Newsletter 17 March 2009
New leadership at Board level
At the last Board meeting, Dr Wilmot James tendered his resignation as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the CPO. Mr Ben Rabinowitz (photo right) was appointed Chairman and Ms Vanessa September (photo far right) has been appointed Vice Chair with immediate effect.
“Our sincere thanks go to Dr James for his service to the orchestra during his term of office,” says CEO Louis Heyneman. “At the same time, we welcome Mr Rabinowitz and Ms September in their new roles and look forward to a productive period under their leadership.”
Next Cape Town International Summer Music Festival scheduled for February/March 2010
The scheduling for the annual Cape Town International Summer Music Festival will change. It has been moved to take place at the end of February/beginning of March, and therefore the next festival will be held in February/March 2010.
The reason for this decision is to take the festival away from the busy festive season when people have many other activities and commitments, or spend their holidays far away from Cape Town.
In addition, and as part of the CPO’s aim to develop further its strong association with tourism in the Western Cape, we will enter into partnerships with other stakeholders in the tourism business. In addition to quality classical music – the Festival will also become associated inter alia with excellent wines and superb local cuisine.
Earth Hour Concert in the Dark
The CPO will participate in the WWF-driven Earth Hour initiative on 28 March with a free Earth Hour Concert in the Dark (Amphitheatre at the V&A Waterfront). The programme of light classical music conducted by Corvin Matei includes works by among others Strauss, Von Suppe, Brahms and Loewe. For more information on Earth Hour, visit www.earthhour.org.
Autumn Symphony Season
The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra’s Autumn Symphony Season starts on 2 April and consists of five concerts on consecutive Thursdays until 30 April.
During the first concert on 2 April, acclaimed Mexican-American pianist Gustavo Romero performs Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2. The programme, conducted by South-African born Pieter Daniel, also includes a selection of popular extracts from works by Wagner (Ride of the Valkyries; Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde and the Prelude to Act 3 of Lohengrin).
Pieter Daniel again conducts, and is also the soloist during the concert on 9 April, when the works include Mozart‘s Symphony No. 35 (the “Haffner”) and Violin Concerto No. 3, as well as Beethoven’sSymphony No. 7.
On 16 April the multi-award winning conductor Bjorn Bantock conducts a concert during which Wendy Warner, one of the world’s leading cellists and winner of the first prize at the 1990 International Rostropovich Competition, performs Barber’sCello Concerto. Also on the programme is Haydn’sSymphony No. 60 and César Franck’s Symphony in D minor.
On 23 April, Maxim Rysanov (viola),winner of the prestigious 2008 Classic FM Gramophone Young Artist of the Year, performs Tchaikovsky’sRococo Variations and also the viola solo for Berlioz’ Harold in Italy (Symphony with Viola obbligato). Well-known Victor Yampolsky returns as conductor and the programme includes Dvořák’sSerenade for Winds in D minor.
The last concert of the season is on 30 April and again conducted by Victor Yampolsky, while the internationally renowned Czech pianist Lukáš Vondráček plays Rachmaninov’sRhapsody on a Theme of Paganini . The rest of the programme consists of Arensky’s Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.
Book at Computicket or Artscape-dial-a-seat (021 421 7695).
Schools’ Outreach Programme
The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra’s outreach and education programme visited various schools in the Cape Metropolitan area, ending at the Dominican School for the Deaf in Wynberg.
One of the methods to allow the children to experience the music, is by allowing them to touch and feel the vibration of the instruments. The effect that such a visit to the school has, is perhaps best illustrated by an extract from a letter received from the parents of one of the learners:
“Thank you so much for the opportunity to bring my daughter to experience you playing at the Dominican School for the Deaf… Over the past few months, I have been teaching her about the instruments of a symphony orchestra with the use of pictures. It was wonderful to see her little face as she saw these instruments in the “flesh”.
Your commitment to this kind of work is far more important than any of you could realise. I am sure you have touched and changed the worlds of many children over the past four weeks.”
The following new appointments have been made:
Christian de Haan (formely principal double bass) returned to South Africa and has been appointed in the sub-principal position, which means our double bass section is stronger than ever before.
Babette le Roux has been appointed as tutti cellist to replace Marijan Milakovic, who retired in January.
David Langford (bass trombone) was appointed in the place of Christof Spies, who is now with the KZNPO.
Anouschka Slager was appointed in the internship position as Outreach and Education Assistant.
Unfortunately we are losing three experienced musicians at the end of April:
Andrzej Zacny (viola) is retiring.
David Snaith (principal viola) has accepted the principal viola position at the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, where his wife has also been offered a permanent position
Todor Balkandjiev is retiring with full disability due to severe illness.
We will miss all of them and they leave with our best wishes.
Our Orchestra Secretary, Ursula Badminton, lost her husband John after a long illness. During his career as organist and choirmaster, John Badminton made a considerable contribution to the musical life of Cape Town. Our deepest sympathies go to Ursula and her family on their loss.