Photo: Irene Zandel

Born into a musical family in Cape Town, Xandi van Dijk (viola) started conducting at age 14 and by his mid-twenties had conducted all major South African orchestras. He premiered his fathers, Péter Louis van Dijk’s opera Earthdiving at the Spier Summer Festival, conducted the William Kentridge production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte in Cape Town and Johannesburg, recorded the soundtrack to the Philip Noyce blockbuster Catch a Fire and premiered struggle icon Denis Goldberg and Matthijs van Dijk’s Moments in a Life at the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival 2016. Xandi made his European conducting debut with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra in February 2021, and his German debut with the Munich Chamber Orchestra in 2023, which will also see his Austrian debut with the Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg.

Xandi’s dual passions for conducting and chamber music led him to move to Germany, and since 2007 he has been a member of the internationally renowned Signum Quartet. With them he has been a laureate of international competitions, and from 2011–2013 they were BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists. Their recordings have received universal acclaim. Their debut album for Pentatone, Schubert’s Aus der Ferne, including a number of Xandi’s arrangements of Schubert’s lieder, won a Diapason D’Or and an Opus Klassik 2019. 2023 sees the release of Lebensmuth, the final instalment of their Schubert trilogy.

Concert appearances have led the Signum Quartet from Carnegie Hall to the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall, Philharmonie Berlin, Aldeburgh Festival of Music and the Arts, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and BBC Proms. They have recorded for Capriccio, harmonia mundi, Sony Classical and ECM.

Xandi has been principal viola of the Munich Chamber Orchestra since 2017. He is in demand as a soloist and guest principal and regularly performs with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Orchestre de chambre de Paris and the Estonian Festival Orchestra, i.a.

Xandi is also in demand as a pedagogue, and will begin a position as lecturer for viola and chamber music at the Akademie für Tonkunst in Darmstadt from October 2023.