Avril Kinsey Resume

      Avril Kinsey was born in the UK in 1955. A year later her parents immigrated to Cape Town, South Africa. She began classical guitar lessons with her father in 1966. Later she studied the guitar under Uliano Marchio, while also studying piano, voice, drama and dancing at Bergvliet High School, where she matriculated in 1974. After completing a Teachers Licentiate Diploma in guitar and piano at the University of Cape Town in 1978, Kinsey was awarded a scholarship to further her classical guitar studies in Spain at the Universitario Internacional de Música Española with Josè Tomas (a former student of Andrès Segovia), where she obtained a Performer's Diploma in 1979. She completed guitar master classes with Ernesto Bitetti, Carlos Bonell, Narciso Yepes, and later in the USA with Christopher Parkening (a former student of Andrès Segovia).

On her return to South Africa in 1981, she was awarded first prize, with distinction, in the Adcock Ingram Classical Guitar Competition. In 1982 she furthered her studies in the dramatic arts at the University of California, Los Angeles and joined the Tedd Davis, Modern City Repertoire Dance Company. She later embarked on a performing career which included singing, dancing and acting in several Brickhill-Burke productions, and former PACT and CAPAB productions, as well as several South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) television programmes.

Her guitar performing career which began in South Africa has taken her to Singapore, Malaysia, Portugal, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Denmark, England, Scotland and North America, and has led to numerous live radio and television broadcasts for SAFM and FMR in South Africa, Austrian radio, the BBC, and KPFK and KMFA in the USA. In 1988 she made her orchestral debut with the National Symphony Orchestra (South Africa) performing Rodrigo's Aranjuez guitar concerto under the baton of Spanish conductor Garcia Asensio. Her chamber recitals have included collaborations with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She has worked with soloists: Melanie Horne (piano), Sanet Allen (soprano), Stella Martin (oboe), Shannon Mowday (saxophone) and several guitarists including Abri Jordaan, George Mathiba, Michael Hoole, Timothy Walker (Royal Academy of Music), Gregg Nestor (USA) and Bienyameen (flamenco guitar). In 1990 she formed and conducted South Africa's first twenty-one piece guitar orchestra. Her arrangement of Ravel's Bolero and Vivaldi's Guitar Concerto in D was performed by the guitar orchestra and televised for Arts on One. Performing with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra in 1996, she accompanied Luciano Pavarotti during the Cape Town visit of his world tour. In 1998 the Avril Kinsey Classical Guitar Competition was launched in Cape Town.
Kinsey has written over 25 works for and including the classical guitar, most of which have received world premières with many published by Art Music Editions. Her guitar arrangement of Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika was used in SABC television's Thabo Mbeki documentary entitled African Renaissance, while Bushmen, Modjadji and Mokoro were featured in two SABC documentaries, with Mokoro also featured as a music video. Several of her electro-acoustic dance works have been performed: Dancing in the Light was premiered by Carol Kinsey and Johan Kotzé at Artscape in 1987; contemporary dancer and choreographer Robyn Orlin performed Local Images, and Moving into Dance performed Sounds Great for SABC television. An ensemble work Legends of the Cape was premièred at the Oude Libertas Amphitheatre in 1993. In 2007, after having recorded five compact discs and performed hundreds of recitals of her African-inspired' works for classical guitar, Kinsey was awarded the prestigious Astris Award by Bergvliet High School for having excelled in her field of expertise over many years.'

She is the composer of two music books, Guitar Music from Africa and Guitar on Safari, and the author of an original story and screenplay entitled The Wild Coast. She has been commissioned by the South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), the SABC, and the Foundation for the Creative Arts, as well as by schools and individuals. Kinsey is the founding Director of the Cape Town Academy of Music (2000), where she also teaches. She has given master classes and lectures for Trinity College of Music teacher programmes. Her guitar works have been performed by Timothy Walker (UK), Gregg Nestor (USA), and by Dr Gregory Newton in Europe and the USA.

Updated:  July 10, 2009

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