Lovebirds: Joanna Frankel and Daniel Walshaw.

Valencia Govindasamy

WITH Valentine’s Day descending on us, love is definitely in the air. A couple who are the perfect epitome of this are KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (KZNPO) couple Daniel Walshaw and Joanna Frankel.

Frankel is the concert master and Walshaw the artistic administrator/librarian/music-co-co-ordinator at the orchestra – and they truly complement each other in every way.

Tonight chatted to the newly-weds about love, life and their music. They are a delightful pair and a pleasure to chat to.

As concert master at the KZNPO, Frankel explains her duties: “I am the principal first violinist. The concert master has additional duties in terms of being a liaison between the orchestra and the conductor, the orchestra and management, and generally shaping the musical vision for the orchestra.”

Walshaw deals with the planning behind the orchestra: “My primary responsibility is shaping the artistic goal of the proper symphony portion of our series. Also, I have been serving as an assistant to negotiate education and development programmes with other organisations in KZN and throughout the country.

“We’re basically trying to create another mission in the orchestra, which is to begin true professional training for young musicians in South Africa. As generations graduate through our programme and our efforts, they are able to join the orchestra, or other orchestras in SA and other parts of the world, so that we can show how talented South African musicians are,” he says.

So how did these two lovebirds meet? Funnily enough, it was music that brought them together.

Frankel says: “We met in 2009. Daniel was a finalist for a job as a conductor in Michigan, and I was there to perform with the orchestra. So we met when Daniel suggested that we have lunch just to talk about the music.

“I was living in New York at the time, so I had to go back, and Daniel had to go back to Washington, DC. But we felt that we had a connection, so we started writing letters. We visited each other more and more, and got to know each other. But then our careers took over and we lost touch for a few years, because the life of a young artist is tough and the hours are very demanding. Then around 2012, I still felt a strong connection to Daniel, so I contacted him on Facebook. I went to DC and saw him and it felt completely right, and we’ve been together ever since. Then I came to SA, and he proposed in April 2013.”

Walshaw smiles: “She lights up my life. She’s quirky, funny, passionate and one of the smartest people I’ve ever met.”

After meeting Walshaw and Frankel, there’s no doubt they are an astounding couple sharing similar passions for music and life.