South African born clarinettist Maria Du Toit is widely regarded as one of her home country’s finest instrumentalists. Having been the solo principal clarinettist of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (South Africa) for 13 years, she currently lives in the Netherlands where she is pursuing a solo and chamber music career. Critics have described her playing as ‘sensational’ and ‘astonishing’, and often compliment her flawless intonation, baffling technique and mellifluous tone.
Du Toit has won numerous competitions, awards and prizes both in her home country and abroad - among which, first prize in the international clarinet competition ’Jeunesses Musicales’ in Bucharest. Du Toit studied at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in solo clarinet playing cum laude and a performer’s licentiate from the University of South Africa with highest honours. She subsequently studied at the Manhattan School of Music (USA) with David Krakauer, the Utrecht Conservatoire (Netherlands) with Bas de Jong, and at the Sofia Music Academy (Bulgaria) with Petko Radev. She is a respected clarinet teacher herself, having served as clarinet lecturer on the faculty of the University of Stellenbosch for well over a decade. Her expertise is also in demand internationally, as she has given lectures, master classes and workshops in Germany, the USA, Greece, the Netherlands and South Africa. Du Toit can be heard as soloist and chamber musician on stages across Europe, the USA and South Africa. She has released three albums and received a South African Music Award (SAMA) nomination for her album ‘Luminous Shade’ with acclaimed pianist Nina Schumann. Her double cd of the complete clarinet concerti by Louis Spohr with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Arjan Tien has received numerous rave reviews. Her artistry has inspired composers to dedicate clarinet works to her, including two concerti - by composers David Earl and Roelof Temmingh. Maria du Toit is a Backun artist and plays on a set of Moba clarinets in Cocobolo wood with gold keywork.