“Doen die regte ding reg die eerste keer (do the right thing right the first time).” – My university professor.

Lynn Daphne Rudolph


Arts & Entertainment

Organisation / Company



Trained as a classical musician since the age of four, viola player Lynn Daphne Rudolph, 28, has spent many years both drawing on this Eurocentric background and developing it in her own way to find her voice. She is drawn to sound as a means of protest, to transmute the injustices of colonialism and apartheid into healing.

One of the ways she does this is through improvisation, which goes beyond the limitations of conditioned beliefs; another is through exploring softness as resistance. On her debut solo project Homegrown Immigrant, she was responsible for all aspects of production, from music direction to marketing the final product. The 2022 project was an exploration of what sound means to her on a personal level and tells her story as a queer, coloured South African woman.

This year she will be doing a residency at the Festival d’Aix en Provence and will be the principal viola for the Mzansi Philharmonic Orchestra at its Carnegie Hall debut in New York. Daphne is excited about what she believes is a significant shift in younger musicians exploring and developing their own voices as artists in the classical industry and believes that “the South African voice” is beginning to distinctly establish itself in this sector.


Bachelor of Music (Viola Performance; Classical Studies), Stellenbosch University
Master of Music (Solo Viola; Classical Studies), Nelson Mandela University
First prize winner: South African National Strings Foundation Competition, 2022
First prize winner: Mabel Quick International Bursary Competition, 2019


The project I am most proud of is my debut solo project in 2022, titled Homegrown Immigrant. In this performance, I explored what sound means to me as a personal engagement, and not what I felt was necessary because of my classical training. I established that as a solo artist, I would be committed to exploring sound beyond the limitations of an institution and offering a performance which truly reflected my artistic values.

Within this project, I was responsible for all production, which included marketing, music directing and logistics. I am immensely proud of this project because I was able to present work that I was directly involved in, by only performing works by women, queer and South African composers.

Working alongside composers, I was also able to develop my artistic skills as a performer, which enabled me to start composing my own works. The lesson I continue to learn is that growth is better when it is slow and steady. There is no rush to present as a “finished” project or need to compare my work with anyone else. I am able to take pride in my work when I am true to my vision as an artist.


Neo Muyanga has been an instrumental voice in my career over the past year. Since working together at the Centre for the Less Good Idea in 2023, he has played an active role in my journey by mentoring me in my Afro-centric work, which has parallels with his own work. Prior to our collaboration at the centre, I always admired his work and approach to music within the African diaspora. Neo has shown me in many ways the possibilities of self-determination and cultivating one’s voice.