Eastman School of Music, BM
Thapelo Masita started playing the cello at the age of 12. He studied with John Minnaar, Tilla Henkins and Dr. Anmari van der Westhuizen as a member of the Mangaung String Program. He has won several prizes such as the string category prize at the Artscape National Music Competition (2010) and the prize for best performance of a concerto after his performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto with the CPO.In May 2013 he was the recipient of the Interlochen Arts Academy’s Fine Arts Award for Cello Performance. He is a three-time recipient of the Robus Foundation Scholarship for the Musica Mundi International Chamber Music Festival in Brussels. He was winner of the Free State Eisteddfod and won the Trinity exam prize in 2011 with a 96% Average. He has received several awards for exceptional cultural and academic achievement at school and was winner of the Musicon soloists’ competition and in 2011. Thapelo placed 3rd in the Graham’s Town National Music competition, as the only high school student .He has participated in master classes with some of the the leading musicians of our time; Ivry Gitlis, Daniel Rowland, Steven Isserlis, Rudolf Buchbinder, Maxim Vengerof, Gavriel Lipkind, Maria Kliegel, the Harlem, Chilingirian, as well as the Ying Quartet, have all been great musical influences. In the early stages of his orchestral career, has occupied the position of principal cellist in such ensembles as the Bochabela String Orchestra, Miagi Youth Orchestra, both of which has toured to Europe with. In 2011 Masita, was principal cellist of South African National Youth Orchestra for which he received national honors. Thapelo was invited to perform with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra in a national tour with the World-renowned violinist Sarah Chang and then an international tour of France where he was also invited to perform for the South African Ambassador to France, in Paris, as a celebration of the 95th Birthday of Nelson Mandela. Thapelo Masita completed his senior year of high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Under Mr. Campbell. While at Interlochen, he had the opportunity to engage in an intensive creative exchange, between the Interlochen Arts academy and the world-renowned Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, During which a select few students had the opportunity to design a production based on Schoenberg’s “Transfigured Night” where he was also selected to lead the cello section of the Orchestra. Masita is currently a student in the studio of Steven Doane at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester. In February 2015 Masita placed 2nd in Eastman’s Concerto competition with his performance of Haydn cello concerto in D maj. He was also soloist with the Bochabela String Orchestra on their recent tour to Europe, performing in venues Such as the Muth Theatre in Vienna, Bremen Raathaun and the Tonhalle Zurich. Thapelo Masita is fortunate to play on a Cello made by Oded Kishony, loaned to him by the Virtu Foundation in May 2015.