South African broadcaster Patrick Kohler to be honoured at special concert at Ely Cathedral

Patrick Kohler (right) and Corrado Rollero to be honoured at special recital at Ely cathedral. Pictu

Patrick Kohler (right) and Corrado Rollero to be honoured at special recital at Ely cathedral. Picture; SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

One of South Africa’s most important broadcasters will be honoured in a performance at Ely Cathedral, Thursday May 9 at 1.10pm.

Photo taken after Neil College's recital at Long Melford. Jane and Patrick Kohler are on the right

Photo taken after Neil College's recital at Long Melford. Jane and Patrick Kohler are on the right - Credit: Archant

Patrick Kohler was born in Port Elizabeth on August 29, 1944. He studied at London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama from 1965-1968, returning with his wife Jane to South Africa, sailing to Cape Town in 1968.

Patrick worked as a broadcaster and announcer for The SABC at SeaPoint, and the couple lived in the suburb of Clairmont. Patrick was subsequently asked to head up The SABC English Radio and Television Service in Johannesburg.

Patrick and Jane were present when Nelson Mandela was released from Pollsmoor Prison and also attended the ceremony in Johannesburg, marking Mandela’s official induction and first day as president of South Africa.

The couple returned to England in 1995. Patrick worked with The Jockey Club in Johannesburg and was invited to join The International League for The Protection (and Rehabilitation) of Horses in Snetterton.

The couple settled in Long Melford, moving into a house owned by Jane’s mother. Jane became a leading organiser of the Melford Music Festiva.

Patrick fell ill early this year, and passed away peacefully at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury-St-Edmunds surrounded by his closest family, on January 29.

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The performance given by Neil Hilgrove Colledge includes works by Robert Schumann, music to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Clara Schumann and works by the French composer Claude Debussy, including the submerged cathedral and clair de lune.

Neil will also pay tribute to one of his closest friends, the Italian pianist Corrado Rollero, who committed suicide at the tragically young age of thirty, and would have celebrated his fiftieth birthday this year.

Corrado Rollero was a gifted pianist, linguist, poet, painter, writer and philosopher. He received accolades and awards, playing all over the world, creating an artistic life that was richer by his presence and poorer by his departure.

A recording series of fifty piano sonatas by the Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti on YouTube during June and July is offered in his memory, and will be completed by Neil, so this great artist is not forgotten.

Neil Hilgrove Colledge was born in Johannesburg on January 10th, 1966.

He is a serving member of Ely Cathedral Business Group and his given four recitals at The Cathedral. He gave a lunchtime recital for Melford Music in 2018.

Neil’s father was distantly related to Sir. Christopher Lee’s mother Diana Carandini. Neil introduced the actor to Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Rama of Nepal, daughter of His Majesty. King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah. Neil played at Sir Christopher Lee’s 75th birthday party and gave a Chopin recital at Lavenham Parish Church on the actors 95th Anniversary, dedicated to his memory.

Neil is also a part-time student of Interfaith Theology & Middle-Eastern History at The Woolf Institute (Cambridge). He had the honour of recently meeting Mrs. Ellen Johnson Surleaf, former State President of Liberia and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

Entrance to Patrick Kohler’s Memorial recital is by standard Cathedral pass ...

The YouTube recordings will be available from the end of August, under the title : Hommage To Corrado Rollero ...