Newsletter 06 March 2006
The Big News: An International Music Festival For Cape Town.
Between 16 November and 7 December 2006, Cape Town will be alive with music as never before when the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra presents its first Cape Town International Music Festival with the celebrated Russian pianist Olga Kern as its overall musical director.
The festival will include symphony concerts, chamber music and recitals at various venues. It will feature world-renowned musicians such as Misha Maisky, Benjamin Schmid, Olga Kern and Nettle & Markham. It will also include a South African element with a special concert by South African pop diva Yvonne Chaka Chaka.
The young South African pianist John Ntsepe will make his debut with the CPO during the festival, and the Youth Orchestra will also make its “international” debut.
More details about the festival programme will be communicated soon, but in the meanwhile make a big note of the dates 16 November to 7 December in your diary!
Exciting Autumn Series
After the very successful first symphony season of the year, with the Mozart 250th birthday gala and the performance of Haydn’s The Creation among the memorable events, the orchestra appeared under Maestro Owain Arwel Hughes at Kirstenbosch. The performance was attended by 5000 people who enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere on the lawns and a programme of light classical music from Vienna.
Thereafter followed Cape Town Opera’s presentation of Rusalka in the Baxter Theatre. Music lovers and critiques were unanimous in their praise for this production.
The Autumn Symphony Season starts on 16 March in the City Hall with an Anglo American Celebrity Gala featuring the Chinese violinist SIQING LU, winner of the Paganini International Violin Competition. He will be playing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64. The conductor for this gala concert will be Croatian-born ALEXANDER KALAJDZIC and the programme includes Weber’s Oberon Overture and Dvor?k’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 (“From the New World”).
SIQING LU is the first Asian violinist to win the first prize at the prestigious Paganini International Violin Competition in Italy (in 1987). Hailed by Strad as “an outstanding talent”, Siqing (pronounced See-Ching) is acknowledged as one of the most outstanding Chinese violinists of his generation. He has performed to acclaim in more than thirty countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia, including concerts at Avery Fisher Hall, New York.
Three further concerts in the series follow on 23 & 30 March and 6 April in the City Hall.
The second concert, on 23 March, includes Haydn’s Symphony No. 93 in D major, Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Two Pianos in E major and Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances Op. 45. The conductor is again ALEXANDER KALAJDZIC and the soloists are the celebrated Bulgarian-born virtuosi AGLIKE GENOVA & LIUBEN DIMITROV.
The third concert (30 March) includes two works by Tchaikovsky – the Cappriccio Italien Op. 45, and the Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-fl at major Op. 23 – and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 in A major Op. 90 (“the Italian”). PETRONEL MALAN, the young South African pianist who is becoming a very big name in the US, is the soloist for this concert, conducted by the distinguished Dutch conductor ARJAN TIEN.
The final concert in the series takes place on 6 April and includes Borodin’s In the Steppes of Central Asia, Wajahat Khan’s Sarod Concerto and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Op.35. The soloist is WAJAHAT KHAN, who will be demonstrating his mastery of the beautiful and versatile Sarod, a traditional Indian instrument. This concert is again conducted by ARJAN TIEN.
Tchaikovsky’s Cappriccio Italien and Mendelssohn’s 4th Symphony scheduled for the 30 March concert in the City Hall will be repeated on 31 March in the Endler Hall, Stellenbosch under the auspices of the Rupert Music Foundation as a tribute to Mrs Huberte Rupert. However, on this occasion, the programme will include a different concerto than on 30 March: one of South Africa’s leading pianists, FRANCOIS DU TOIT, will play Mozart’s Piano Concert Nr. 23 in A major (K488). Book for this concert at Computicket.
There have been a few staff changes at the CPO:
Christof Spies was appointed to the post of Bass Trombone from 13 December 2005 and Roxane Steffen was appointed to the post of Principal Double Bass from 23 January 2006. We congratulate them both and wish them happiness in their new positions.
Yuri Zuvanov (Principal Horn) has resigned and will be returning to Brazil.
FOCUS ON: THE NEW APOSTOLIC CHURCH CHOIR
The New Apostolic Church Choir shared the stage with the CPO on 9 February for the performance of Haydn’s Creation at the Town City Hall. The concert was met by audience ovations and rave reviews and we have received requests to tell you more about the choir.
As one of the regional choirs of the New Apostolic Church, Cape, it comprises singers from all over the Peninsula. Music is an integral part of life and worship in the New Apostolic Church, and every congregation has a choir of voluntary, amateur singers who sing at church services. Out of these choirs, regional choirs are formed for concert and recording purposes. NAC Cape has produced more than 20 CDs and a DVD featuring their choirs and orchestras.
Music repertoire in the NAC covers a wide range including classical and sacred music, as well as music written by contemporary NAC composers. An on-going, large-scale music development programme exists in the church, covering choirs, orchestras, organists and children’s music.
The choir for Haydn’s Creation was trained and rehearsed by Raymond Abrahams, who received his choral conducting training in the New Apostolic Church. A part-time, amateur musician, he is one of many others being developed under the supervision of the NAC music director, Peter Lambert.
NAC choirs rehearse at their local churches once a week. Concerts are presented at the NAC auditorium in Silvertown, an impressive concert venue with a seating capacity of 1600.
Forthcoming concerts featuring NAC choirs at the Silvertown auditorium are Handel’s Messiah on Good Friday, 14 April 2006, as well as Mendelssohn’s Elijah on Sunday 19 November 2006.
Our Profile Series: Members Of The Orchestra
Shaun Williams (Tuba) was born in Port Elizabeth, but has lived in Cape Town most of his life. His interest in music began in church, when he played in a congregational orchestra. He started on the recorder, moved to the trombone and “from then on I just wanted to know more about music and orchestras!”. He has been a member of the CPO since its inception and was an ad hoc member of the CTPO before that.
He says what he likes about playing in a symphony orchestra is “the exposure to world-renowned conductors and a large repertoire.”
He also says he likes being able to help young musicians where possible. In addition to the tuba he also plays the trombone and euphonium. “I love brass!” he says.
In Our Next edition…
…we will provide you with more information about forthcoming events and the activities of the orchestra. Please send your feedback about our newsletter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome .