May 2005 Newsletter 15 May 2005
Welcome to the May e-newsletter from the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra. After the sudden death of the CPO’s media liaison, Coenie Meyer, and the recent upgrading of our website, no e-letters were sent out during March and April. Now we’re back. The e-letter will also appear under “news” on our website. If you are on our data base, you will receive this e-letter automatically.
Please let us know what you think of our new website look, and should you have any problems navigating it, please let us know. In future we will be able to update information ourselves, so there is no reason for outdated concert information to appear on the web! You’ll find us at www.capephilharmonic.org.za or at www.cpo.org.za
The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra is currently playing in the repeat season of Cape Town City Ballet’s popular Queen at the Ballet, a modern ballet based on hits of the legendary British band Queen. Queen’s music has been arranged for large orchestra by Johannesburg based conductor Michael Hankinson, who is also on the podium for this production. The ballet has again received rave reviews and so far each and every performance has been sold out.Halfway through May the CPO starts rehearsals on Cape Town Opera’s new production of Jerome Kern’s famous musical Show Boat, which opens on May 27 in the Artscape Opera House.
Later in July this production will relocate to the Nuremberg State Theatre in Germany and in August to Oslo. The CPO will make its European debut in Nuremburg, but won’t follow to Oslo, as the Spring Symphony Season starts on 18 August in the City Hall.
Booking for subscribers opens on 27 June. New subscribers can start to book on 11 July, while general booking opens a week later on 18 July.
Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
The Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, who performed two short items at the beginning of the symphony concert on April 7, is going from strength to strength. Auditions for new members will be held on Saturday, 21 May from 14:00 onwards at the Artscape Theatre Centre. All aspirant musicians can contact our development and outreach coordinator Henriette Weber on 083 272 2502.
Apart from regular training sessions every second Saturday of the month, we are currently planning a weekend camp for the youngsters. Two young conductors, Brandon Phillips and Paul Chandler, have recently started a special training programme to groom their talent as conductors. In April they attended master classes by Dutch conductor Alex Schillings, leader of the Dutch Brass Band Schoonhoven which recently toured South Africa.
Towards the end the year Schillings will return for a special series of master classes while the seasoned Russian conductor Victor Yampolsky, professor of conducting in Chicago for the past decade, will also present master classes in conducting under the CPO’s auspices.
However, workshops, orchestral rehearsals and master classes will not improve the individual playing of young musicians and many of them need quality one-to-one tuition. As quite a few members from previously disadvantanged communities cannot afford individual tuition, the CPO started a programme to financially support them with tuition grants. With the assistance of the Gisela Lange Music Trust and individuals like Bennie Rabinowitz and Alma Finch fifteen grants of R2500 each have been awarded for this year. These grants will be paid directly to the teachers or institutions that provide the teaching.
Our cadet scheme, Maestros of Tomorrow, generously supported by Sanlam over the last few years, has paid some dividends. It was established that at least six of these cadets have found permanent employment in the KZN Philharmonic in Durban. The CPO were unable to accommodate many new members over the past few years, but we are glad that we could be of assistance to these players to become professional musicians and that they are not lost to music in South Africa. If we can keep on supplying well-trained musicians to other South African or international orchestras, we have achieved our goal.
CPO double bass Zoltan Kovats was again the only orchestral player in Africa to be invited to join the World Orchestra for Peace that will perform from 27 August to 2 September in London, Berlin, Moscow and Beijing.
This year the orchestra, consisting of invitees from orchestras all over the world, will start its short tour with a BBC Proms concert in the Royal Albert Hall. The other concerts will be held in the famous “Philharmonie”, the Berlin concert hall that became synonymous with the BPO and Herbert von Karajan, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire and the Cultural Palace in the Forbidden City in Beijing. This is the tenth anniversary of this annual event founded by the late sir Georg Solti. The current conductor is Valery Gergiev.
Two orchestra mothers, sub-principal horn player Lindsay Mulgrew and principal clarinetist Maria du Toit, have recently returned to the orchestra after maternity leave. The latest members of the CPO family is still too young to know whether they will become musicians, but they surely will be brought up in homes filled with music, as both fathers are musicians as well. Violinist Juan Sandoval often plays as ad hoc in the CPO, while Todor Balkandjiev is the principal bassoonist of the CPO.
Guest principal double bass Robert Kissel will soon return to Germany, while Colet van Zyl, who joined the CPO from the Eastern Cape at the end of last year, will stand in as principal double bass until Christian de Haan returns to his position after the winter vacation.
Kim Tudor recently got engaged and is getting married in August.