Hekima Raymond born in Moshi Tanzania at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC), to Chagga and Nyakyusa parents. Who could imagine the parents with no musical background could bring up a child whose love to music would mean all there is in his life. Hekima (which means wisdom) has turned out to be an inspiration to all who like classical music on the land known as ‘the desert of classical music’
First exposure to a friend’s Keyboard Musa Nnauye at their home. That first touch of a keyboard leads to a constant cry to his father to purchase one for him – The Kawai here seen on picture. Starts first keyboard playing with his father, playing by ear and sorting songs heard on cassette with no teacher. ‘Experimenting’ on keyboard until it works for folk songs like “The Mushrooms” and other bands around East Africa. The father remained to claim, ‘I was his first teacher even though he knows much more than me by now’. On Sundays, little Raymond will be commanded by the father to play music until he falls asleep on his couch.
Dodoma First Music Notation Encounter; Enrolling to St. Augustines Junior Seminary, first exposure to the music notes, reviewing the already learnt pieces and comparing them with the notes and learn music notation values. The Harmonium remains the main musical instrument for the next upcoming four years. The beat not taken serious here rather the flow of music. First compositions with music acquaintances -Fr. Stephen Minda, David Isamuhyo, Gabriel Lujuo, Dr. Edmund Mushumbusi, the late Sospeter Nyagawa, Major Emmanuel Mbeho, T.M.A Bategereza, Peter Mavunde, Emmanuel mavunde, Richard Masanja and Fidelis Mutakyamilwa Kashumba. Mr. Kashumba, used to put little Raymond on his Honda 110 motorcycle where he was firstly introduced to bach preludes music sheets. Missed sleep becomes the order of the day.
Raymond enjoyed playing the Viscount Organ at the St.Paul’s cathedral in Dodoma, remain good friends with the Bishop Mathias Isuja whom he met since he was 10 years. Due to age and short legs he drew an amazing attention from the worshipers as he could not reach the pedals of the organ though pressed them anyway.
Meets with Pascal Mhangamkali Gunganamtwa a friend and fellow musician. Their first recording was in 1997 with St.Pauls choir of Dodoma with compositions from the two musicians. Raymond withdraws from the Seminary musicians group due to insufficient practice time. Requests parent Albin Minde to bring his Kawai keyboard from home, father accepts on condition that he could only practice at his teachers home so as to keep up with the studies.
In 1995 the Seminary management requests Raymond to resume his choir instructing services. He becomes frustrated with the seminarians as many male voices produced substandard quality with limitation of vocal techniques. He mixes the seminary choir members with neighbouring village female for a better choir. This results into the first performance of the Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. Astonishingly marking his first Classical Music performance ever as an organist.
The Rector of the seminary forbids Raymond from playing Music so that he could concentrate on his studies. Raymond has always thanked the Rector Rev. Father Michael Gaula for his kindness and caring for the young Musician whose devotion to church Music appeared to be more important than his own academic world.
Mother and father acknowledging not to understand or like classical music. Soon mother requests Raymond not to disturb her at night while practicing his Handels. Mother even advises friends who volunteered to provide Raymond with their Keyboard to come and take it away. Father nodes for the folk songs he taught Raymond, and says “Bach is fine but we need the homeland music for my beer to go softy down the throat”. And he refers music by the famous East African Band ‘the Mushrooms’.
More performances on the organ for Classical Music works such as Handels Juddah Maccabeus, Handels Messiah, Vivaldi, Bach Cantatas, Haydn and Christmas Oratorio. Basically less composition of his own choral pieces and more indulgance into the classical music world.
Graduates in Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Management at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania
First conducting of the Maestro, as the community of musicians around him could no longer accommodate the conducting demands of classical music. From here Raymond kept on conducting to ensure performers that they can achieve, perform to the last note regardless of the complexity. Elders acknowledging the maestros special conducting talent and commend.
First performance with an orchestra. Self taught. He had no formal training; he remained impressive throughout the concert conducting an orchestra for the first time in his life. Performing Mozarts, Handels Messiah, Vivaldi Choral and orchestra Works. Performs in Soiree Musicale cycles of Classical music in Dar es Salaam to date. Performed Sections from Magic flute by Mozart.
Meets with a Swedish Professional composer Fabian Stevenson who remains a friend and mentor.
Performs Beethoven Symphony no.9 fourth movement in Dar es salaam. Achieved Grade 5 from the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music, self taught.
