4th Cape Town International Summer Music Festival
The successful 4th Cape Town International Summer Music Festival ended on Thursday 18 February.
This year’s Festival included the final concert of the first Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition (7 February). The competition was won by Cape Town-born Brandon Phillips. Nicholas Nicolaidis came second and Hanrich Claassen third. In addition to the gold medal and an opportunity to conduct a full concert with the CPO, Phillips won a month’s internship with the Philadelphia Orchestra (under the directorship of Charles Du Toit) and a conducting internship at the Northwestern University in Chicago under the supervision of renowned Russian-American conductor Victor Yampolsky.
Although bassoon is his main instrument, Brandon Phillips is a multi-instrumentalist. He started his musical training in the New Apostolic Church, furthered his instrumental tuition at the Beau Soleil Music Centre and completed the Diploma in Orchestra Studies and his Honours degree in solo performance at UCT. He is currently Principal Bassoonist of the CPO.
After the Festival…
Soon after the festival, the tireless CPO performed popular classics for Grade 8 and 9 learners at different schools and community halls in the Western Cape. These concerts aimed at introducing the youth to live orchestral music, form part of the orchestra’s ongoing development programme.
Thereafter the orchestra performed the popular Starlight Classics at the Vergelegen wine estate, Somerset West with Richard Cock conducting (5 and 6 March).
The CPO again participates in You/Huisgenoot Skouspel Plus – the light music variety show with popular South African artists under conductor Graham Scott in the Grand West Arena a (13 and 14 March).
Autumn Symphony Season
The Autumn Symphony Season starts on 1 April and consists of seven concerts. The conductors are South African-born Pieter Daniel (1 and 8 April), Bulgarian violinist, composer and conductor Martin Panteleev (15 and 22 April), the charismatic young British conductor Joolz Gale (29 April & 6 May) and the award-winning German conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing (13 May).
The soloists are
the multi-award winning Croation cellist Stjepan Hauser performing Dvorák’s Cello Concerto (1 April),
the Mauritian-born soprano Danielle Halbwachs singing Richard Strauss’ “Four Last Songs” (8 April),
the Dutch violinist Simone Lamsma performing Khatchaturian’s Violin Concerto (15 April),
South African cellist Heleen du Plessis playing Schumann’s Cello Concerto, 22 April),
one of Europe’s foremost pianists, Russian-born Katja Apekisheva performing Grieg’s Piano Concerto (29 April),
leading South African pianist Francois du Toit and Guest Concertmaster of the CPO Farida Bacharova performing Mendelssohn’s Double Concerto for Violin and Piano (6 May) and
Russian cellist Grigory Alumyan performing Richard Strauss’ Romanze for Cello in F major, Bruch’s Kol Nidrei and Tchaikovsky’s Pezzo Capriccioso (13 May).
Other major works performed during the season include Brahms’ Third Symphony (1 April), Schubert’s Ninth Symphony (8 April), Berlioz’ “Symphonie Fantastique” (15 April), Mendelssohn’s Third Symphony (the “Scottish” – 29 April), Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” (22 April) Mahler’s Fourth Symphony (6 May) and Schumann’s Second Symphony (13 May).
Full programmes and additional details appear under the concert calendar
Tickets: Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-Seat at 021 421 7695 .
Other upcoming events
This year’s Sunset Concert at Kirstenbosch Garden takes place on 21 March. The Conductor is Pieter Daniel the soloist is James Grace (guitar). The programme includes Rossini’s La gazza ladra Overture, Rodrigo’s Concierto De Aranjuez and Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony.
Cape Town Opera in association with the CPO presents Richard Strauss’ grand opera Der Rosenkavalier at the Artscape Opera House (May 29 & June 3, 5, 9) The conductor is Sebastian Lang-Lessing and the director is Christine Crouse. More information is available on the CPO website and from Cape Town Opera. Booking is at Computicket.
In celebration of the Soccer World Cup, Cape Town Opera, Artscape Theatre and the CPO Philharmonic Orchestra presents a new three-act work called African Songbook – a Musical Tribute to the Life of Nelson Mandela (Opera House, 17-18 June). Written and directed by Michael Williams, it sets to music the defining moments in the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela. Act One, with score for orchestra and massed choir by Allan Stephenson, will explore life in rural Transkei and a young man’s initiation into adulthood using traditional music of the Xhosa people from the 1920’s and 1930’s. The music of Sophiatown, arranged by Mike Campbell, will set the scene for Act Two. The music of Roelof Temmingh will be woven together on themes of revolution, incarceration and freedom in the final act. The CPO will accompany the Voice of the Nation Chorus and Fezeka High School Choir. Booking is at Computicket.