Newsletter January 2007
Alla Shubinsky, until recently Resident Concert Master of the CPO, passed away suddenly on Saturday 20 January at the age of 55 during a family picnic outing.
Ms Shubinsky studied at the Moscow Conservatory of Music under the famous violinist David Oistrakh and was a member of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow for a number of years. In 1992 she came to South Africa, and joined the orchestra of the State Theatre in Pretoria until she joined the CPO in 2002. Until the end of last year, she was the Resident Concert Master of the CPO. Since the beginning of January she was a sub-principal player in the orchestra. She is survived by her husband Victor, two daughters and one grandchild.
According to CEO Louis Heyneman, the untimely death of Ms Shubinsky is a severe blow for the orchestra. “Alla was an excellent violinist and a good role model for young violinists. There is a lot of musical talent in South Africa, but the presence of well-trained professional musicians with a lifetime of experience is essential to guide a new generation of orchestral players. The orchestra will miss her.”
A year of highlights
The year 2006 brought many highlights for the CPO, ending with the very successful first Cape Town International Summer Music Festival. We can confirm that the basic planning for the 2007 Festival has already been done and that it will start on 15 November. A more detailed, formal announcement will follow in due course.
The orchestra’s year started with Kaapse Jol at the Bellville Velodrome, followed by the first concert of the Summer Symphony Series on 18 January. Please take note of the following dates:
As detailed in our previous newsletter, the Summer Symphony Season continues in the City Hall on Thursdays until 8 February with conductors Ori Leshman and Owain Arwel Hughes, and soloists Vladimir Milošević (piano), Chin Kim (violin) and Florian Uhlig (piano).
On 3 February the orchestra will perform with the Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town in the City Hall under the baton of Donald Hunt. This concert is given in honour of Barry Smith and includes works by Perry, Elgar, Stanford, Handel, Brahms and Dvorák.
A concert takes place at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on 11 March and will include light classical favourites. The conductor will be Richard Cock.
“Starlight classics”, the magical open-air concert at Vergelegen in Somerset West, will take place on 24 and 25 March.
The orchestra will be playing with the St Petersburg Ballet from 28 March until the middle of April for performances of Giselle and Swan Lake at the Artscape Opera House.
The second Symphony Season of the year starts on 7 June and consists of four Thursday concerts in the City Hall, ending on 28 June. We will provide a more detailed preview of this series in a later newsletter – but diarise the dates in the meanwhile!
Bookings will be at Computicket for all of the above. We will announce any additions to the programme via the Newsletter, the media and our website.
Outreach and Education:
The Outreach and Education department has a busy few months ahead with a varied and expanded programme of activities. The highlights include, among others, an intensive schools outreach programme during February with the CPO visiting two schools per day, a CPYO camp in June, and various concerts (24 March: CPYO at the Tygerberg Rotary Concert; 31 March & 1 April: CPYWE together with Brass band Schoonhoven at the V&A Waterfront and Artscape respectively).
The CPYO will also perform a curtain-raiser at the CPO concert on 21 June and give their own mid-year concert at the Joseph Stone Theatre on 23 June.
Sue Murray, Corporate Affairs & Fundraising Executive reports good news on the fundraising side. She says “for the first time in the CPO’s history, we cracked the R1m per month mark in 2006 – up 10% on the 2005 figure.
During the Cape Town International Music Festival in November/December 2006, the CPO welcomed Anglo American and Distell to the Platinum level of partnership. This means they have each given more than R1m to the CPO over the last six years.
Asked about the targets for 2007, Sue said the major challenge for 2007 is to persuade the private sector to show the same level of generosity as the public sector.
She concluded as follows: “Eighty-two percent of last year’s R12m came from a combination of the Department of Arts & Culture, the National Arts Council, the Western Cape Cultural Commission, Western Cape Government, the City of Cape Town and the National Lottery. Too many companies dwell under the misconception that government does not fund the orchestra and they use this as an excuse to spend their philanthropic rands elsewhere.”
Jacques Louw (double bass) was recently appointed to the Orchestra. This multi-talented young musician obtained his B.Mus. cum laude from Stellenbosch University and he was also awarded the Mabel Quick bursary for singing in 2005. He grew up in Pretoria and his music tuition started at the Drakensberg Boys Choir School in 1996. In addition to music, he likes “good food, art, cycling, the mountains and the outdoor life generally.”
We congratulate Jacques on his appointment and wish him well for his career at the CPO.