Tuesday, November 30, 2010

3 Songs by Samuel Barber Op. 10 Nos. 1, 2, 3

This is the first of 3 songs by Samuel Barber (Op. 10 No. 1) which I am working on at the moment to play with Brad Liebl (baritone), perhaps at a recital we are doing for the Wagner Society on 6th March next year, or else at some other recital. I am posting them to my blog so that I can listen and learn! They are not easy but very interesting and exciting. The words are by James Joyce.
The artists are Gerald Finley and Julius Drake.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Advertising in South Courant

I have been running an advert for my piano lessons in the South Courant, Swellendam, which has attracted more enquiries than any other advertising so far. This is what it says:

Do you long to play the
piano? Do you need to brush
up on your playing? Do you
have a musically gifted child
10 years or older?
Teenagers and adults
Performance peparation
Exam preparation

Look no further!....
....except at my blog:

Book now for an appointment
and interview

Tel: 028 514 2904
Cell: 082 855 0534
Email: sylbenat@futurejhb.co.za

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Philippa Castle's Birding Video

Philippa Castle has produced a beautiful video with her wonderful bird photos, using a track from my CD as background music. Please visit this site to enjoy the experience! It is on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=427296365484&comments=

Philippa Castle's Birding Video

Philippa Castle has produced a beautiful video with her wonderful bird photos, using a track from my CD as background music. Please visit this site to enjoy the experience! http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=427296365484&comments=

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Preludes for Piano No. 3 - George Gershwin

"The art of music is divine and effective. It is the food of the soul and spirit. Through the power of music the spirit of man is uplifted." Bahá'í Writings

Enjoy this excerpt of music, a track from my new CD, "A Few of My Favourite Things".

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Interview with Sylvia Schulman

What do you do? What is your musical specialty?
I am a concert pianist playing as Sylvia Schulman. For 10 years whilst fulfilling the task of Office Manager at the National Bahá'í Centre in Johannesburg my musical involvement was interrupted and I was fairly inactive in this field, my only connection with music being as resident pianist for the Gauteng Choristers and occasional informal events. For the last 3 years I have been in the Western Cape Province and am gradually increasing my musical activity as soloist, accompanist and teacher. A CD recording will be made in January 2010 entitled "A Few of My Favourite Things...." and will include 12 pieces from Liszt, Mozart, Brahms etc. to George Gershwin and Zez Confrey. Three concerts are so far scheduled for 2010.
Do you work alone or in a group? If in a group, who are the others you work with?
Depends on the engagement. If solo, then alone - if as accompanist, then with soloist(s) or group or choir. It could be with orchestra as well.

Is there a web address where one can listen, see, or read some of your work?
I am working on it.

Please list any awards, competitions, or other acknowledgments you would like to mention.
My main acknowledgements are in the form of newspaper critiques! As a student a long time ago I obtained qualifications - various Licentiates.

Please list discography in which you have participated.
Before the days of CD's I played in many broadcasts some of which I have in tapes but none are available to the public now. I am about to make my first CD entitled "A Few of My Favourite Things...." which will contain 12 pieces for piano. This will be available late January 2010.
How did you begin making music? Who introduced you?
My father was a musician and I have been playing the piano from the age of 4.

What was your musical education?
Piano lessons in the then Belgian Congo, England, High School in Cape Town, South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town. Later in England I was coached by Joel Ryce (American husband of Yaltah Menuhin) and Louis Kentner.

When did you realise that making music could be a way of life for you?
It is part of my way of life. I have always realised it. I have many other interests as well.

What is your creative process?
I recreate - the creativity is in the interpretation of the music I play.

When do you have your most lucid moments, in the morning or night?
Morning is best but if in concert at night then I need to have had adequate rest to be lucid!

Have you ever awoken with a melody created from your dreams?

How do you know when a song is finished or needs no more changes?
Not applicable

How often do you practice?
If a performance is coming up then I practise every day.

How do you feel right before going out on stage?

Which musicians or groups have been inspiring to your career?
Great pianists

What should be done to stop piracy?
Moral education from early childhood.

What type of music do you detest?

The Founder of the Bahá'í Faith says: "We have made music as a ladder for the soul to ascend to heaven, make it not wings for self and passion." So music which seems like wings for self and passion is the sort of music I detest.

What time did you get up this morning?
7 a.m.

How do you sell yourself? What has been your experience with record companies and representatives?
I haven't done much about selling myself and have no experience with record companies and representatives. If I have a concert it is usually advertised by whoever engages me.

What other things have you done to make a living?
Bookkeeping, running my husband's photographic businesses, office manager, internet affiliations, teaching music in schools and privately.

Have you ever played on the street or in the subway? How much did you collect each day?

Who would you play with, without a doubt?
All good musicians.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?
Get a good agent, work hard, take up all opportunities and challenges, try to be in the right place at the right time. Don't expect to become a star overnight. Some great artists who suddenly appear on the scene have probably been struggling to get known for 10 or more years.

Read more: http://www.whohub.com/sylbenat#ixzz0yxgJIT1j

Concert at Wildbraam with Dr. Brad Liebl

This was a recital on 22nd January 2010 with Dr. Brad Liebl, the well-known baritone who is professor of singing at the College of Music, University of Cape Town. As you see, I am accompanying and also played some solo pieces. It took place at Wildebraam, the Berry Farm in the Hermitage, Swellendam. Brad is a wonderful singer and I was thrilled to work with him. Before I went to Johannesburg in 1997 I had played for him both for his students whilst he was teaching and for a recital in Picketberg. We are hoping to repeat this concert at other venues.

Master Class, Swellendam High School

Who would have thought that a piano master class could be held in this small but historic and beautiful town in the Western Cape Province of South Africa? But this is what is going to happen at the Swellendam High School on 10th September 2010. The students who are preparing to take the UNISA Grade VIII piano exam will be playing a range of interesting pieces from Bach to Shostakovitch and I shall be there to help them improve their performances primarily from the point of view of musicality and interpretation, also suggesting adjustments in technique where necessary. To be in a position to nurture musical talent is very exciting and a great privilege. The event will be open to the public.

Concert at Wildebraam, Swellendam, Friday 15th October

The next concert at Wildebraam will be on Friday 15th October featuring a song recital by Marcelle Volckaert. I shall be accompanying her and playing some solos. The notice from Wildebraam went out to their email list today. The programme will be announced later. Tickets are R140 for the recital and dinner, R100 without the dinner. Phone Wildebraam to book: 028 514 3132


"...Schulman has it all at her fingertips."

"Her perfomance...was exemplary in its sensitivity and exquisite delicacy..."

"...she evoked the best of the Romantic spirit..."

"...her fingerwork in the exciting climaxes was dazzlingly brilliant..."

"...(her) charactarisation was boldly coloured and intense..."


Bahá'í World Centre
Shrine of the Báb

Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh

Bahá'í House of Worship

New Delhi