When Emina Lukin came to South Africa in 1994 she knew two words of English – yes and no. In fact, she had planned to go to Canada for she had learnt French in school in Timisoara in her native Romania.  But, luckily for the CPO, her friend Branko Gmaz, a Serbian violinist with whom she had worked in Novi Sad, persuaded her to come to Cape Town and she hasn’t regretted a moment. Her last salary in Serbia, which was heading for economic meltdown, was 2 Deutsche marks and she left with her last 500 DM in her pocket.

Emina joined the CAPAB Orchestra in 1994 for a year – and stayed, moving to the merged CTSO/CAPAB Orchestra, the CTPO in 1997., In January 2001 she joined the new Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) as sub-principal violin and became principal in 2007.

Emina grew up in a musical family and was born for the stage and fortunately doesn’t suffer from performance anxiety! Her father was a double bass in Timisoara for 35 years, and a mother a dancer in the theatre. She studied there and in Serbia, leaving Romania for good in 1985 for 10 years of playing, touring and recording in other countries in Europe, but visiting almost every year to see her mother and her vast family.

Emina’s knowledge of English not only grew quickly, but she kept up her French, Serbian and Italian and reads in all those languages. She admits to still keeping dictionaries on the table!

She loves socialising, art and music, movies and travels,  and doesn’t much like teaching but does love coaching at UCT. She also used to be a devoted chamber musician ….

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