Musical collaboration with Prof. Randy Stubbs (Piano,Organ), Grant Chamberlain (Saxaphone),Dr. Jan Van Den Homberg (Violin), Jan de Witte Accordion, Drum guy, Catherine Van Den Berg, Caterina Casalini and Dr.Eveline Geubels Flute, Prof. Imani Sanga from the University of Dar es salaam.
Piano master class with Dr. Peter Liou.
Piano classes with Pierluigi Tamburi. Raymond’s longtime piano tutor. ‘ I watch him carefully as he arranges chairs for the orchestra, put them back later, attend all musician and choristers needs, walks back home and his ‘pay’ the music he hears upon conducting concerts’ says Luigi, Raymonds mentor.
Prepared for a Fundraising Piano Concert with the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) for Environmental groups in Tanzania. Dr. Ali Mohamed Shein current President of Zanzibar was the guest of honor. Above 50 mil. Tanzania Shillings was raised for the groups.
A meeting with Marcel Worms a dutch pianist. Meetings on culture with Ambassador H.E. Timothy Clarke head of European Union Delegation, Dr.Ilya Levin (Public affairs officer US Embassy) and his assistant Roberto Quiroz.
Revived the Dar Choral Society, formerly known as Dar es salaam Music Society the later basically the European Community existed since 1940’s.
Founder of the Dar Chamber Orchestra that accompanies and performs during Classical music concerts in Dar.
He has changed the Dar Choral Society to corporate engagement oriented concerts where private companies are invited to sponsor the classical music concerts.
His diverse Orchestral platform ranges from professional to amateur musicians is Dar es Salaam based. Other musician’s professional in other careers such as medical, legal, business, teaching etc. Some fly in from neighboring countries such as Kenya and Uganda during concerts to add value to the unique musicianship to the well attended crowd.
Achieved Grade 8 from the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music.
Piano Master classes with Vatroslav Vudjan, International pianist and harpsichord player from Slovenia. Performing Shuberts Mass in G, Shostakovich Waltzes and Strauss Johann Waltzes
Performs Brahms Clarinet Piano cycles with Dr. Belia Klaassen and Beethoven Violin/Piano Sonatas.
Beethoven Choral Fantasia Op.80 performing this piece three times between 2010-2012
Musical acquaintances with Dr.Christian Pfleiderer (Cello), Christina Pfleiderer (Oboe). Meets with a conductor from Vienna Austria, Vijay Upadhyaya. Dr. Emily Truckenbrod, Assistant Professor Vocal Studies, University of Southern Illinois Edwardsville.
Performs Beethoven Trio in C minor Op.1 no.3 with Ninna Kawaguchi professional violinist in Austria, and Gunter Glix. Perfoming big choruses such as Aida, Carmina Burana, Missa Tempore Belli Haydn.
Meeting with Ambassador Luigi Scotto of the Italian embassy on culture conversations. Perfoms with Opera singer Mimma Bringati from Italy, Danielle de Niese from the Glyndebourne Opera house in the UK. Worked with Celia Paige Vickery conductor and Diplomat from the US Embassy in Tanzania.
Resumes composition under the mentorship of a professional composer Fabian Stevenson from Sweden. Performs Beethoven Hallelujah from Mount Olives, Giochomo Rossini famous Overture and a cycle of Strauss Waltzes.
Hekima Raymond premiered the first ever symphony to be performed in his country Tanzania. Tchaikovsky Symphony no.5 was performed at the Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel March 2015.
In May 2015, Hekima Raymond conducted the Work of Karl Jenkins, ‘The ArmedMan, A Mass for Peace’. The essence of the concert which was attended by allpolitical parties’ chairmen and secretaries, ambassadors, top religious leaders,members of the business cadre was to remind all of the Tanzanian communitythe importance of maintaining peace especially at this time when Tanzania ispreparing for her General election October 2015.
In September 2015, Hekima premiered a special commemoration of Jean Sibelius the Legend. He received special recognition and appreciation from the chairman of the Jean Sibelius 150 years jubilee. The concert had a performance of pieces such as Karelia Suite, Andante Festivo, Sibelius Violin Concerto, The Wood Nymph, Porilaistenmarssiand ValseTriste.
Hekima Raymond premiered for the first time in history Beethoven Symphony no.9 “Choral in Kiswahili” in May 2016. It was for the first such work was performed in the world in the Language native to most East and Central Africa.
Raymond has been awarded promotional Social Change through the Arts by the US Department of State. He is due to visit the United States of America this June 2016 to receive the award.