“the South African conductor Xandi Van Dijk, a young daredevil who almost starts dancing […] and whom the SOV musicians follow with enthusiasm.”
Vorarlberger Nachrichten

Born into a musical family in Cape Town, Xandi van Dijk started conducting at age 14 and by his mid twenties had conducted all the major South African orchestras. He conducted the William Kentridge production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte in Cape Town and Johannesburg, premiered his father P.L. van Dijk’s opera earthdiving at the Spier Summer Festival, recorded the soundtrack to the Philip Noyce blockbuster Catch a Fire and premiered struggle icon Denis Goldberg and Matthijs van Dijk’s Moments in a Life at the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival 2016. Xandi made his European conducting debut with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra in February 2021, and his German debut with the Munich Chamber Orchestra in 2023. This coming season he will return to the Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg, Pärnu City Orchestra and debut with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra.

Xandi’ dual passions for conducting and chamber music led him to move to Germany, and since 2007 Xandi has been a member of the internationally renowned Signum Quartet. With them he has been a laureate of international competitions, and from 2011-2013 they were BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists.

Their recordings have received universal acclaim, and their debut disc for Pentatone, Schubert “Aus der Ferne”, includes a number of Xandi’s arrangements of Schubert lieder. This album was a Diapason choice, and an Opus Klassik 2019. 2023 saw the release of “Lebensmuth”, the final installment of their Schubert trilogy, which has garnered rave reviews.

Concert appearances have led the Signum Quartet from Carnegie Hall to the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Wigmore Hall and the Berliner Philharmonie to the the Aldeburgh Festival, the Festival Aix-en-Provence and the BBC Proms. They have recorded for Capriccio, harmonia mundi, Sony Classical and ECM.

As a viola soloist, Xandi has performed at Festivals across Europe. He has been principal viola of the Munich Chamber Orchestra since 2017, is in demand as a guest principal and regularly performs with i.a. the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de chambre de Paris and Paavo Järvi’s Estonian Festival Orchestra.


Erkki-Sven Tüür Violin Concerto No.2 “Angel’s Share”
Triin Ruubel (Violin)
Järvi Academy String Orchestra
Xandi van Dijk (Conductor)

Pärnu Music Festival 2020

John Dowland: “If my complaints” 
Xandi van Dijk (viola)
Laura Primavesi (viola)
Aurelia Hoever (viola)
Mika Hakhnazaryan (cello)
Tatjana Erler (bass)

Schubert: “Du bist die Ruh”
Signum Quartet
Arranged for string quartet by Xandi van Dijk
From the album “Aus der Ferne” (Pentatone)




Vorarlberger Nachrichten
SOV: Vom schwingenden Tanzbein bis zu schwarzen Gedanken
Fritz Jurmann, November 2023

“the South African conductor Xandi Van Dijk, a young daredevil who almost starts dancing in [Mokale Koapeng’s] “Ixesha” and whom the SOV musicians follow with enthusiasm.”

Zeitschrift für Kultur und Gesellschaft
Erfreuliche und anregende Begegnungen
Silvia Thurner, November 2023

“Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra with expressive interpretations of works

The Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra interpreted four very different compositions under the direction of Xandi van Dijk. The energetic conductor animated and motivated the orchestra musicians. […]
With reference to the war in Ukraine, the SOV interpreted three works by Valentin Silvestrov with an admirably homogeneous sound.”

The Strad
Schubert “Aus der Ferne”—Signum Quartet
Charlotte Gardner, June 2018

“their readings’ greatest beauty is the intimate emotional trinity they intertwine of dignity, fragility and pain. In fact just listen to their ‘Du bist die Ruh’, for then I need say no more.”

Schubert “Aus der Ferne”—Signum Quartet
Jean-Michel Molkhou, September 2018

“The intimacy of the famous Andante [of D 804], the exceedingly gentle palpitations in the Menuetto as well as the authentic freshness of the Finale are emblematic of one of the most sensitive interpretations ever recorded.”


BR U-21 Vernetzt, 2016


In 2015, the Signum Quartet launched Xandi’s project #quartweet, which looks at the connection between music and communication in the age of social media. Under the hashtag #quartweet, composers are invited to tweet short quartets of 140 notes or less on Twitter. The project has already received significant media attention, including features on BR U21-Vernetzt, Deutschlandradio, WDR Tonart, and BBC In Tune.

Renowned composers such as Grawemeyer Prize winners Sebastian Currier and Brett Dean, Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, Bruno Mantovani, Steven Mackey, Kevin Volans and Konstantia Gourzi have already contributed to the project. This was launched together with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, where #quartweets by established composers and Second Graders were premiered side by side.


“Why don’t you write me
I’m out in the jungle
I’m hungry to hear you…”


(“Ooh, wa-la-la“, and apologies to © Simon and Garfunkel)

For all enquiries related to the Signum Quartet, please contact:

Andrea Hampl

or refer to the Signum Quartet contact page

© 2021 Xandi van Dijk