Xandi van Dijk was born in Cape Town into a musical family and started playing the violin at the age of 4, switching to viola in 1990. After completing his studies at the Universities of Stellenbosch and Cape Town with Prof. Jack de Wet, Xandi became a founding member of the Cape Town-based Sontonga Quartet, and held the viola position from the quartet’s inception in 2002 till December 2006. In this time, the Sontonga Quartet toured extensively both in South Africa and internationally, including performances at venues such as the Old Fort at Constitution Hill, Johannesburg; the Barbican Centre, London; Lincoln Centre and Central Park, New York and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne as an adjunct to the Commonwealth Games 2006.
As a member of the Sontonga Quartet, Xandi has premiered over 30 South African works, as well as giving the South African premieres of works by Terry Riley, Osvaldo Golijov and Kevin Volans (with whom the quartet has worked), Pärt and Gorecki.
Prior to his involvement with the Sontonga Quartet, Xandi freelanced with various Cape Town orchestras. He has held the position of principal viola in the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, USA, as well as being principal viola of the South African National Youth Orchestra for a number of years. Xandi has had masterclasses with Wolfram Christ, Lawrence Dutton, Isabel Charisius, Alberto Lysy and Christopher Rowland, as well as chamber classes with the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Jürgen Kussmaul, Eberhard Feltz, Henk Guittart, Philippe Graffin and Yo-Yo Ma.
More recently, Xandi has performed in Cape Town with London Philharmonic concertmaster Pieter Schoeman and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, and in London at the Purcell Room with the electronica artist Mira Calix and Cadogan Hall with the Brodsky Quartet.
Xandi holds a B.Mus in viola performance and a B.Mus (Hons) in conducting, both with distinction, from the University of Cape Town.