Anmari van der Westhuizen


Anmari van der Westhuizen is Adjunct Professor and Head of the Odeion String Quartet at the University of the Free State. She was appointed as such in November 2014 and January 2013 respectively.

She graduated from the University of Stellenbosch (BMus cum laude and BMus.Hons cum laude with full academic and cultural honorary colours), from the Mozarteum, Salzburg (Grosses Diplom cum laude), and from the Hochschule für Musik, Cologne, under the tutelage of Prof. Maria Kliegel (Konzertexamen). She holds Performers and Teaching Licentiates from UNISA (cum laude). In 2013 Anmari received her PhD in Music Performance from the University of Pretoria and was awarded full academic honorary colours for her thesis Solo violoncello music: a selective investigation into works composed between 1980 and 2010 and the compilation of a catalogue.

Anmari has won prestigious competitions including the ATKV Forte Competition, the SABC Competition, the Oude Meester Competition and the University of Natal 75th Anniversary Prize. As a young cellist, she was selected as a member of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra in Interlochen, U.S.A. She received extensive chamber music training with specific emphasis on string quartet playing by members of the world’s best string quartets, namely the Alban Berg String Quartet, the Amadeus String Quartet, the Borodin String Quartet, the Brodsky String Quartet, the Hagen String Quartet and with Hatto Beyerle, Györgi Kurtág and Professor Nikolaus Harnoncourt (Historic Performance Practice). Anmari has performed as soloist with all the major orchestras in South Africa as well as the Brahms Double Concerto together with Pieter Schoeman who is currently the concertmaster of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

While living in Europe she appeared in numerous solo and chamber music performances, inter alia with Viennese ensembles Music-on-Line and the Wiener Streichorchester, and was a permanent member of the Koehne String Quartet, Wien. She performed as chamber musician and soloist in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Faroe Islands, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, U.S.A., Zambia and Zimbabwe. Anmari has made several CD recordings and her solo CD with Ilse Schumann features world premieres of works by Roelof Temmingh and Egon Wellesz. The CD was well received by the Austrian Magazine for New Music. In addition, Anmari has performed several world premieres of cello compositions. In 2007 the Austrian Composers Union (under chairmanship of Professor Klaus Ager, the previous Director of the Mozarteum) invited her to give a solo recital of contemporary solo cello works in Vienna, Austria, which included the world premiere of Roelof Temmingh’s Variations, which was dedicated to her. She also gave the first performances of solo cello works by Austrian composers Wolfgang Nening and Hannes Heher, as well as works dedicated to her by Hubert Du Plessis and Hendrik Hofmeyr.

Anmari has more than thirty years of experience as principal cellist of orchestras and string ensembles. She was the conductor/director of the UCT String Ensemble for ten years and is currently the conductor of the Odeion Sinfonia and co-conductor of the Free State Youth Orchestra. She is a founding member of the UCT Trio, the Collage Ensemble and I Grandi Violoncellisti.