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ESPAÑA 99 (article first published : 1999-10-19)

Durban audiences who enjoyed popping into the laid-back and welcoming but now sadly defunct Liberace’s Piano Bar on Berea Road, will remember the elegant figure of Katya at the piano entertaining with a skill and dexterity that clearly showed he was the master of his instrument.

Audiences of a more mature vintage will remember Jack Dowle’s popular Music and Song for You series held in the Durban City Hall more than 20 years ago. One of these concerts saw an outstanding performance by an 18 year-old schoolboy who had travelled all the way from Port Shepstone to appear on the same stage as some of the top local musicians, singers and stage talent. The name? Peter Wilson. Having just taken part in a provincial schools piano competition as a member of a team of three pianists, he walked off with the honours that evening.

To quote the late music critic George Nisbet at the time: “Hearing Peter play last night was an experience which few of the large crowd present will forget in a hurry. Khachaturian’s Toccata, then a Chopin Nocturne – zipped off with minimum fuss and mercurial ease – made it evident that Peter has the talent of genius at his fingertips.”

Peter Wilson may well have continued as a concert pianist but he chose to join Mercedes Molina’s troupe and went on to become a well-known figure as Pablo Luna in Spanish dance circles. He is now in Pretoria and working with the Spanish Flamenco Institute which has produced the highly successful show España ’99. The show with its cast of eight is much in demand and appeared at the All Africa Games in September. For details contact Tanya van Rooyen on 082 896-3630.


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