Talisa Symons can be described as a fun-loving, unique and motivated individual, who has sacrificed an “ordinary life” for one almost entirely devoted to music. A deep love for music sprouted when she picked up a violin at the tender age of five. Her father James Symons, encouraged her avid passion for music and more specifically the violin, by accompanying her on the piano while she diligently practiced.
Performing initiated almost immediately for Talisa and from the age of six, she joined various orchestras around Gauteng, including the East Rand Youth and Johannesburg Foundation Orchestra. As a concert soloist, she performed at the age of eleven with the Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Botanical Garden Picnic Concerts. Talisa also began performing with her father from the age of ten at various public events, including weddings, restaurants, concerts, markets, and retirement homes. Recording her first four CDs took place between the ages of eleven and fourteen with her father accompanying on the piano. Each CD includes pieces within the Classical, Gypsy and Jazz genres.
When Talisa found her wrist in pain during practice just nine years and five teachers into her violin career, she began investigating the much-needed help of Professor Jack de Wet, whose violin pupils are known for their outstanding results, both locally and abroad. Talisa’s family forfeited their accustomed lives in Kwa-Zulu Natal to afford her the opportunity to assume lessons with the violin professor in the Western Cape. The pain she had previously experienced while playing had disappeared within the first month of lessons and she resumed practice of six to eight hours daily, as well as continuing solo performances with local orchestras. The new techniques and in-depth guidance became evident when Talisa was one of only three violinists selected in the country to participate in the UNISA Music Programme for Gifted Young Musicians, at the age of fifteen.
In 2012, Talisa established a collaboration, named Dirkie and Talisa, with a devoted musician and flamenco guitarist, Dirkie van Staden. This duo has since performed for over 500 weddings, corporate events, concerts, markets, restaurants, birthday parties, retirement homes, schools and festivals throughout the country. They also released an album entitled Instrumental Pop in 2014, which features instrumental duets of Modern Pop songs, as well as various Irish and Gypsy tracks.
Years of dedication, coupled with the incredible influence of Professor Jack de Wet also provided Talisa with the privilege of beginning her violin teaching career at Reddam House, Constantia in Cape Town. After three years of teaching in Cape Town, she achieved her Trinity London Instrumental Teacher’s Licentiate. Talisa relocated to the Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands at the end of 2017 and has resumed part-time teaching at Clifton Preparatory School, Nottingham Road and Michaelhouse. This enables her to share her inspiration for the violin with the thriving youth, while also offering the time to pursue her personal aspirations.
It has been a lifelong ambition of Talisa’s to become an established solo violinist. In October 2017, she recorded her first violin composition, entitled Capetonia, and shot her first music video with the help of Black Rock Productions. She has now created a sole brand, Talisa Symons, with which she aims to record and perform more of her own compositions across South Africa and ultimately abroad, as a freelance solo violinist.