Newsletter 12 April 2006
Orchestra news – concerts
The special all-Mozart concert for Easter in St George’s Cathedral takes place on Good Friday (14 April). The conductor is Barry Smith and the St George’s Singers feature together with soloists Zanne Stapelberg (Soprano), Sophie Harmsen (Alto), Mlamli Lalapantsi (Tenor) and Denver Smith (Bass Baritone). The programme, which forms part of the CPO’s Mozart anniversary celebrations throughout the year, includes the Ave Verum Corpus (K. 618), the Masonic Funeral Music in D minor (K. 477), the “Munich” Kyrie in D minor (K.341) and the Requiem Mass in D minor (K. 626).
Our Winter Symphony Season starts on 1 June and will consist of four concerts (Thursdays 1, 8, 15 and 22 June in the City Hall). Some details already appear under the “Concert Calendar” here on the website.
Bookings open for current subscribers from 24 April, for new subscribers on 8 May. General bookings open on 15 May.
CT International Music Festival
As reported briefly in March, the first Cape Town International Music Festival takes place from 16 November to 7 December 2006 with the with the celebrated Russian pianist Olga Kern as its overall musical director.
World famous conductors (including Owain Arwel Hughes and Vladimir Kern) and soloists (including Benjamin Schmid, Olga Kern, Mischa Maisky, Nettle & Markham with Evita Bezuidenhout and local pop diva Yvonne Chaka Chaka) present a feast of music with the CPO at various venues. Capetonians as well as local and international visitors will indeed enjoy music of the highest quality.
The festival programme includes Mischa Maisky playing Dvorak’s Cello Concerto Op.104 in B minor; Olga Kern playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No 1, Op.23 in B flat minor, and Benjamin Schmid playing Brahms’ Violin Concerto, Op. 77 in D major.
Further highlights will include the world premiere of Schnittke’s Oratorio “Nagasaki” with mezzo soprano Hanneli Rupert as soloist; a performance of Mozart’s seldom-performed triple piano concerto by three of South Africa’s leading pianists Francois du Toit, Albie van Schalkwyk and Wessel van Wyk; and the debut of the young South African pianist John Ntsepe, playing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major.
The international star piano duo Nettle and Markham (Piano Duo) will be joined by local favourite Evita Bezuidenhout – as the narrator – for a performance of Saint Saëns’ “Carnival of the Animals”.
The Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra will perform the curtain raiser for the first concert of the festival and will also present their own full-length Festival Concert on 26 November.
On a lighter note, Yvonne Chaka Chaka will doubtlessly delight the audience when she appears in a Festival Pops concert with popular conductor George Michie. Detailed programme information will be communicated on our website and in further newsletters.
Bookings will open on 1 June.
Ballet, opera and more ballet…
During the next weeks the orchestra will be involved mainly with ballet and opera performances. Three major productions will all be presented in the Opera House at Artscape:
From 12 to 23 April the St Petersburg Ballet Company from Russia, with its 55 principals, soloists and a full corps de ballet, will perform the magnificent full length production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Konstantin Tachkin’s St Petersburg Ballet Company will become the first Russian company to visit South Africa with a complete work. The company’s Swan Lake follows the original choreography of Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa. The CPO will be conducted by Russian maestro Alexander Kantorov.
From 06 to 18 May 2006 Cape Town Opera will present Puccini’s beloved opera La Boheme with Zanne Stapelberg as Mimi, Australian tenor Adrian Dwyer/Derick Ellis as Rodolfo, Fikile Mvinjelwa as Marcello, Xolela Sixaba as Coline and Philisa Sibeko as Musetta. The CPO will be conducted by Fransisco Bonnin.
From 20 May – 04 Jun 2006, Cape Town City Ballet presents another beloved Tchaikovsky Ballet, Sleeping Beauty. World-renowned guest artists Thomas Edur and Agnes Oaks dance at three special performances and the Cape Town City Ballet’s dancers will be accompanied at selected performances by the CPO, conducted by Michael Hankinson. The opening performance is a fund-raising gala occasion with dinner in the foyer.
Youth Orchestra news
On 15 April the Cape Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensemble performs at the V&A Waterfront with the touring Stabekk Symphonic Wind Ensemble, from Oslo, Norway. The next big event will be the second anniversary of the CPYO and CPYWE on 1 May, but festivities start a day early with an anniversary concert on 30 April.
At the end of the year the CPYO will reach its biggest milestone yet when it performs at the Cape Town International Music Festival.
Our profile series: Members of the Orchestra
Graham Alexander (violin) was born in Mitchell’s Plain where he also attended school. His interest in music began at church and his music teachers over the years included Pamela Cupido, Artemissio Paganini and Prof. Jürgen Schwietering.
Before he became a member of the CPO in 2003, he was the leader of his New Apostolic Church Orchestra and played in the UCT Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra and also the Rheinland Pfalz Youth Orchestra (Germany.) In addition to playing the violin, he also studied voice with Prof. Virginia Davids at university (he is a lyric tenor).
He says what he enjoys most about being a professional musician is “learning new repertoire and meeting interesting and influential people”. In addition to music, Graham enjoys reading books on leadership and leaders and is interested in socio-economic politics, history and training & development.
Paul Chandler (trumpet/second trumpet) was born in Elsies River. His interest started as member of the Moravian Church and his early music teachers were members of the church’s brass band. He went on to study music at UCT and Stellenbosch and his teachers included Sean Kierman, Michael Blake and David Thompson.
Paul has been a member of the CPO since its inception and says, “It is fun making music!” However, he adds that one thing about being a professional musician that can be a problem, is spending so much time away from family – including sometimes on public holidays.
In addition to the trumpet, this multi-talented musician also plays trombone, euphonium and piano and he says in his free time he enjoys running and training his dogs. Our picture of Paul shows him in his coaching role with a young musician.
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