Stanford Live highlights the future of South African music while also looking at its complex past with South African cellist Abel Selaocoe on March 13 and pianist Nduduzo Makhathini on April 27

Abel Selaocoe (left) will perform a solo cello recital in Bing Concert Hall this month and jazz artist Nduduzo Makhathini (right) performs in Bing Studio in April.

Stanford Live Highlights the Future of South African Music While Also Looking at its Complex Past

A cello recital by Abel Selaocoe, jazz from rising star Nduduzo Makhathini, and a multidisciplinary collaboration featuring composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen

Stanford, CA, March 4, 2022—As part of the 2021–22 season programmed around themes of reconciliation and forgiveness, Stanford Live welcomes a number of artists from South Africa, a nation whose recent history lays bare the complexities and possibilities of reckoning with history through the process collective healing through reconciliation and forgiveness.

South African cellist Abel Selaocoe (Mar 13), a prodigiously talented musician redefining the parameters of the cello, will perform a solo recital at Bing Concert Hall. Selaocoe transcends most definitions of classical music while adhering firmly to its tenets, moving seamlessly across a plethora of genres and styles, from collaborations with world musicians and beatboxers, to concerto performances and solo classical recitals. With a special interest in helping classical music reach a more diverse audience, he combines virtuosic performance with improvisation, singing, and body percussion to highlight the links between Western and non-Western musical traditions.

In April, pianist Nduduzo Makhathini (Apr 27) performs in the intimate Bing Studio in a fusion of South African traditions and progressive jazz to highlight the healing power of music. A musician at the forefront of a new generation of South African jazz musicians, Makhathini has become a rising star in the jazz world whose work The New York Times has described as “richly shaded with Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp, Andrew Hill, and John Coltrane.”

Do Not Fear the Past (Apr 29), a multidisciplinary collaboration led by Stanford professor of classics Grant Parker and music lecturer Marie-Louise Catsalis, reorients South Africa’s past and examines the relationship between the ethics of commemoration and the process of reconciliation and forgiveness. The Bay-Area based Astraeus Quartet will perform South African composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen’s newly commissioned piece Do not fear the past, which is based on Zuhura Seng’enge’s poem of the same title. Featuring soprano Donita Volkwijn, visual elements by Stanford alum and artist Jordan Reist, and texts read by Stanford students, the performance portrays an oblique response to the death of Stanford alumna Amy Biehl (1967-93) during her stint as Fulbright fellow in Cape Town, South Africa in the lead-up to that country’s first democratic election.

Staff and students of the Amy Foundation as well as Stanford students in the university’s Bing Overseas Studies Program developed and workshopped Do Not Fear the Past in Cape Town during the summer of 2018. The result is a powerful exploration and questioning of remembrance and reconciliation amid tragedy that urgently seeks ways forward.

Tickets are on sale now at To read about health and safety protocols, visit our website.

Abel Selaocoe
Sunday, March 13, 2:30 pm
Bing Concert Hall
Tickets start at $32

Nduduzo Makhathini
Wednesday, April 27, 7:00 pm
Bing Studio
Tickets: $35

Do Not Fear the Past
featuring Donita Volkwijn, soprano and the Astraeus Quartet 
Friday, April 29, 7:00 pm
Bing Studio
Tickets: $25

HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINESStanford Live continues to monitor COVID-19 and work closely with health and university officials to ensure a safe experience for patrons and to protect the community, artists, and staff.

Proof of vaccination or a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours prior to arrival onsite is required upon entry to all Stanford Live venues, including Bing Concert Hall, Bing Studio, Memorial Church, Memorial Auditorium, and Frost Amphitheater.

For indoor shows, masks are required to be worn by all patrons. Please bring your own face coverings that cover your nose and mouth and wear them at all times. Masks with valves will not be allowed.

Patrons should stay home if they are experiencing a fever or any COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days, or have had close contact with anyone who is confirmed or is suspected of having COVID-19.

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