Avril Kinsey completed guitar
and piano studies at the University of Cape Town in 1978. She was awarded
a scholarship to further her classical guitar studies in Spain at the
Universitario Internacional de Música Española with Josè Tomas
(former student of Andrès Segovia), where she obtained a Performer’s
Diploma in 1979. She completed guitar master classes with Alice Artzt,
Ernesto Bitetti (Spain), Carlos Bonell (Royal College of Music), Narciso
Yepes, and later in the USA with Christopher Parkening.
Avril was awarded the Jules Kramer
Fine Arts and Music Scholarship, the KW Johnstone Research Bursary
as well as the Senior Entrance Merit Scholarship by the University
of Cape Town for her MMus research entitled ‘Music for the
Classical Guitar by South African Composers’. The degree was
awarded with distinction in 2009.
Earlier in her performing career
she made her orchestral debut with the National Symphony Orchestra
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. Avril’s performing
career has taken her to Singapore, Malaysia, Portugal, Spain, Holland,
Belgium, Austria, Germany, Denmark, England, Scotland, North America
and Greece, which led to live radio and television broadcasts for
SABC and the BBC. She has given international master classes, been
on competition juries and lectured internationally, including performing
and lecturing at the Royal Academy of Music, London in 2010.
As a composer she has written over 25 works for, and including,
the classical guitar. She has been commissioned by The Creative
Arts Foundation and the South African Music Rights Organisation.
Most of her compositions have been published by Art Music Editions
and many recorded on the Art Music label. Several have been
featured in SABC television documentaries as well as on radio
and television programs for Radio Austria and KPFK and Classical
Guitar Alive in the USA. She is the author of two music books ‘Guitar
Music from Africa’ and ‘Guitar on Safari’
and the performer on 5 CDs. She has written articles for magazines
and journals including Classical Guitar UK. In 2007she was
awarded the prestigious Astris Award for having ‘excelled
in her field of expertise over many years’.
Avril Kinsey is the first person in South Africa to commission
a classical guitar composition from a Black South African
composer. Mokale Koapeng completed the commission in 2010.
The first Avril Kinsey Classical Guitar Competition
in Cape Town was launched in 1998, and in 2000 she founded the Cape
Town Academy of Music where she is currently Director and lecturer.
Director CTAM, Chairperson FCTAM