Kobie du Plessis

Metropolitan Barcelona

Metropolitan, Barcelona:

We interview South African harpist Kobie du Plessis about her music and life in Catalunya.

I came to Barcelona in 2003 because of my husband’s work. What I love most about the city are the trees, the different walkways, and Gaudí’s imaginative buildings. Also the feeling of space like I had in South Africa.

I started playing the harp when I was 12. A friend of the family—a professional musician—arrived at our house with a Celtic harp in the boot of his Mercedes, on the understanding I would learn to play. Once I had my first lesson, I was hooked.

I had to leave home at 15 and go to a strange school just to continue with harp lessons and music. That was almost my undoing, but it taught me independence and to fight for my right to perform music, something that came in very handy later in life!

I was a bit of a freak as a child. I won lots of prizes on the piano, my first instrument, and I had super-cultural parents who liked Shakespeare and classical music, which was a bit weird in those days!

First and foremost, I am a performer. I just love to play in public, and would love to play more in Barcelona and its surroundings. I have also started to write original music for the harp, which is exciting and a new field for me.

Playing the harp feels like an extension of myself. I am in love with its sound and it brings beautiful images to my mind, as it has such a silvery, kind of fairy-like sound.

I taught both my children to be musical. Learning an instrument broadens a child’s perspective, makes them concentrate better, and gives them good life skills.

We live in Castelldefels halfway up the mountain with the sea beneath us, and our house in South Africa is also halfway up the mountain with the sea in the distance.

Performing at the Liceu was great, but tense at the same time. I received the piece for harp and chorus five days before, and had to study in record time, only to find the day before the performance I had been given the wrong partitura [score]. I practised right through the night to be able to give a peak performance.

Having breast cancer taught me that nothing is so important anymore. To have my family and my husband, to have my health back and to be able to play harp again is enough for me. I have become more spiritual and thankful that God has saved my life, and I also learned to respect the Spanish doctors here in Barcelona, as they were, and are, wonderful!

 

District Mail, Die Volksblad, The Burger,Cape Times,Die Trompetter,

“Harp Harmonies:

The Somerset West Music Society will present a concert featuring talented and acclaimed local harpist Kobie du Plessis, with ´Classical Favourites´on three different harps, in the Somerset West Library Hall, October 31 at 20h15.

Kobie will play popular pieces such as ´Greensleeves´and Troubadour songs on the Celtic Harp, music from the Classical era on her Austrian Harp (single action pedal) and music from the Romantic era on her Concert harp(double action pedal), which will include compositions by Zabel, Hasselmans, De Falla, and from the modern era, George Gershwin”

District Mail, Somerset-West, South Africa

“WA Mozart´s ´Concerto for Harp and Flute´ was not only a pleasure to listen to, but also to perceive, thanks to picturesque harp played so gracefully by Kobie.The interaction with the flute(Corvin) was excellent.Counter melodies, part playing, imitations and parallel movements were executed with delicate sensitivity”

The Volksblad, Bloemfontein, South Africa ***

“It was pure pleasure to hear Corvin Matei´s clear tone of the flute and

the soothing harp sounds by Kobie du Plessis”The Burger, Cape Town, South Africa ***

“One of the most inspiring instrumental combinations is that of harp and flute, as this recital of the Syrinx Duo amply demonstrated.Here was equality of both instruments, with empeccable ensemble”

Cape Times, Cape Town, South Africa

“The beautiful flute… and the sincere harp wonderfully interpreted

the masterly music of Debussy”

The Burger, Cape Town, South Africa ***

“On 5 May will be in the Ontmoetings Church in Geleen a concert of the

Vocal Ensemble Canto con Fueco with harpist Kobie du Plessis and violinist Ingrid Holleman. There are pieces chosen specifically for choir accompanied by harp, as well as music for violin and harp by Bachofen,Tournier, and Debusssy”

The Trompetter, Geleen, The Netherlands ***

“Harp Sounds Tomorrow in Church, Stellenbosch: Tomorrow night Kobie du Plessis gives a solo recital in the Church of Stellenbosch-Welgelegen.Kobie and her family lives in Barcelona, Spain, where she is broadening her repertoire of Spanish Harp music.Her concert programme includes works of Handel, Mozart,Saint-Saens, Debussy and Gershwin.”

The Burger, Cape Town, South Africa ***

“Concert: String Orchestra of the University of Cape Town under baton of Anmari vd Westhuizen, Baxter Concert Hall, Cape Town:

It is a long time that the listener misses the harp in local concert halls.Kobie du Plessis performed regularly since the middle eighties to 2000 in the Western Cape, afterwards moving to the Netherlands (Now living in Spain).

Her part was big yesterday evening.Only a small group of strings accompanied her in the JC Bach´s three- part Concerto no.6, for Harp, Violins and Cello´s.The … audience would have recognized “God save the Queen” in the sparkling Finale.

Kobie and the strings continued with the Danse Sacrae et Profane by Debussy,….

Was wonderfully executed by the Soloist and strings which were in excellent balance with each other”

The Burger, Cape Town, South Africa ***

(Afrikaans) In hierdie jaar vind ´n besondere uitvoering in Goodnow plaas.Vir die eerste keer in Goodnow se honderjarige bestaan word ´n harpuitvoering in die saal gehoor.Die soliste was Kobie du Plessis.

(English Translation) In this year a special recital took place in the Goodnow.For the first time in its hundred years of existence,a harp recital was heard in the hall.The soloist was Kobie du Plessis.

Hoofstuk 21, Die Musieklewe Van Wellington

*** freely translated into English