Wilmien recently graduated with a first-class degree from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, where she was given their most prestigious award, the Gold Medal, and also recived the Byram Jeejeebhoy Prize for Excellence in Violin Performance. An accomplished violinist, she has been performing since the age of nine as a soloist annually with the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra and numerous other orchestras all over South Africa. She has also appeared with a wide range of major ensembles, such as the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and at world events, such as the Winter Olympics in Turin. She was a member of the Unisa Music Foundation’s Programme for Gifted Young Musicians and was invited by the South African Embassy in London to perform for their events, including the laying of a memorial stone in Westminster Abbey for Nelson Mandela. Over the past few years, her teacher has been the concert master of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Pieter Schoeman.
Wilmien hopes to develop and enhance her existing academic knowledge by studying for the MPhil in Performance at Oxford. She understands communication as a performer but also wishes to explore this area from the perspectives of theory and psychology. Her other ambition is to find ways to engage audiences beyond the conventional middle classes with classical music and to enable disadvantaged young people in South Africa and the UK to experience the transformative power of music.