In the world of music, there are artists who are not only skilled, but also bring a unique blend of passion, culture, and inspiration to their craft. Kobie du Plessis, a remarkable musician whose life story is as enchanting as her music, is one such artist.
Born into a family deeply rooted in culture and creativity, she embarked on a musical journey that has taken her across continents, captivating audiences with her harp melodies.
Kobie’s musical journey began at just seven years when she started piano lessons. Her natural talent was evident as she quickly won scholarships for her piano talent. Encouraged by her parents, who were both passionate advocates of culture, she started taking harp lessons at the age of twelve.
But it wasn’t just formal training that enriched her musical upbringing; her fondest memories involve harmonious family sing-alongs, especially during long car trips. This early exposure to the magic of music would lay the foundation for her future accomplishments.
Nurturing Musical Excellence
Her educational journey led her to the University of Pretoria, where she pursued a Bachelor of Music degree, with the harp as her major instrument and the piano as her second. In her third year, her exceptional talent was recognized with the prestigious Pretorium Trust Scholarship for best performance. She became a part of the SABC Junior Orchestra, under the baton of the renowned Walter Mony, and embarked on a tour of South America, leaving a trail of musical brilliance wherever she went.
Kobie’s thirst for musical excellence didn’t end with her degree. She continued her harp studies under the guidance of Kathleen Alister and Ventura Rosenthal. When she relocated to the Western Cape, she began performing as a freelance harpist with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra, captivating audiences with her ethereal melodies.
Kobie’s pursuit of musical perfection extended far beyond South Africa’s borders. She ventured to Europe to study under the guidance of world-renowned harpists like Edward Witsenburg in The Hague, Netherlands, and Susanna Mildonian in Brussels. Her dedication and talent shone brightly as she performed as a soloist in prestigious venues, including the Zuid Afrikahuis in Amsterdam.
Kobie enjoyed a decade-long partnership with Corvin Matei, a flautist and later conductor of the Stellenbosch orchestra, performing extensively across the Western Cape. She also graced the stage multiple times at Nederburg, and played in the orchestra accompanying Luciano Pavarotti during his performance at Coetzenburg, Stellenbosch.
In Spain, Kobie lived just outside Barcelona for 13 years, where she collaborated in duos and trios with musicians such as German oboist Thekla von Dombois, and Mathias Weinman. She also performed solo recitals for charity, engaged in women’s organizations supporting underprivileged women and children, taught harp and piano, and won a non-fiction short story competition titled “Dancer on the Train.”
Kobie’s music didn’t just touch the hearts of audiences; it transcended borders and cultures. She performed alongside famous musicians like Jose Carreras in Spain and shared the stage with talented flautists like Julian Gogu from Moldavia and Ala Voronkova from Russia in Barcelona. Her passion for teaching also led her to share her knowledge with students in her free time.
As a versatile artist, Kobie explored various musical genres, including jazz and blues, through online courses with renowned American jazz harpist Debora Henson-Conant. Her musical journey even took her to Rio de Janeiro, where she performed at the Rio Harp Festival, and she wowed audiences with standing ovations during solo recitals, showcasing her expertise in Baroque Flamenco.
She was invited to perform in Mexico for the fourth International Harp competition as a guest artist, and is invited annually to Rio de Janeiro as a permanent fixture. Additionally, she embarked on the task of transcribing folk music from various corners of the world for the harp, a passion she continues to pursue.
After moving back to South Africa, Kobie continued her visits to Rio de Janeiro to maintain her international credentials, and because she enjoys performing there. Her last performances were in July 2023 for the XVIII Harp Festival.
Leaving a Musical Legacy
Throughout her journey, Kobie also made time to give back to the community. She performed for charitable causes, supported women’s organizations dedicated to helping underprivileged women and children, and shared her knowledge by teaching harp and piano to eager students.
In September, she received an invitation to perform the first movement of the Mozart harp and flute concerto alongside flautist Dr. Leonard Heybenrich with the Heydeburg Orchestra in the Endler for the Hear Us Foundation. Her commitment to assisting others extended to her active involvement with the Heydeburg Orchestra, a charity orchestra in Southern Africa devoted to aiding individuals with vision or hearing impairments. Kobie teaches piano and harp daily. When she’s not making music, she enjoys participating in the Run Walk for life organization, immersing herself in literature as a voracious reader, and gracing weddings and events with her melodious tunes.
Kobie du Plessis is not just an extraordinary musician; she is a testament to the power of culture, passion, and dedication. Her story reminds us that when we follow our hearts, embrace our roots, and share our talents with the world, our journey becomes a harmonious symphony that inspires and uplifts all who listen.
Kobie’s music has left an indelible mark on the world. Her compositions have been captured on several compact discs, with her solo CD, “The Magic of the Harp,” available on platforms like Amazon and Spotify. You can also experience the enchanting world of Kobie du Plessis by searching for her on YouTube.
For more information contact Kobie on +27 (0) 60 749 5499 (WhatsApp), email@example.com or visit www.kobieduplessis.com