Heinrich Kruse

Born in Vereeniging, South Africa, Heinrich is a Classically trained Percussionist, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, South Africa.
With strong encouragement from his first drum teacher, Jeff Owen, Heinrich decided in his teenage years to pursue a career in music. His family moved to Cape Town when he was 16, where he attended the Hugo Lambrechts Music School, studying percussion with Suzette Brits and clarinet with Leon Hartshorne.

Upon finishing high school, Heinrich attended the University of Stellenbosch, studying classical percussion with Linda Miller. During his student years, he was the Timpanist and Principal Percussionist for the University of Stellenbosch Symphony Orchestra and the South African National Youth Orchestra.

During his final years of study in 1998, Heinrich started playing professionally as an extra percussionist in the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1999, he won the audition and was appointed Principal Percussionist of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. During this time, he was actively teaching drums and percussion at Bishops Prep School, Rondebosch Boys High School, and Sans Souci Girls High School, along with numerous private students.

After 3 years in the orchestra, he decided to take the drum set more seriously, and was offered a gig as drummer on the MS Mistral Cruise ship, followed by a tour of Turkey and Tunisia with the Andrew Young Band.

In 2003 he began his career in Musical Theater, with the international tour of Cats (produced by Really Useful Group) to China, Taiwan, South Korea, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Upon returning to South Africa, Heinrich became the first call musical theater drummer/percussionist for South Africa’s two leading theater producers, Pieter Toerien and Hazel Feldman, playing in productions of Phantom of the Opera, Chicago the Musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, We Will Rock You, Annie, Evita, Rocky Horror Picture Show, High School Musical and Hair.

At the end of 2006, Heinrich moved to the United Kingdom to be with his future wife, the South African born West End and Broadway actress Amra-Faye Wright. With London as his base, he subbed on Chicago the Musical in the West End and did the U.K. tour of the same musical in 2007.

In 2008, he joined the London based Americana band Laetoli Steps, and later that year became a full member of Oswald The Band, based in Glasgow, Scotland, where he lived between 2008 to 2009. Oswald was signed to R&R Music, recorded their 1st EP, These Days, at the famous KONK Studios in London, and received frequent air play of their 1st single, the title track “These Days” on BBC Radio Scotland.

Whilst living in the U.K., Heinrich and his wife decided to apply for Green Cards to move to the United States. After a two-month run of Chicago the Musical in Japan, (produced by KYODO Tokyo), followed by a 3-month tour of High School Musical in China, (produced by GWB Entertainment) in 2010, Heinrich received his Green Card, and settled in New York City.

During his first couple of years in NYC, Heinrich played with numerous bands, most notably the duo Starnes & Shah, for which he played drums on their album Red Brick Tide. In 2012 he enrolled as a student at the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in Manhattan, studying drum set with Amir Ziv and Latin Percussion with Rolando Morales-Matos.

It was in the Summer of 2012 that he got a call to sub on his first Broadway show, Disney’s Newsies. This led to his first tour of the U.S. and Canada with the National Tour of West Side Story for Troika Entertainment in 2013 to 2014, followed by the 1st National Tour of Disney's Newsies from 2014 to 2016.

Whilst on tour, Heinrich played drums on Disney’s Live Capture recording of Newsies, filmed at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, CA in 2016. The film featured all the original Broadway Production lead cast members, including Jeremy Jordan and Kara Lindsay. Newsies LIVE! was released in movie theaters worldwide in the Winter of 2017, followed by release for streaming on Netflix, and currently on Disney Plus.

After 3 years on the road, Heinrich returned home in the Fall of 2016, further pursuing his music career in NYC. He studied drum set with Joe Bergamini between 2016-2018. He subbed on Chicago the Musical and Avenue Q between 2017-2019.

Heinrich enrolled as an MBA student at the Feliciano School of Business (AACSB Accredited), at Montclair State University, New Jersey in 2019. Whilst studying, he went on the U.S. National tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical from 2019-2020.

In 2021, after graduating Heinrich made the career transition from musician into the corporate world. He joined HCL-Tech as a Business Analyst, then moving into Project Management and his current position of Scrum Master/Agile Coach.
Outside of music and business, Heinrich served as an assistant 7's and 15's rugby coach at William Patterson University in 2018 and is a die-hard Springbok rugby fan!