Piano at Butler: Johan Botes
This program includes a selection of works by some of my favorite composers who I love to perform. I love to program Cecile Chaminade, as she is one of the first famous-in-her-lifetime women composers who loved to write in the salon style. Then we’re spending some time with Claude Debussy, as the French Impressionist composer, who influenced almost every composer after him during the 20th Century.
Then what would a program be without a little bit of fun? In this program we have a Johann Strauss II transcription, made by Hungarian composer, Erno Dohnanyi; and then ending the program with George Gershwin’s famous Rhapsody in Blue that put American Jazz music squarely on the map.
Johan Botes is known for his extraordinary versatility as a soloist, collaborative musician, and teacher; a career which has brought him recognition in concerts around the world. A native of South Africa, Botes showed musical promise from an early age. Among many notable awards in his native country, he was the 2007 First Prize Winner of the Third UNISA/Vodacom National Piano Competition playing Rachmaninoff’s technically demanding Third Piano Concerto to a standing ovation; a performance for which he also won the Desmond Willson Memorial Prize for best concerto in the final round. In 2008, Botes moved to Europe and continued his studies in London with British pianist Martin Roscoe at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
As a soloist, Botes has performed in venues worldwide. He has appeared as soloist with the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa, the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban, Juneau Symphony (AK), Bainbridge Symphony (WA), Auburn Symphony (WA) as well as the Texas Chamber Orchestra. He also performed in Prague with the Hadrec Kralove Orchestra and toured to Bulgaria in 2005 where he played with the Varna Philharmonic Orchestra.
An equally accomplished organist, he passed the Performers Licentiate in Organ of UNISA in 2006 with distinction and was invited for the overseas bursary competition, where he was awarded the Stephanus Zondagh Overseas Music Scholarship.
In 2010, Botes won the Sidney M. Wright Presidential Scholarship Competition in Piano Accompaniment at The University of Texas at Austin and in the same year began collaborative Piano Trio work with cellist Francesco Mastromatteo. Their first performance in October 2010 resulted in critical acclaim, winning them Prize for the best Chamber Music Recital at The University of Texas at Austin in 2011. Dr. Botes holds a D.M.A in Piano Performance from the University of Texas at Austin and a M.M from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He received another M.M. as well as his B.M. from the University of Pretoria in South Africa. He is currently Associate Professor of Piano at Marshall University in Huntington, WV. Before Marshall, Botes was lecturing in Piano, Group and Collaborative Piano at The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Masks are required to be worn by all patrons while in the venue.