Newsletter 20 December 2009
CPO at the Aqua Festival
After the end of the Summer Symphony Season and the special concert on 10 December to celebrate Allan Stephenson’s 60th birthday, the CPO’s main engagements during the rest of December are at some of the events at the Aqua Festival at the North Warf, V&A Waterfront.
The Orchestra accompanied four world-class soloists for H2OPERA (15-17 December). The soloists were one of Russia’s foremost mezzos, Olesya Petrova, the tenor Brad Cooper from Australia, South African bass Otto Maidi and South Africa’s sensational soprano Pretty Yende.
Miriam Makeba Homage: this jazz concert (20 & 21 December) features the CPO and a five-piece rhythm section conducted by Mike Campbell with soloists Sibongile Khumalo and Nomfundi Xavula.
Richard Cock conducts the CPO, a 60-voices choir and soprano Kimmy Skota during the AQUACAROLS concert (22–24 December). The audience will be invited to sing along to favourite Christmas music.
AQUABBA (29-31 December) is a celebration of ABBA’s music under the direction of orchestral music arranger Mark Cheyne. It stars Craig Urbani, Jodie Williams (2008 Idols winner), Chrissy Caine , Allistair Izobell and Amra Fraye Wright. The songs include favourites such as Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia, Money, Money, Money and Thank You For The Music. There are two concerts on 31 December (20:00 and 22:30), making this a great New Year’s party event at the Waterfront.
The 4th Cape Town International Summer Music festival (28 January until 18 February 2010) promises to start the classical music year for Cape Town in grand style. Among the main attractions for the Festival are the following:
The participation of world famous cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, who will be performing the Cello Concerto by Shostakovich with the CPO on 11 February and also give a recital on 14 February accompanied by François du Toit.
The return to Cape Town of famed British pianist John Lill, who will perform Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto during the opening concert on 28 January. He will also give a festival recital with Suzanne Martins (violin), Patrick Goodwin (violin) and Kristiyan Chernev (cello) on 30 January.
The award-winning Polish pianist Marek Drewnowski, who performs Chopin’s his Second Piano Concerto and also his Polonaise No 1 in A major (the “Military”). He also gives a solo recital on 16 February.
Renowned British violinist Daniel Hope performs Brahms’ Violin Concerto on 4 February.
The final round of the Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition forms part of the festival and the final concert, during which the winner will be announced, is on 7 February.
The Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Cape Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensemble perform a special showcase concert on 6 February, while members of the CPYO will also join the senior orchestra on 28 January and 4 February.
A concert by members of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (10 February).
The conductors for the festival include the CPO’s Principal Guest Conductor Owain Arwel Hughes as well as the celebrated Dutch conductor Hubert Soudant and esteemed teacher, conductor and violinist, Victor Yampolsky.
We will publish a special newsletter about the Festival early in January, but full details about all the concert programmes and artists already appear on the calendar pages.
From left: Julian Lloud Webber, John Lill, Daniel Hope and Marek Drenowski
Pretty Yende Gala Concert
In addition to her participation in H2Opera, one of Pretty Yende’s last local appearances before setting off for a busy year at La Scala and touring with Montserrat Caballé for performances around Europe in 2010, was her special gala concert with the CPO at Oude Libertas on 19 December. She is currently with the young artist programme in La Scala, working with Mirella Freni for the next 2 years after her triumph at the Montserrat Caballé International Singing Competition in Barcelona, (Spain) and winning the prestigious International Hans Gabor Belvedere Competition in Vienna, Austria.
Staff news: New Fundraising and Corporate Affairs Executive
Karin Blumer has been appointed as the Orchestra’s new Fundraising and Corporate Affairs Executive. She obtained a BA (Drama) degree from Stellenbosch University and pursued voice training with Annie Lambrechts at the Conservatorium. She completed her B.Hons at the Academy of Namibia in 2009.
Karin started radio broadcasting at the SWABC in 1989 and also presented a local TV programme. Subsequently she became a very well-known voice at Jacaranda FM, Punt Geselsradio and Radio Oranje before heading back to Cape Town.
She started freelancing at Fine Music Radio in 2004 and eventually also worked as airtime sales executive. After 2 years, Bergzicht Training Centre (a Stellenbosch NGO), approached her to accept a marketing and fundraising position and run their conference centre. NICRO (The National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders) was her next appointment as Communications and Marketing manager where she served for the past 3 years.
We welcome Karin at the CPO and wish her a happy stay for many years.
Allan Stephenson 60th Birthday Concert (10 December 2009)
Local composer, conductor and cellist Allan Stephenson (centre) with soloists Peter Martens (cello) and Suzanne Martens (violin) after the special concert on 10 December to celebrate his 60th birthday. The programme consisted entirely of works by Mr Stephenson, who also conducted the CPO.