Cello Academy Berthine van Schoor

Berthine van Schoor founded her cello academy in 2008. She has produced numerous prize-winning students and is a sought-after cello teacher.

She started to teach cello while living in Austria and Germany and gained valuable experience from her own teacher, Prof Heidi Litschauer, who is a lecturer at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg. She had master classes with cellists such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt (Vienna), Antonio Lysy (London) and Rudolph Leopold (Vienna).

After returning to South Africa in 2000, Berthine was cello lecturer at the University of Pretoria. During this time, she continued her private practice and in 2008 decided to start her own cello academy. Her students are regular participants in concerto festivals, competitions and orchestras. Several of her students are currently studying overseas.

Berthine has received two awards from Unisa for outstanding teaching. She also runs an outreach project in Pretoria, which is generously funded the Unisa Music Foundation. The senior students are all members of the SA National Youth Orchestra, the Miagi Orchestra and the Unisa Symphony Orchestra. The juniors played their first exams in 2010, with a 100% pass rate.

Berthine was invited to be on the faculty of the International Academy of Music in Castelnuovo di Garfagana, Italy, in July 2010. She has also given master classes in India.

Some of her best students include:

Misha Favis (14) is currently studying at the Yehudi Menuhin School in London, where he has been awarded a full scholarship for the next five years.
Misha was the winner of the SAVMO competition in 2008 (Primary School Section), a finalist in the Sanlam competition 2009 and performed as a soloist with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra in 2009.

Jacques-Pierre Malan (21) was the overall winner of the Unisa Grade 8 Bursary competition in 2007. He was the winner of the ATKV Musique competition (String Section) in 2009 and is currently studying at the Peabody Institute in Washington, USA.

Radhika Mahidhara (18) was the winner of the SAVMO competition in 2008 (High School Section), performed as a soloist with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra and is currently a student in Philadelphia, USA.

Pierre du Toit was a finalist in the Unisa Licenciate Bursary competition in 2006 and subsequently studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. Pierre is an actuary and works for Absa.

Gian Steenkamp (15) was the overall winner (Cello section) of the Pretoria for the past three years. He has performed as a soloist with several orchestras.

Ya-Leah Steenkamp (12) was the winner of her age group at the Pretoria Eisteddfod for several consecutive years and performed the Vivaldi Double concerto with her brother Gian with the JSO in 2009.

James Gous, Catherine Schenck, Carla Taljaard, Martin Eccles and Nicola Johannes all received distinctions for their Unisa, Trinity and Royal Schools Grade 7 and 8 exams.

Several of her students are on the Unisa Roll of Honour (for an average of 90% and above). These include Lara Snyman, Joshua de Villiers and Jana Swanepoel.

Four students (Catherine Schenck, Lara Snyman, Gian Steenkamp and Gabi Hall)attended master classes at the International Academy of Music in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana in Italy in 2010. They also received a scholarship from the Oppenheimer Music Trust.