Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cincinnati Enquirer: 'Ngwenyama is doing much to dispel myths about her instrument.'

[Nokuthula Ngwenyama]

Cincinnati Enquirer
By Janelle Gelfand • November 2, 2010
“As the Taft Museum of Art's 2010 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence, Nokuthula Ngwenyama, a violist, says she has two primary goals. The first is to celebrate the legacy and accomplishments of African-Americans in the fine arts. The second, she says, is to illustrate to the young musicians she'll meet during her 10-day residency (Thursday through Nov. 14) that anything is possible.”

“Ngwenyama, 34, was born in Los Angeles to a Zimbabwean father and a Japanese mother. She is a virtuoso of the viola, the alto voice of the string family. Last April, she stepped in at the 11th hour to perform as soloist in Berlioz's 'Harold in Italy' with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Ironically, it was through her last-minute appearance with the Cincinnati Symphony that she made connections leading to the Taft Museum residency.”

“In the concert world, it is not the viola, but the violin, with its wide-ranging, often flashy literature, that usually gets the glory. As a musician of growing distinction, Ngwenyama is doing much to dispel myths about her instrument. 'Those preconceptions of a viola not being a solo instrument I think are wrong,' she says.” "'I am practicing like a crazy person right now,' she says. And practicing has become more complicated since starting a family with her husband, classical guitarist Michael Long. She's the mom of a 4-year-old and a 17-month-old." [Nokuthula Ngwenyama (b. 1976) is profiled at AfriClassical.com and has her own website, http://www.Ngwenyama.com]

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