James is a KANNA Award winner for Best Male Artist at the 2010 ABSA KKNK, James Grace is one of one South Africa’s leading concert artists. In recent years he has appeared with the Cape Philharmonic, the Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic, the Johannesburg Festival, the Johannesburg Philharmonic and the Free State Symphony in concerti by Rodrigo, Villa – Lobos, Giuliani and Vivaldi.
This year James’s concert schedule has taken him throughout South Africa, the U.A.E and Zimbabwe.
Abri Jordaan has been a guitar lecturer at the University of Pretoria since 1982, where he has recently started a post graduate program which several students have already successfully completed. He also teaches at Pretoria Boys High School and is an examiner for the University of South Africa. Abri has set the syllabi for various institutions as well as for the Concours Pan Afrique international Guitar Competition.
"Hans van den Berg has a passion and commitment to his craft that matches any musician or artist. I have known Hans since I received my first guitar of his in 2007, and since then he has been constantly aiming to do better. His passion for his craft is evident in the high quality of his instruments, it is almost present in the grain of the wood. I am the proud owner of two of his guitars, and they both have their own individual characters and magical personalities. Playing his guitars is a privilege, and being part of his journey has been a pleasure"
Completed his Master’s degree specializing in Performing Arts at the University of Pretoria under the guidance of Abri Jordaan. He also completed his Teacher’s and Performer’s Licentiates from UNISA (University of South-Africa) as well as an ABRSM Performance Diploma. He currently teaches Classical Guitar at the Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool in Pretoria. In 2011 he was the 1st prize winner of the Cape Town International Guitar Competition.
"Hans made a 6 string guitar for me which I am delighted with. I had given him so many directives as far as size, sound and playability were concerned and the instrument is everything I asked for. It is of course a masterpiece of construction but it also has a beautifully balanced warm and clear voice with a strong sustain, good projection and clarity . During the period of construction he demonstrated enormous patience and understanding and empathy.
It will give me many happy playing hours. Thank you Hans."
Gerrit Roos received his royal schools grade 8 diploma in 2002 and his UNISA grade 8 diploma in 2005.
He then continued to fulfil the requirements for a teacher's licenciate in 2006 and the performers diploma in 2007.
Gerrit completed his BMus under the supervision of Abri Jordaan in 2008 and his MMus in guitar performance in 2010.
Gerrit has received master classes from Eduardo Fernández, the Amsterdam guitar trio, the Zagreb quartet, Victor Villadangos, Marco Tamayo, Andrea Vitoretti, Aldo Lagrutta, Han Jonkers and Olavur Joannsen.
“One can see and hear from the quality of Hans’ handmade guitars that he is a true craftsman who seeks perfection in his instruments and the service he provides to his clients matches this quality. Hans was always willing to communicate with me through every step of the crafting of my guitar and has also always been ready to help with maintenance as well as repair (from an unfortunate event). I am happy to say that I am a proud owner of one of Hans’ guitars. I love the warm tone that greets me every time I play on my cedar top van den Berg and the responsiveness of it as well. The clarity and quality of the notes I get from my guitar always makes me smile and I will readily recommend Hans to anyone that is looking to order a finely crafted instrument from a luthier who is not only a wonderfully talented craftsman, but who is also a true gentleman.”
“So you’re in the market for a hand built instrument. You’ve dreamt about the magic moment of holding your personal signature guitar for the first time – you love everything about it and it was delivered within the agreed time – that’s because you chose Hans van den Berg to build your guitar!
I know Hans as a passionate man – passionate about his family, his Christianity and his craft as a guitar builder.
Hans built me an Orchestra Model steel-string guitar based on the legendary Martin OM-18 but with lots of my personal preferences incorporated into the design.
I was introduced to the guitar at the age of 5 by my father who tutored me and later sent me for formal instruction at the School of Music in Rome, Italy. I also extend my playing to the Flamenco, Celtic and Latin American genres.
"My van den Berg double top concert guitar continues to inspire me some years later, something no other guitar has ever been able to do for me. Amazingly clear in the high register with deep powerful bass and tone separation. Playability is easy and the projection and sustain is out of this world. His guitars are extremely beautiful instruments in every detail. Hans is a very talented and honest luthier dedicated to his instruments and customers and I endorse his guitars whole heartedly."
"Berg instruments exemplify the work of a luthier at the height of his craft. Hans van den Berg’s work bears testimony to a sensitivity to performers’ demands as well as the materials’ inherent qualities. Added to this, the craftsmanship and personality so unique to his instruments have contributed to his fast growing reputation as a preeminent South African guitar builder."
" I am very proud to say that not only do I own the very first Berg guitar, but also recently became the proud owner of a second one.
The first guitar after all these years of many playing hours continue to surprise me with a wonderful warm tone, easy action and good volume. It is a concert classical guitar with spruce top.
For my second guitar I made it very difficult for Hans, with specifications like Flamed Maple back and sides, mother of pearl inlays and African blackwood inlays and purfling..a beauty which even Tárrega would have been jealous of.
"If you are a guitarist in South Africa, you need a Berg guitar. I have owned a number of classical guitars through the years and cannot think of a better South African luthier to approach for the needs that arise from being a performing classical guitarist. Hans has solutions to all aspects of instrument ownership. Firstly, you are receiving great value for money because an overseas equivalent would be at least three times the price. Secondly, Hans is hands on and values his clients unconditionally. Thirdly, his craftsmanship and quality is second to none. Berg instruments project, their tone abilities are excellent and are forgiving to play on. My only sadness concerning my Berg guitar is that I did not start playing on it sooner."
"Luthier Hans van den Berg built me a Cedar double-top classical guitar which I received in January 2015.The most important aspect for me was the sound so I was very happy to find out it surpassed my expectations. The trebles have a full bodied tone one does not hear often and these are well balanced by the rich basses. The instrument also projects really well which meant I didn’t have to work as hard for volume. I found this guitar’s ergonomics supported extended practice sessions. It is also really loaded on aesthetics that seem to have been selected to stun whilst still maintaining a character understated enough for the classical instrument tradition. I am indeed fortunate to own this guitar."
“I am the proud owner of three Berg Guitars, two classical guitars and a quint bass. These are my absolute favorite instruments in my sizable collection of South African Luthier's guitars. I have a special fondness for the quint bass, with its 5 tones lower register, and if I have to choose Hans’s double top instrument is my number one guitar in my collection.
My other guitars are infrequently rotated from their cases to a stand to be played from time to time, but my three Berg Guitars are permanently out on display around my house and are played almost daily… Hans’s attention to detail, his absolute craftsmanship, his unique rosettes, but above all the perfectly balanced sound and volume of his instruments make them masterpieces!”