Newsletter May 2008
Autumn Symphony Season and beyond
After the successful Oratorio Festival which ended in a packed Groote Kerk for a performance of Mozart’s Requiem, the orchestra was involved with the Schools Outreach Programme (read more below) and is now focussing on the Autumn Symphony Season starting on 8 May. Further details about the season also appear under the Calender section of the website.
After the Autumn Symphony Season the orchestra will perform at Artscape for Cape Town Opera’s production of Massenet’s Werther.
Diarise the Winter Symphony Season and Festival!
Our Winter Symphony Season starts on Thursday 7 August and consists of four concerts. The conductors will be Pieter Daniel (who will also feature as soloist), Theodore Kuchar, and Benjamin Zander (who will conduct Beethoven’s 5th piano concert and 9th symphony on 28 August). Soloists include Liesl Stoltz (flute) and Klára Würtz (piano). We will report in more detail about this season in our next newsletter. Booking will open in June.
The third Cape Town International Summer Music Festival will start on 17 November and continue until 18 December. Details are being finalised now and we will publish a preview in a future newsletter. Booking will start early in July.
The recently-announced Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition (open to South African nationals under the age of 33), is an initiative to support and develop classical music talent in South Africa. “Good work with good results is being done in the fields of vocal and instrumental training, but very little has been done in the area of orchestral direction. No South African orchestra has its own full-time permanent conductor and there is almost a complete absence of any training in this field,” says Mr Van Zyl, who has created a financial trust for this purpose.
The competition has also met with the support of the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra. Details appear here.
The Rand Merchant Bank Fund has been a regular financial supporter of the CPO for a while, but we are now delighted to have been selected as one of a few organisations that benefit from their new Expressions programme. The first tranche of R300 000 of a three-year commitment of R1m has already been received. The Fund’s management has commented that the CPO is leading the pack when it comes to embracing the development of the arts in a truly South African way and commended us for our commitment to skills transfer, developing new musicians, building new audiences and encouraging local compositions with an indigenous character.
Outreach and Development
As part of its audience development initiatives, the CPO’s board of directors has embarked on an “adopt a school” programme. This programme was initiated by the Chairman, Dr. Wilmot James, who visited and adopted his old high school, Athlone High School. The idea is to encourage school children, teachers and parents who may have never been exposed to live symphonic music before, to attend the CPO’s concerts. The programme will also expose the schools to many other education and outreach programmes run by the CPO.
This year’s Schools Outreach Programme for learners in Grades 5 to 7 took place from 14 to 25 April in the Joseph Stone Auditorium, Athlone. The theme was “Music and Countries”: among others, the orchestra played musical excerpts and showed flags linked to a particular country and learners had to link the flag (and music) to the country. The first correct guess earned a learner the opportunity to sit in the orchestra and some were also given the opportunity to conduct a section of the orchestra or the whole orchestra.
The Purdue Varsity Glee Club Choir (a group of 50 male voices) presents a concert at the City Hall on Wednesday May 28. The 110-year old choir’s mission is to make music that fosters camaraderie among students as they learn, rehearse, travel and entertain. Their varied programme will include South African favourites such as Shosholoza and Mama Tembu’s Wedding. Book at Computicket.
In our previous newsletter we congratulated Sub-Principal Trumpet Pierre Schuster and his wife Marthina on taking their marriage vows. Below is a photograph of the CPO, under the baton of Allan Stephenson, performing at the wedding.