Our first post is about the renown violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama.
As a violist, Ms. Ngwenyama has achieved many respected awards, and has performed across the United States and around the world. She has studied at top institutions, including the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris. She also is a fine administrator, directing the Primrose Viola Competition, and serving as President of the American Viola Society.
Culturally, Ms.Ngwenyama is Japanese (mother) and Zimbabwean (father). However, if this mixture is not already unique enough, she recently discovered that her background includes a unique Jewish lineage from her father's background.
"What's interesting about my father's background is that he came from a group of Ndebele, but also Lemba, who are the Jews of southern Africa. I didn't know much about this growing up because my father was extremely secular," explains Ms. Ngwenyama. Because Judaism in the Lemba tribe is indeed patrilinial, she did not need to convert to Judaism when she married her husband, who is a Ukrainian-Lithuanian Jew.
Her story continues in this article, HERE!
Watch her perform the (in)famous fourth movement from Hindemith's solo viola sonata Op. 25 No. 1: