Heleen du Plessis
Heleen du Plessis is a Dunedin based cellist and producer of innovative research-based performance outputs, commissioning, premiering and recording works by South African and New Zealand composers. Regarding the cello as her voice and music as a pathway and means to connect to people, place and finding a sense of place, “earnest emotive string colour with every phrase, always traversing a glorious pathway, direct from the heart to the fingers”, has been hailed as “the hallmark of du Plessis’ delivery”. Her CD ‘Cello for Africa’ was nominated for the International Listener’s Choice Awards (2014), and acclaimed as embodying “the highest standard of artistry”, and a “genuine attempt to build a meaningful cross-cultural dialogue”. The multi-media concert production, ‘Cellist Aotearoa’ was described as, “Superlative playing of a superlative programme” and “cello performance at its absolute best”.
She regularly performs as soloist, in recitals and chamber music and lectures in cello, pedagogy of music teaching, and music theory at the University of Otago. She contributes to arts in the Dunedin community in her role as director of the widely recognised cello ensemble, Cellists of Otago, and principal cellist of Dunedin Symphony Orchestra.