Kinsey, Avril


Avril Kinsey was born in England in 1955. Her parents immigrated to South Africa in 1956.  After completing her studies in piano and guitar with Uliano Marchio at the University of Cape Town, Kinsey won a scholarship to further her studies in classical guitar at Santiago de Compostela in Spain with Josè Tomas a former student of Andrès Segovia.  


She completed master classes in Europe with Ernesto Bitetti, Carlos Bonell, Narciso Yepes, and in the USA with Christopher Parkening. On her return to South Africa in 1981, she won the Adcock Ingram Classical Guitar Competition with a distinction. During her twenty five year performing career across four continents she recorded five compact discs and appeared on numerous live radio broadcasts in South Africa, Europe and the USA. 


Kinsey has written over 25 works for and including the classical guitar. All her solo and duo guitar works have received World Premières and most have been published and recorded by Art Music Editions and Art Music Recordings. In 2007 after having given over 150 performances of her “African-inspired” works for classical guitar, she was awarded a prestigious Astris Award for her contribution to music and music education in South Africa.

Her numerous other works include ballets, chamber works, and several electro-acoustic tone poems as well as music for three documentaries. She is the author, and composer of two music books: Guitar Music from Africa and Guitar on Safari. Her arrangement of Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica was used in the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) TV Thabo Mbeki documentary “African Renaissance”. 


She has been commissioned by SAMRO, SABC, The Foundation for the Creative Arts as well as by private individuals, corporate organizations and schools. Classical Guitar Magazine UK said of Ms Kinsey’s works: “Ingenious and evocative, the result of a fertile imagination … a master musician of unusual ability”. Colin Cooper 


Kinsey is the founding Director of the Cape Town Academy of Music where she also lectures in Guitar, Theory of Music and Composition. She is currently involved in research work for a Masters of Music at the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town.

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