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Meet SA’s SAMA-Nominated Singing Surgeon

Dr Wilhelm Lichtenberg is one-of-a-kind. By day he’s a Cardiothoracic Surgeon, performing life-saving heart transplants in Cape Town. After hours, the Doctor swaps his scalpel for a microphone, performing as a classical vocalist. This Tenor is far from being a hobbyist – Dr Wilhelm Lichtenberg’s debut album was nominated for a SAMA (South African Music Award) this month on 15 July 2020. He was nominated in the Best Classical Album category, sharing the limelight with other finalists including Kristel Birholtz and iconic guitarist James Grace. The album entitled “Die Tale van my Hart” is critically acclaimed, and featured guest collaborations with world-renowned musician Stef Bos as well as a song with the South African Youth Choir. 

What was it like working with Stef Bos, the world-famous Belgian vocalist?

“It was a dream come true” says Dr Lichtenberg. “I’ve been a fan of his for a long time, and I was flattered when he agreed to record the duet, Taal van my Hart, for my album. We recorded the song here in South Africa and I was delighted to share the news of the SAMA nomination with him. 

On receiving a a SAMA nomination for his debut album:

“I felt complete and utter delight! My team and I, including arranger Riaan Steyn, put many hours into making the record. I appreciate the love and support from the fans very much, as well as the nod from the SAMA committee.”

Die Tale van my Hart is available on all major streaming platforms including Apple, Spotify and JOOX.

More on Wilhelm Lichtenberg

Dr Wilhelm Lichtenberg lives in Cape Town, where he is in private practice as a cardiothoracic surgeon. He was born in Bloemfontein and spent all but two years of his school career at Grey College, where he matriculated in 1985, after which he went on to study medicine at the University of the Free State, qualifying in 1991. 

He then moved to Cape Town, where he underwent specialist training at Groote Schuur Hospital and the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. During this time he also pursued research interests at the Cape Town Heart Centre. He graduated with a master’s degree from the Christiaan Barnard Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Cape Town in 2006. He also holds a postgraduate certificate in Medicolegal Practise from the Law Faculty at the University of Cape Town. 

His father, who was a prominent member of the judiciary and a patron of the arts, fostered his love of music from an early age. He played the trumpet in the Free State Youth Orchestra and PACOFS Symphony Orchestras during his student years. He is a member of Cape Town Gilbert and Sullivan and has appeared as a soloist with them on several occasions. 

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