Newsletter May 2006

 In Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 12 May 2006

Winter Symphony Season

The 2006 Winter Symphony Season of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra starts on Thursday 1 June in the City Hall and will consist of four concerts.

The first concert (1 June), will be under the baton of Nicholas Cleobury and includes Mozart’s “Great” Mass in C minor as well as his Overture, ‘La Clemenza di Tito. For the Mass, the CPO will be joined by the Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town – considered as one of the leading choirs in South Africa – with soloists Zanne Stapelberg and Beverley Chiat (sopranos), Mlamli Lalapantsi (tenor), and Fikile Mvinjelwa (bass).

This exciting opening concert of the series also includes Beethoven’s third piano concerto with the fine Israeli pianist Aviram Reichert as soloist. Reichert won the Bronze Medal at the 10th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1997, and prior to that, other international competitions in France, Germany, Japan and Korea.

The second and third concerts (8 & 15 June) are conducted by Victor Yampolsky, a much-admired conductor among our Cape audiences. Maestro Yampolsky, who has also worked extensively with the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and presented master classes to some of our young conductors, will be continuing this work with the CPYO this year.

On 8 June the soloist is the young Russian cello virtuoso Grigory Alumyan, who plays Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33. Alumyan, a product of the famed Central Music School in Moscow, has been making a name for himself as one of Europe’s leading chamber musicians and cellists.

The rest of the second concert consists of Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture and Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 44.

The third concert (15 June) has as soloist the multi-award winning American pianist Spencer Myer, who plays two works by Ravel: his Piano Concerto in G major as well as his Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D major. Mr Myer ranks among the most outstanding pianists of his generation and his fame has grown since his successes at several leading international piano competitions, including the Montreal and New Orleans Internationals, and his 1st prize victory at the 10th UNISA International Piano Competition in 2004.

Also on the programme are Milhaud’s “Le boeuf sur le toit”, Op. 58 and Debussy’s “La Mer”.

The fourth and final concert of the series (22 June) is under the baton of Bernhard Gueller, another very popular conductor among Cape audiences.

The soloist on this occasion is the brilliant Russian violinist Michael Ovrutsky, playing Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto in D. Ovrutsky is the 1stprize winner of three prestigious competitions, including the 1999 Pablo Sarasate International Violin Competition in Spain, and the UNISA International String Competition in Pretoria.

The rest of the programme consists of Mendelssohn’s “The Hebrides” Overture (Fingal’s Cave) and Tchaikovsky’s popular and moving Symphony No. 6 in B minor (“the Pathétique”).

Music, art and good food – a special fund-raising event

On Friday 16th June 2006, an exclusive black tie banquet to honour outgoing CPO Chairman, Mr Ton Vosloo and welcome new chair Dr Wilmot James will be held at the Arabella Sheraton Hotel in Cape Town. Come and join us for a sumptuous meal, accompanied by the sounds of a full symphony orchestra! The CPO will entertain guests with classic favourites at various stages during the banquet.

The great music and food will not be all there is to enjoy. The painter Dale Elliot will complete a large painting during the course of the evening. Screens on the side walls of the ballroom will show the progress of the work as he “paints the music” and at the end of the meal, the completed artwork will be auctioned by the multitalented Mr Elliot – who is not only a qualified lawyer and well-known artist, but who is also an experienced auctioneer. Rodney Trudgeon will be the Master of Ceremonies.

South African companies and individuals are invited to buy tables of ten at R12, 500 per table to attend this event, which will benefit the CPO and CPYO. For further details, contact Susan Murray at (021) 410 9826 or e-mail her at

Reminder: CT International Summer Music Festival Bookings

Booking for the first Cape Town International Summer Music Festival starts on 1 June. The new CPO brochures with full programme details will be posted shortly.

Booking details are available under the NEWS items on the CPO website at

Our profile series: members of the orchestra

Slavomir Mrazik (principal trombone) was born in Trecin, Czechoslovakia and naturally followed an interest in music since both his older brothers also became professional musicians. He studied at the Conservatory of the Slovak Republic in Bratislava and after graduation played in various orchestras in Europe.

In 1994 Slavo accepted an offer from the Transvaal Philharmonic Orchestra in Pretoria and emigrated to South Africa. He also taught at Pretoria Boys High School. He later became co-principal trombone at the New Arts Philharmonic Orchestra and moved to Cape Town in 2001 to join the newly formed CPO.

Slavo participates actively in the training of young musicians (our photo shows him during a workshop) and in addition to his passion for music, he also enjoys catering as a hobby.

In our next edition ….

…we will preview the special Shostakovich Centenary Gala concert taking place on 31 August and keep our readers up to date with the latest orchestra news.

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