Classical music has never been a choice genre for the average Nigerian music lover, so it’s almost understandable that there are also very few artists who practice the craft. Save for veteran flutist, Tee Mac, a handful of choir instrumentalists and bands who play live shows, Nigeria has not an orchestra worthy of a following or celebration. But thanks to Western exposure, the lack of a functional system for Classical music to flourish has not resulted in the absolute nonexistence of the genre amongst Nigerians.
Third generation Nigerian-American, Ifetayo Ali-Landing is the child your parents are talking about when they ask “if he/she has two heads”, because she clearly does. The cellist and violinist began her music study on the violin as soon as she could stand. By age 3 she could already differentiate between the mellow sounds of the cello to the more timbre pitches of the violin. She would eventually beg her mother and instructor, Lucinda Ali-Landing to allow her switch between both stringed instruments to make the cello her primary instrument.
Today, Ifetayo is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist and student at the Hyde Park Suzuki Institute. Just this year, she was one of the selected winners of the 2016 DePaul Concerto Festival for Young Performers competition in Chicago, where she performed as soloist with the Festival’s Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra at the festival’s ceremony. Ifetayo has received recognition from Society of American Musicians (SAM) competition, Depaul Concerto Festival for Young Musicians competition, and the Music Festival in Honor of Confucius competition.
Talk about overachiever right?
Watch Ifetayo in her element performing ‘1st movement of the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor’ below