Micu Narunsky's music plays on

14 December 2009

Micu Narunsky

How jazz artist became a master of his craft

Micu Narunsky has been a professional musician for 25 years of his 40-year-long life. He has performed with internationally renowned jazz artist and educator Dave Liebman, and at the Forbidden City Jazz Festival in China.

But surely the highlight of his already illustrious career will be when Narunsky receives his master's degree in music (MMus) at UCT this week.

Narunsky, who also studied in New York and Canada, didn't get around to completing his degree when he was younger. Then he met Professor Mike Rossi, at UCT's Jazz Department, and Liebman.

"Mike and I brought out a CD together, called Common Ground, and I was allowed to go straight into my master's, without having to finish my BA," says Narunsky.

He says half of his thesis was made up by a performance component (including four recitals), 25 percent by a dissertation and 25 percent by a composition portfolio.

Narunsky, who hails from Israel, is currently working at a wine company in Cape Town, having studied wine-making in France. He also has his own small label, called Micu Narunsky Wines.

His thesis is being considered for international publication by the prestigious Advance Music, in Germany, with an endorsement by Liebman.

Narunsky says if he had a message for young people, it would be that it is extremely important to obtain a degree in this day and age.

"Besides all I learnt in the process, I could now go on to teach one day, if I wanted to," he says. It's not enough, he says, to be able to play an instrument well. These days, a sound education is also essential.

This mature student should know what he's talking about, and no doubt he will celebrate his own graduation with a glass or two of fine vino ... Micu Narunsky, of course.

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