Thapelo Masita uses his music to help further the arts in his home country of South Africa. He earned a Bachelor of Music in cello performance from the Eastman School of Music in Spring 2017 and is currently in a Master of Music degree program at the Juilliard School in New York City. His passion for the community has led him to a fellowship in the Music Advancement Program, a community engagement initiative run by the Juilliard School. Masita is a founding member of the Uhuru string quartet whose mission is to connect and empower women who have experienced domestic violence through artistic collaborations and performance.
Thapelo began his cello studies at the age of 12 in the Mangaung String Program in his hometown, Bloemfontein. John Minnaar, Tilla Henkins and Dr. Anmari van der Westhuized were his first teachers. He completed high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy, studying with Crispin Campbell. While at Interlochen he had the opportunity to engage in an intensive creative exchange between Academy students and the world-renowned Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. During this exchange selected students created a production of Schoenberg’s Verklaerte Nacht sextet. Students from the music, visual arts, dance and creative writing departments created sets, costumes, dance and poetry for this project. Masita is a huge Solange Knowles fan. Performing with her at Radio City Music Hall for two nights is one of the highlights of his time in New York City.
A student of Natasha Brofsky, Masita is fortunate to play a cello made by Oded Kishony, kindly loaned to him by the Virtu Foundation.