Wessel van Wyk is one of South Africa’s most prominent classical pianists. On completion of his music training in Vienna, having won the first prize in the international Bösendorfer Piano Competition, he returned to South Africa to establish himself as one of this country’s most active and versatile musicians.
In a career spanning three decades he has become renowned as a solo performer and as a collaborative music partner to numerous instrumentalists and singers. In 2013, he undertakes a concert tour to Australia and New Zealand as accompanist for contemporary singer Laurika Rauch. In April 2014, he partners violinist Zanta Hofmeyr in a Classicfm Soiree entitled “Fiddler on the Screen” in Johannesburg; more recently, he accompanies soprano Hanli Stapela in a lieder recital for the Wellington Concert Series in the Cape.
He has played concertos with various orchestras under conductors such as Wolfgang Bothe, David de Villiers, Stephen Portman, Pinchas Steinberg and Vladimir Kern. In both 2013 and 2014, he was a soloist with the University of Pretoria Symphony Orchestra under the batons of Eric Rycroft and Schalk van der Merwe respectively. In 2014, he performs Chopin’s first Piano Concerto with the Rand Symphony Orchestra under the Polish conductor Bernard Wozny.
Wessel’s commercial recordings are played by local radio stations frequently. His four “Piano Favourites” CD’s have become classical best sellers with volumes 2 and 3 being nominated for SAMA awards. He is one of the eight pianists performing on the popular “Piano Extravaganza” CD that was released by Salon Music under the auspices of RSG in December 2014.
Wessel obtained a DMus (Performing Arts) from UP in 2001, the first musician to receive this degree in South Africa. He is at present an Associate Professor in the Music Department of the University of Pretoria where he teaches piano and chamber music and supervises post-graduate dissertations and theses. He is frequently invited to serve as a judge for national music competitions and he is passionate about creating performance opportunities for young musicians.