Newsletter February & March 2009
On the orchestra’s summer programme…
Summer is a time for sparkling programmes and the return of some popular concerts by the CPO at well-known venues – some of which are under the stars:
The first of two Summer Sunset concerts takes place on Sunday 22 February at Kirstenbosch Gardens (17:30), with a performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana under conductor Rudolf de Beer. The soloists are Nokrismesi Skota, Willem Bester and Raphael Vilakazi, while the choirs are the Schola Cantorum Stellenbosch, the Erub Children’s Choir and the Mecer City of Tygerberg Choir. Come early and bring your picnic basket.
You/Huisgenoot Kaapse Skouspel: This pops concert consists of light South African music and takes place at 15:00 and 20:00 on Saturday 14 March at the Grand West Arena under conductor Graham Scott. The line-up of soloists sounds like a who’s who of contemporary local music, including among others Andriette Norman, Bobby van Jaarsveld, Brandon October, Broers, Laurika Rauch, Karen Zoid, Juanita du Plessis, Snotkop, Jody Williams, Sibongile Mngoma, Kurt Darren, The Happy Boys, Robbie Wessels, Jannie Moolman and EDEN.
Starlight Classics takes place at the Vergelegen wine estate on Friday 20 March and Saturday 21 March. The conductor is Richard Cock and the programme consists of light classical music, with a glamorous line-up of soloists Johnny Clegg, Bronwyn Forbay, Judith Sephuma, Zanne Stapelburg, James Grace, Jazzart and The FNB 20 Tenors.
The second Summer Sunset Concert takes place on Sunday 29 March at Kirstenbosch under conductor Corvin Matei. The programme includes extracts from Mussorgsky’s Night on the Bare Mountain, Holst’s The Planets and Beethoven’s Symphony No.5.
Book for Starlight Classics and Kaapse Skouspel at Computicket. Tickets for the Sunset Concerts are available from Kirstenbosch (phone 021 761 2866).
The Autumn Symphony Season takes place in April and consists of concerts on 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 April in the City Hall. The conductors during this season are Pieter Daniel, Bjorn Bantok and Victor Yampolsky, while the soloists are Gustavo Romero (piano), Pieter Daniel (violin) Wendy Warner (cello), Maxim Rysanov (viola) and Lukáš Vondráček (piano).
We will preview the Autumn season in more detail in our next newsletter, but the Concert Calendar already contains programme information. The booking period for season ticket holders starts on 20 February. Booking for new season ticket holders opens on 6 March and single tickets go on sale from 16 March at Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-Seat (021 421 7695).
Lotto support important
“The CPO is grateful towards the NLDTF (National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund) for their grant to the orchestra, because it benefits all the communities of the Cape through our training programmes and makes classical music accessible to those who would otherwise not have the opportunities,” says Louis Heyneman, CEO of the orchestra.
“The Lotto has become a major supporter of the CPO and the R21 million grant over a period of 3 years helps to supports the core activity of ensuring that Cape Town – a major city of South Africa and a leading tourism centre of Africa – has a viable professional symphony orchestra,” he continued.
“However, equally important is the fact that the grant also supports our outreach activities and transformation process. It enables us to run major programmes such as the CPYO, CPYWE and CPYO Junior Strings consisting mainly of players from previously disadvantaged communities. We still want to do much more to ensure that these programmes yield consistent positive results over a sustained period. The support of the NLDTF and all our other sponsors is the key to enable us to do this,” Heyneman concludes.
Praise for the CPO, Lesley Garrett and the City Hall…
Robert Steel, one of the invited guests from the UK to the “The Last Night of the Proms” Gala Concert with British soprano Lesley Garrett (30 January, City Hall), wrote:
“The orchestra was the CPO and the conductor was Richard Cock, a local maestro. Together they provided as excellent an accompaniment to Lesley as any other ensemble has done…”
Mr Steel discussed the programme and then added the following interesting comments about the venue: “The concert was partly to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Commonwealth The City Hall was a good choice, being the site of Queen (then Princess) Elizabeth’s 21st Birthday celebrations, and where Nelson Mandela made his address on release from prison in 1990. The hall itself is built of Bath Stone and is similar to British City Halls of the Victorian/ Edwardian period, such as Bristol & Leeds. Yet the concert hall itself has some subtle features that enhance the acoustics and remind one of Birmingham Symphony Hall.”
CPO Education Showcase concerts in 2009
The CPYO and CPYWE showcase concerts this year will take place on the following dates:
Autumn Showcase: 25 April (Sid G Rule Primary School, Grassy Park) and 26 April (Good Hope Seminary High School, Gardens)
Winter Showcase: 20 June (Joseph Stone Auditorium, Athlone), 21 June (St Mary’s Anglican Church, Woodstock)
Spring Showcase: 19 September (Parklands College, Table View), 20 September (Wynberg Senior Secondary School)
Summer Showcase: 22 November (Cape Town City Hall)
More information about these concerts is available from Henriette Weber or 021 410 9982)
Len Van Zyl Conductors Competition
Len van Zyl Conductors’ competition: “We are thrilled with the quality of entries received for the competition,” says Len van Zyl. “In particular it is very encouraging to see that young South African citizens active both locally and internationally have entered.” Entrants will have the opportunity to participate in master classes under the leadership of Maestro Victor Yampolsky during April, after which a short list for further stages will be compiled.
The benefit concert for Kwazi Mkula, the CPYO cellist who lost everything when his home was destroyed in a fire at Mandela Park, Hout Bay, held on 20 December was a big success and raised over R10 000 to assist him with his school fees and music tuition.
“We hope to present more concerts in the area as Hout Bay Rotary Club has shown interest in collaborating with the CPO to make this an annual event,” says Outreach and Education Manager Henriette Weber.
Cellist Dorette Roos is on study leave – she has gone to the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, to study with Professor Heidi Litschauer as part of her masters degree course at the University of Stellenbosch.
Mari du Toit (Sub-Principal Clarinet) was seriously injured in a car accident in December and will be out of action for several months. We wish her a swift and complete recovery.
Cellist Marijan Milakovic retired at the end of January – the last concert of the Summer Symphony Season was also his last concert with the CPO. We will miss him and wish him all the best in his retirement.
Christof Spies (Bass Trombone) married his cellist fiancée on 15 December and they moved to Durban at the beginning of February. Congratulations and best wishes to them both.