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• Performer • Educator • Recording Artist • Composer • Script writer • Speaker • Author • Composing Commissions

Avril Kinsey is an internationally renowned classical guitar performer/composer and film script writer who lives and works from her home in Cape Town, South Africa. She has performed and recorded on 4 continents and received international acclaim for her “African-inspired” compositions for classical guitar. Described by Classical Guitar Magazine UK as “Ingenious, evocative…a master musician of unusual ability” her book and CD GUITAR MUSIC FROM AFRICA is in demand by guitarists and educators world-wide.

Involved in music education for over twenty years she founded the CAPE TOWN ACADEMY OF MUSIC in January 2000. Aligned with the international exam work of Trinity College of Music in London, the CTAM offers the latest in world trends and syllabi for all ages and levels, combining discipline with creativity and care for the person as a whole. In 2001 the CAPE TOWN ACADEMY OF MUSIC GUITAR QUARTET was formed and they have gone on to perform in many prestigious venues in Cape Town.

Avril completed her studies in guitar and piano at the University of Cape Town, before she went on to win a scholarship for further studies in Spain at Santiago de Compostela (founded by “the father of the classical guitar” Andres Segovia. In Europe she also undertook guitar master classes with Ernesto Bitetti, Jose Tomas, Carlos Bonell, Narciso Yepes and later in the USA with Christopher Parkening and Alice Artz.

After returning to South Africa, she won the Adcock Ingram Classical Guitar Competition and soon thereafter followed her debut recording “Two Guitars in Concert” with John Silver. Her second album “African Evenings” led to a national and international concert tour, where she also performed with Prof. Timothy Walker of the Royal Academy of Music. Avril has recorded for SABC and BBC radio and television as well as KPFK and KMFA radio in the USA. Her music has also been aired on over 50 syndicated radio stations across the USA.

Her successful master classes and lectures led to the founding of a guitar orchestra and a live television recording of Ravel’s Bolero for 20 guitars. She arranged and conducted the performance, from which a feature documentary was produced for SABC TV. She has also produced and co-produced several television documentary’s for SABC. One on Mervin Davis a South African Luthier, building guitars from South African woods , as well as one on Modjadji (The famed Rain Queen of the Lobedu African tribe.) She formed her own recording label ART MUSIC, which produced her popular CD SENSUAL GUITAR with ballads, blues, songs and dances from the pens of Django Reinhardt, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Stanley Myers, Rodrigo and Kinsey herself

Avril’s orchestral performance highlights include; performing the Aranjuez Concerto under the baton of Spanish conductor Garcia Asensio, working with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and accompanying Luciano Pavarotti with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition her varied repertoire has included the Concerto for Jazz piano and Classical guitar by Claude Bolling, performed at SPIER AMPHITHEATRE (The Gateway to the African Continent for Arts and Culture). In 1998 she also launched the Avril Kinsey Guitar Competition.

A versatile musician who has performed work ranging from singing and dancing in musicals such as Hello Dolly, Oklahoma, Playing our Song, and the Sound of Music to conducting children’s choirs, ensemble groups and working with many other prominent South African musicians like Afro jazz/classical guitarist, George Mathiba, as well as Steve Newman of Tananas fame. She directed and produced the OUDE LIBERTAS AMPHITHEATRE sell-out success STRINGS AROUND THE WORLD which included her CTAM GUITAR QUARTET with ballet stars Carol Kinsey and Johan Jooste. She has worked with acclaimed coloratura soprano Sanet Allen with sold out performances at the GRAHAMSTOWN FESTIVAL. Sanet also sings on the SENSUAL GUITAR CD.

As a composer she has been awarded prestigious commissions from the Foundation for the Creative Arts and SAMRO. Her compositions have included One Act Ballets, Instrumental works, songs, jingles and TV theme tunes. Her article and paper “Creating Guitar Music in South Africa” was published in Classical Guitar magazine UK. as well as being presented at the International Composers’ Workshops Africa Conference. Her music was also heard in the Thabo Mbeki TV documentary “The Renaissance Man”. Her recent artistic success was Avril Kinsey & Friends at the Baxter Theatre with friends from the La Rosa Spanish Dance Theatre and jazz musos Jeremy Olivier and Shannon Mowday.

Kinsey was awarded the Jules Kramer Fine Arts and Music Scholarship, the KW Johnstone Research Bursary, as well as the Senior Entrance Merit Scholarship by the University of Cape Town for her MMus research on Music for the Classical Guitar by South African Composers. The degree was
awarded with distinction in 2009, and since then she has been in great demand as a performer and lecturer on the topic of her 308 page thesis, both in South Africa and internationally.

2010 saw her performing and giving master classes at the Hermoupolis Guitar Festival in Greece and lecturing and performing at the Royal Academy of Music and Schott Music in London.

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