SHORT BIOGRAPHY (300 words)
Dr Avril Kinsey is a commissioned composer and internationally acclaimed concert guitarist. As a writer she was awarded the WGSA Muse award in 2020 for the best feature film screenplay in an unproduced category. She received her Masters in Music (cum laude) and in April 2018 she was awarded the prestigious Doctor of Music degree in Composition for her 93 minute portfolio of scores. Kinsey is founding director of the Cape Town Academy of Music, the Cape Town International Guitar Festival and the Avril Kinsey Classical Guitar Competition. Over a thousand performances of her African-inspired compositions for classical guitar have been performed world-wide to critical acclaim. “Ingenious, evocative, (…) a master musician of unusual ability.” Colin Cooper, Classical Guitar Magazine (UK). Her orchestral works have been performed by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra. “Overall VULCANUS is an impressive work that deserves live performance … the orchestration demonstrates a sound knowledge of the craft … the dramatic purpose is secure and compelling.” Professor Philip Grange, University of Manchester, UK.
She lectures at the Cape Town Academy of Music in guitar (classical), piano, voice, as well as theory and composition. Her international pre-degree certificate courses with practical musicianship, entrepreneurship, songwriting and music education streams have helped students bridge the gap between school music, university and pursuing a professional music career. She has given guitar talks and master classes at the Royal Academy of Music (UK), Trinity College of Music London, Volterra Project (Italy), Hermoupolis Guitar Festival (Greece), Mannes School of Music and Julliard in New York.
She is a researcher and published author with several published articles in journals such as Soundboard (USA) and Classical Guitar Magazine (former UK, now USA). She has authored and composed three music books, and has been recorded on 4 continents. Her most well known and internationally acclaimed being Guitar Music From Africa, published by Art Music and Ashley Mark publishing. She undertook a prolific performing career, concertizing in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Singapore, Malaysia, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Scotland, Greece and South Africa. Her guitar compositions are published by Art Music, while the Southern African Music Rights Organisation has commissioned and sponsored her compositional and teaching work. She was awarded several prestigious awards for her work in research and music education, including a life-time achievement Astris award.
LONG BIOGRAPHY (570 words)
Dr Avril Kinsey (TLDM, PDM, MMus cum laude, DMus) was born in England, but lived her life in South Africa. She is a commissioned composer and an award winning international concert guitarist. In February 2020 she won the WGSA Muse award for the best unproduced feature film screenplay. Kinsey is founding director of the Cape Town Academy of Music, the Cape Town International Guitar Festival and the Avril Kinsey Classical Guitar Competition. Her numerous guitar works have been published by Art Music (South Africa) and Ashley Mark Publishing (UK). She has five recordings and three music books with the Art Music label. Her most recent work is an orchestral score for a 2-Act Ballet entitled Vulcanus (DMus portfolio) and the Fynbos Suite for guitar and 6 voices inspired by the paintings of Steven Felmore. Her orchestral works have been performed by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and the KZN Philharmonic.
In 2009 Kinsey completed her Master of Music degree with distinction at the University of Cape Town (UCT) under acclaimed composer and musicologist Dr Hendrik Hofmeyr. Her 308-page thesis on South African Composers for the Classical Guitar included a catalogue of her works. She completed a doctoral degree in orchestral composition at the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) under internationally published composer and lecturer Prof Hans Roosenschoon.
As a classical guitarist-composer Kinsey has performed her own music in many parts of the world including Singapore, Malaysia, Portugal, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Denmark, England, Scotland, North America and more recently in Italy and Greece. She has recorded live on numerous radio and television broadcasts including the BBC (UK), Austrian Radio, KPFK (USA) and SABC radio and television (SA). Dr Gregory Newton (USA) performed several of Kinsey’s African-inspired guitar works, with their recreation of bird-calls and indigenous instruments, as part of his DMA degree recitals.
Kinsey has won numerous awards and scholarships including first place in the Adcock Ingram Classical Guitar Performers Competition (South Africa), the Jules Kramer Fine Arts and Music Scholarship, the KW Johnstone Research Bursary, the Senior Entrance Merit Scholarship at UCT, the Arts and Culture Trust Bursary and the prestigious Astris Award for having ‘excelled in her field of expertise over many years.’ She completed Licentiate studies (TLDM) in piano and guitar at UCT, achieved a Performers Diploma (PDM) from the Universitario Internacional de Santiago de Compostela in Spain, as well as having undertaken guitar master classes with, amongst others, world renowned guitarists Carlos Bonell (Royal College of Music, UK) and Christopher Parkening (USA).
Early in her performing career she made her orchestral debut with the National Symphony Orchestra (SA) performing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez under the baton of Garcia Asensio. In 1990 she formed and conducted South Africa’s first 21-one piece guitar orchestra. Performing with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra in 1996, she accompanied Luciano Pavarotti during the Cape Town visit of his world tour. In 1998 she launched the Avril Kinsey Classical Guitar Competition and in 2000 she founded the Cape Town Academy of Music where she is currently director and lecturer. Kinsey has performed, lectured and adjudicated an international guitar competition at the Hermoupolis Guitar Festival in Greece and lectured and performed at the Royal Academy of Music and Schott Music (UK). She has given master classes at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at the Julliard School of Music in New York.
In 2011 she founded the Cape Town International Guitar Festival and Competition. The following year she was invited to lecture and perform Evocations of Africa at the Volterra Project in Italy. Kinsey is most well known for her innovative African-inspired compositions, which include bird-calls and the recreation of indigenous African instruments on the guitar (Guitar Music From Africa). She is in demand internationally as a composer, music director, lecturer and performer.