Pianist and Film Music Composer
Tessa De Groote was born in Stellenbosch of South African and Belgian parents. She has established herself as a versatile chamber musician and accompanist for university exams, eisteddfodau, competitions and auditions.
She studied the violin and chamber music with her father, Pierre De Groote and then later concentrated on the piano, which she studied with Stewart Young and Lamar Crowson, as well as receiving some instruction from her brother, Steven.
She appeared as soloist with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra at the ages of 16 and 17, after winning the concerto section of the Cape Town Eisteddfod in her age category for two consecutive years. Subsequently she appeared under conductors Werner Andreas Albert, Brian Priestman, Hubert Soudant, Vladimir Kin, Ogan D’Narc and Omri Hadari, as well as appearing with I Musicanti under Allan Stephenson.
She obtained a distinction for her UNISA Performer’s Licentiate in Chamber Music in 1993 and also graduated with a B.Mus degree. In 1991 and 1993 appeared as the pianist in two prize-winning ensembles in the Oude Meester National Chamber Music Competition.
In 2001 she attended summer classes in accompaniment and chamber Music in Nice, France, with instruction by professors from the Paris Conservatoire. She returned to Nice in 2003 for a course in vocal accompaniment and interpretation of French and German song with American Dalton Baldwin, former accompanist to Elly Ameling and Gérard Souzay. Here she also met singer Sofie-Christine Sűssmann, with whom she gave a lieder recital in Mol, Belgium in 2006.
After having worked full-time teaching and accompanying at Herschel Girls’ School in Cape Town for several years, she is again teaching privately, freelancing in accompanying and ensemble playing and pursuing her interest in the art of film music composition.