South African soprano Hanna van Niekerk, who is well known throughout the country not only as a top-ranked performer of art songs but also for her appearances on the operatic stage, studied in Vienna with Hildegard Rössl-Majdan and in Bonn with Maria Hittorf.  Winner of the coveted SABC Music Prize Competition for singers, Hanna's stature as one of the leading vocal artists working in South Africa today has been well demonstrated by several important projects, among them performances of the complete songs of Arnold van Wyk with Heinrich van der Mescht (piano), the complete Italienisches Liederbuch of Hugo Wolf with André Howard (baritone) and Albie van Schalkwyk (piano), and her participation as one of Hennie Joubert's collaborating artists in the popular television series Aan die Lied.  Hanna was nominated for an Artes Award for her exceptional recording of Samuel Barber's song cycle Hermit Songs.  In addition to these milestones and critically acclaimed appearances at the Grahamstown, Oudtshoorn and Cape Town Opera Festivals, she has made many appearances on the operatic stage, mostly in Gauteng, singing leading roles in such operas as Nabucco, La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, Così Fan Tutte, Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, Carmen, Suor Angelica, The Medium and La Voix Humaine.  Hanna, who is married to Albie van Schalkwyk, lectures in singing at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein.
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