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The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra

An orchestra for all seasons

Founded in 1914, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra in Cape Town is arguably the most versatile and active orchestra on the continent of Africa, contributing handsomely to Cape Town’s global status and appeal. Through various incarnations from the Cape Town Municipal Orchestra to the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and finally again the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the CPO is financially and culturally sustainable, attracting some of the leading international artists of our time. A multi-functional orchestra, the CPO delivers a world-class orchestra service to all communities in the region, participating in festivals and concerts across all genres of music.


* Performs regular symphony concerts.
* Runs a vast outreach, education and development programme which includes.
The Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and CPY Wind Ensemble.
Masidlale grassroots training projects.
CPO Music Academy.
Conducting Studio.
* Accompanies Cape Town Opera and various musicals.
* Accompanies Cape Town City Ballet and other visiting ballet companies.
* Produced A Century of Symphony: the story of Cape Town’s orchestra.

Education and outreach

The CPO’s education and outreach programme is aimed at development and skills transfer. That it is working is shown by the number of young musicians who play as extra musicians in CPO symphony concerts.

CPO My School / My Village

Join the CPO family and sign up for a My School/My Village/My Planet card and help support the orchestra. As you know, the concept supports a number of worthy charities, and the CPO can now be one of them. Write to mary@cpo.org.za for an application form. Joining costs you nothing and will help sustain the CPO.

Donors and sponsors

The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra is a member of the UK Fund for Charities’ International Programme and is supported by the UK Fund which is a charity registered in England and Wales No. 1097462. Donations to the UK Fund from UK taxpayers can be made under Gift Aid. A donation form is available from the UK Fund website www.ukfundforcharities.org email info@ukfundforcharities.com or telephone +44 1342 871910. A donor can recommend to the trustees of the UK Fund that the donation plus the recovered tax less an administrative charge can be granted to any International Programme Member.

CD Recordings

Alfred Schnittke:
World Premiere recording of Concerto Grosso No. 1 and Symphony No. 9
Conductor: Owain Arwel Hughes
Soloists: Sharon Bezaly (flute) and Christopher Cowie (oboe)

Alfred Schnittke:
World Première recordings of Symphony No 0 and Oratorio Nagasaki
Conductor: Owain Arwel Hughes
Mezzo-soprano: Hanneli Rupert
Cape Town Opera Voice of the Nation

All the others:
Order CDs here or phone the CPO at +27 21 410 9809

A Century of Symphony: The Story of Cape Town’s Orchestra

Published by Jonathan Ball and compiled and edited by Louis Heyneman and Shirley de Kock Gueller, this coffee table book relates through stories and anecdotes the history of the continent‘s oldest orchestra. Copies can be ordered from the CPO on 021 461 1269 or email info@cpo.org.za.