Christo Burger, South Africa
CHRISTO BURGER is regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost conductors and clinicians of choral music. Christo (*1978) was born in Kempton Park and was a member of the University of Pretoria Camerata from 1997 to 2003. During his studies at the University of Pretoria, he obtained the degrees BMus, BMus Hons (Performing Arts) cum laude as well as MMus (Performing Arts).
Christo attended master classes in choral conducting at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, USA, as well as master classes in orchestral conducting at the Royal College of Music in London, UK.
Christo was a full-time lecturer in Choral Conducting as well as conductor of the Tuks Camerata from 2009 at the University of Pretoria until 2012.
From here he established the St Mary’s Singers Choral Program at the St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls in Pretoria where he is also the conductor of this award-winning school choir, The St Mary’s Singers. With this program he incorporates a singing program for the juniors in the school by establishing a firm singing basis for them to grow as soloists in singing. This successful program each year has on average 35 young multi-cultural singers.
He is regularly invited as an adjudicator at national and international choral competitions, which have included countries such as the Czech Republic, Thailand and Malaysia. Choirs under his direction have won numerous choral competitions, both at a national and international level.
His AKUSTIKA CHAMBER SINGERS’s accolades include the collaboration with the composer, Karl Jenkins. Under his baton the choir performed his: “The armed man-mass for peace” as well as “Stabat Mater”. In 2008 AKUSTIKA won the Pavarotti trophy as well as the title: “Choir of the world” at the annual Llangollen Eisteddfod in Wales.
AKUSTIKA in 2010 won the grand prise and was announced as overall winners of the Concorso Chorale Internazionale Riva del Garda competition, in Italy. AKUSTIKA took part in 2012 in the annual Spittal an der Drau choir competition in Austria and was awarded the Publikum prize at the competition. According to the “Interkultur Musica Mundi” world ranking list, AKUSTIKA is currently ranked 6th best choir in the world and also ranked 3rd best mixed choir. AKUSTIKA performed twice as solo artists at the prestigious Classic FM Soiree hosted by the Classic FM radio station. Recently AKUSTIKA collaborated with the country’s best contemporary composers for the recording of the soundtrack of a new South African TV Drama, “Donkerland”.
Christo is also seen as a composer of works in the “African Avant Garde Choral Music” style, combining the story-telling of African music with Western compositional techniques. Top South African choirs at leading choral events all over the world have performed his woks.
Christo is also the founder and director of Baobab Music Publishers (pty) Ltd. This is an Internet based website creating a platform for South African Composers to enable the distribution of their works to an international choral directors audience.