Violin maestro Bester ready to wow with French Baroque

Violinist David Bester
Violinist David Bester

He’s young, he’s lean, he’s mean and he makes his violin sing. His name is David Bester, a relative newcomer to the Bay, and he can be heard at the upcoming concert of the Port Elizabeth Music Society on Thursday.

Bester will take his audience on a journey to explore French Baroque violin music, with the programme to touch on authentic French nationalist sounds, travelling deep into impressionism and stormy romanticism, and gliding into suave sensuality.

Bester, who has two master’s degrees in music, studied under Suzanne Martens at the University of Stellenbosch, where he obtained a BMus (cum laude) and a master’s degree (cum laude) in performance.

He then graduated cum laude from the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp in Belgium with a master’s degree in performing arts under the guidance of Professor Alissa Margulis, who will later this year perform at a Music Society concert.

His overseas studies were made possible by financial support from the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, the National Arts Trust and the Orange bursary from the Netherlands Consulate in Antwerp.

Bester has also won several bursaries for musical achievements. These include the Graham Beck bursary (2010), Samro bursary (2011 and 2013), Hans Endler prize (2012, 2013 and 2014) and Mabel Quick bursary (2014). He also received the Stellenbosch University merit bursary from 2011 to 2014.

His concert programme will contain music by Camille Saint-Saëns, namely his beautiful Sonata in D Minor for Violin and Piano, Debussy, Ravel, Fauré and some surprises.

The rapport between Bester and pianist José Dias is evident in their playing.

Dias, a performer in his own right, is well known in South African concert halls and is currently working on his doctoral degree at the University of Cape Town.

Bester says he nowadays finds that he sings his favourite shower songs of The Beatles very heartily in the morning since his move to Port Elizabeth.

He finds the Bay to be the true “Friendly City” and a place where you can “make a difference”, and says he looks forward to exploring all the new opportunities at hand.

Thursday’s concert starts at 7.30pm in the auditorium of the Nelson Mandela University’s South Campus.

Tickets are available at the door at R95 for adults, R80 for pensioners, and R45 and R35 for students and pupils.

For more information, contact Theresa at or (041)504-2255.