Flautist, Dr Bridget Rennie-Salonen (PhD LicAE LRSM PGDip BA) is also both researcher and practitioner in musicians’ health, with expertise in somatic learning. Her extensive experience as a music educator informs her research, and her ongoing and varied performance output contributes valuable perspectives to both her research and pedagogy. She is interested in the interaction of the physiological, psychological, behavioural, and artistic aspects in performers. Bridget’s PhD focused on tertiary music students’ occupational health curriculum content, implementation, and assessment. She is on the team of the international Musicians’ Health Literacy Consortium, is a Research Fellow and Part-time Lecturer at Stellenbosch University, and is a licensed Andover Educator. She is highly sought after as a flute teacher, and many of her students have excelled nationally and internationally, several occupying positions in South African (SA) orchestras. As the Solo Principal Flute of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, she was the recipient of the prestigious Ben & Faye Carklin Award for Artistic Excellence. Recent awards include Fiesta, Silver Ovation, and Oppenheimer Memorial Trust awards. A well-known freelance performer, she has appeared as soloist with several SA orchestras. She is principal flute of the Cape Town Festival Orchestra, permanent guest principal with the Free State Symphony Orchestra, and is Baroque traverso flautist with the Camerata Tinta Barocca, SA’s premier early music ensemble. www.bridgetrs.com
Portuguese-born pianist, José Dias, first travelled to South Africa in 2001 to enrol at the University of Stellenbosch, where he was to complete his BMus Honours cum laude, then furthering his studies at the Hochschule für Muzik und Theater in Zürich (Switzerland) where he obtained his Konzertdiplom with distinction.
In 2007, José Dias took up a position as repetiteur at Cape Town Opera, where he accompanied CTO artists in countless concert performances and was involved as repetiteur and vocal coach in productions ranging from Monteverdi to Gershwin and Heggie. He is still a regular collaborator and guest artist with CTO, most recently and notably as musical director and pianist of the CTO African Angels production, which has been touring locally and internationally since 2013 to unanimous popular and critical acclaim.
2011 marked the start of an already remarkable freelance performing career which sees him as a regular presence in all major concert halls in South Africa as well as in Festivals such as Aardklop, KKNK, Klein Karoo Klassique, Woordfees, etc. In recent seasons, international performances have taken him to Portugal, Israel, Switzerland, Belgium and Austria, with extensive tours of the Netherlands and Germany, including performances in such prestigious halls as the Berliner Philharmonie, Münchner Philharmonie, Beethovenhalle in Bonn, Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, among many others.
José Dias is in growing demand as a soloist, chamber musician and accompanist, and has also been the musical director of Biblioteek Productions’ Amore, Waansin and Poskantoor operatic stage-works – the latter having been awarded Best Production at Aardklop and received two Fiesta Awards and seven Nominations. He was co-creator and curator of RISE, in cooperation with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra – a platform for the display of young SA classical talent – and is also an avid supporter of contemporary music, having premiered works by composers such as Hendrik Hofmeyr, Alexander Johnson and Braam du Toit. Many of these (some written especially for him) have been recorded and are available on CD.
José Dias is currently completing his PhD (Music) at the University of Cape Town under the supervision of Prof. François du Toit and Prof. Hendrik Hofmeyr, and is a part-time lecturer at the UCT College of Music.