The Dean’s Concert – A Grand Night for Singing

Rounding off 2017’s Classical Music programme, UJ Arts & Culture is proud to present the Dean’s Concert 2017, entitled A Grand Night for Singing in support of the Dean’s Bursary Fund.

As the grand finale of the year’s programme, this free concert offers Johannesburg audiences a rare opportunity to hear two of South Africa’s rising opera stars – soprano Noluvuyiso Mpofu and clarinettist Junnan Sun – along with the celebrated South African pianist, Christopher Duigan, the award-winning UJ Choir conducted by Renette Bouwer, and the Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at UJ, accomplished baritone Federico Freschi.



Chinese clarinettist JUNNAN SUN (25) currently holds the principal clarinet position in the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in South Africa. He moved with his parents to South Africa in 2003 and obtained his BMus (Hons) at the University of Pretoria under the tutelage of Lizet Smith in 2011. He continued his studies at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London. Junnan has been the recipient of numerous awards including first prize in the Clarinet Category at the Stockholm International Music Competition (2014), RCM Clarinet Prize which recognizes the top clarinettist of the RCM (2014) and the ATKV National Classical Music Competition (2015).


South African soprano Noluvuyiso Mpofu was a member of the Accademia Rossinana, at the Rossini Opera Festival 2017, where she sang the role of Madama Cortese Il viaggio a Reims. Looking ahead to the 2018/19 season, Noluvuyiso will appear at the Glyndebourne Festival; Bergen National Opera and the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich.

Noluvuyiso was awarded the 3rd Prize at Placido Domingo’s OPERALIA competition in 2015 and the 2nd and Audience Prizes at the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in 2016.

A graduate of the University of Cape Town and a former member of the Cape Town Opera Studio, she has appeared with Cape Town Opera as Gilda Rigoletto; Violetta La Traviata; the title role of Maria Stuarda Rosina Il barbiere di Siviglia; Micaela Carmen and Pamina Die Zauberflöte. In 2016, Noluvuyiso made her debut as Clara Porgy and Bess for Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires.


Pianist Christopher Duigan has performed extensively with all major South African orchestras, festivals and stages in a repertoire of more than 25 compositions for piano and orchestra. In recital he has developed a popular following through his innovative presentation and programming. Recent highlights include performances of Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban and Pietermaritzburg and a seven concert tour in Spain with saxophonist David Salleras and the GIOrquestra.
In addition to his extensive academic accomplishments Federico Freschi is a well-known baritone, who studied towards a Diploma in Opera from the UCT College of Music. He has sung principal roles in a number of operas, operettas and musicals, and continues a concert career. This is a free concert, but audience members are encouraged to make a donation to the Dean’s Bursary Fund in support of deserving students in the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture.