Khanyisile Mthetwa has recently been named by the leading South African newspaper, Mail and Guardian, as one the top 200 young South Africans for 2019. Khanyisile is the 2019 winner of the Myrna Brown International Scholarship awarded by the National Flute Association of America. She has just performed a concert of South African works at the 47th Annual Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is currently visiting the Bay Area. Khanyisile will be performing a concert of virtuoso flute music, including the Flute Sonata by Stanford professor Giancarlo Aquilanti, who will accompany her for his piece.
The 33 year old is originally from the town of Soweto and began playing the flute aged 15, at a free Saturday music program held at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital Nursing College. At 16, she began studying at the National School of Arts (NSA) where she specialized in flute.
“At NSA, one of my teachers, Maretha Davel (currently an East Bay Area music teacher) told me to further my studies on flute because she thought I had potential, and so I decided to do it,” she said.
Khanyisile currently performs as first flute with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, has performed solo concertos with the Kwazulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa. She performed alongside famed Italian opera singer, Andrea Bocelli, during the 2010 World Cup. She has been a music tutor at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, for three years. In 2017, Khanyisile became a fellow of Trinity College of London for Flute Performance.