"Words may challenge the
mind, but music invigorates
Marnus grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and started his first organ studies in Pretoria, in 2009. He received the top prizes in the National organ competitions of SAKOV (Southern African Church Organist Society) for five consecutive years from 2011. In 2012, he completed a Teacher’s Licentiate in piano, was accompanist to the TUKS Camerata (Pretoria University Choir), and won the Pretorium Trust bursary competition. Marnus went on to win the organ category of the prestigious ATKV Muziq competition in 2015, and was a prize-winning finalist in the overall instrumental round of the 2016 competition. He completed a BMus Honours degree cum laude at the University of Pretoria under the supervision of his organ professor, Wim Viljoen.
Marnus frequently performs with the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg, Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, Gauteng Philharmonic, Apple Green Orchestra, Johannesburg Bach Choir, Chanticleer Singers and Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble. His performances with choirs - as solo organ accompanist - include Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Great Mass in c minor, Händel’s Dixit Dominus, Haydn’s Missa Sancti Nicolai and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Big performances with choirs and orchestras include Faure’s Requiem, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Bach’s Magnificat, and Van Dijk’s San Gloria as part of the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival. Highlights include a performance in St Albans Cathedral, England, of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as a live BBC Radio Broadcast to over 3 million people in the UK.
Marnus has taught at the Deutsche Internationale Schule in Johannesburg, worked as accompanist for the Johannesburg Bach Choir and the Welsh Male Voice Choir of South Africa. He has worked closely with some of the top musicians in South Africa, and also been involved in premiering various work for organ, choir and orchestra. His recordings are regularly featured on Southern African radio stations. In 2020 he organised the first Johannesburg English Music Festival, in collaboration with this UK based festival.
While completing a Master of Music degree in 2017 at Jesus College, University of Cambridge, he performed with the Cambridge University Chamber Choir and Buxtehude Ensemble, and gave other recitals in the colleges of Trinity, Clare, Downing, Selwyn, St Katherine’s and Jesus. He was also Graduate Organ Scholar at Downing College, working closely with the esteemed Christopher Robinson. Marnus was also appointed as an organist of the very ancient St Albans Cathedral. During his time in the UK, Marnus also toured with various Cambridge choirs to Lithuania and Wales, and to Sweden with the Abbey Girls Choir of St Albans Cathedral.
Marnus is Director of Music at St George’s Church Johannesburg with its established choral tradition, accompanist to The Symphony Choir of Johannesburg and repetiteur for SittOpera. He is the Director of The Parktown Singers, a jazz a cappella ensemble; chairman of the Royal School of Church Music for Northern South Africa, and serves on the executive board of the Southern African Church and Concert Organist Society. In 2022, Marnus was appointed as the official University Organist for the University of South Africa.