Violinist to test his music skills

SOWETO-BORN violin player Samson Diamond, who is currently based in the UK, is poised to shine at the Unisa classical music competition on Friday.

SOWETO-BORN violin player Samson Diamond, who is currently based in the UK, is poised to shine at the Unisa classical music competition on Friday.

The young classically trained musician, who honed his skills at the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble before heading to Manchester in England for further studies, is the only black face in this highly competitive classical musiccompetition.

Diamond will becompeting against artists from all around the country to take part in the international competition next year.

He recently graduated with a masters degree in music at Royal North College of Music in Manchester. This after getting a distinction in music at bachelor's level at the same institution in 2006.

Through his association with the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble, he received financial help from Gillian Anderson, a US-basedclassical musician who was inspired by the work of the ensemble in general and the determination of Diamond to succeed.

Yesterday, Diamond said he was looking forward to the competition. "I felt that I needed to make a contribution to the standard of this competition and that is why I entered," he said.

The ensemble has in the past performed for high- profile people in South Africa, the US and the UK, including former president Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth II.

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