Tessa Uys


Born in Cape Town into an exceptionally musical and theatrical family Tessa Uys is one of South Africa’s most distinguished concert pianists.  Aged 7, she gave her first public performance and made her concerto debut at 13 with the Cape Town Municipal Orchestra conducted by David Tidboald. At 16, whilst still at school, she won a Royals Schools Associated Board Scholarship and continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London where she studied with Gordon Green. Here she won many prizes, and in her final year was awarded the top prize, the Macfarren Medal. Further studies in London with Maria Curcio and in Siena, Italy with Guido Agosti. Shortly after this, Tessa Uys won the Royal Overseas League competition.  During the past three decades, Tessa Uys has established herself an impressive reputation, both as concert performer and as a broadcasting artiste, performing at many of the major concert venues throughout the world.She is also in demand as examiner,teacher and adjudicator.

Tessa Uys made the first broadcast recordings of the Godowsky transcriptions of 12 Schubert songs for both BBC Radio 3 and Radio Hilversum in Holland. She has given many recitals at the Wigmore Hall, as well as at St John’s Smith Square, and Southbank. Tessa Uys has played under such distinguished conductors as Sir Neville Marriner, Walter Susskind and Louis Fremaux, Matthias Baemert and Nicholas Kraemer. She has also enjoyed the distinction of working with the film director John Schlesinger on his film ‘Madame Sousatzka’, starring Shirley MacLaine. In 1994 she was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. In the year 2000, to mark the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death, she recorded the Goldberg Variations released as a double CD for GSE Claremont records.

In recent years,Tessa Uys arranged an emotive journey of a Bluethner grand piano.The piano belonged to her German- born mother,who took it from Berlin to Cape Town in the late 1930’s. Now the instrument has made it’s final voyage back to the land of it’s creation,where it occupies the pride of place at the Berlin Jewish Museum,completing an elegant parabola from Nazi Germany and Apartheid South Africa to new eras in both lands.