mold @ 7:45pm
Saturday 18th February at Aberystwyth Arts Centre @ 7:00pm.
Tickets are on sale now at the venues, with links and further information on www.sinfonia.cymru
To arrange interviews, or for photos, please contact Sinfonia Cymru’s Marketing Consultant Heulwen Davies at Llais Cymru: firstname.lastname@example.org / 07817 591930.