Newsletter June & July 2009

 In Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 19 June 2009

A busy orchestra

During May and the first week of June, the Orchestra was occupied mainly with Cape Town Opera’s production of Madama Butterfly and the Schools Outreach programme. Schools visited to present these special outreach concerts included Elsies River High School, Parklands College, Hyde Park Primary School, Capricorn Primary School, Athlone School for the Blind, Pinelands High School and Brooklands Primary School.

The first Winter Symphony Season ends on 25 June, but there will not be a long wait before the August Season, which will consist of three Thursday evening concerts conducted by Theodore Kuchar on 13, 20 and 27 August.

On August 13, the soloist is Ma Xiaohui, a renowned Shanghai Er-hu musician and composer, who is perhaps most readily recognised for her duet with famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma on the Oscar-winning soundtrack for the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. She will be performing her own composition, Spirit of my Er-hu and also a work by Yang Liqing, called Shepherdess on the Tian Shan Mountains. The other works on the programme are Liadov’s The Enchanted Lake and Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony.
On August 20, the soloist is Sasha Rozhdestvensky, one of Russia’s finest young violinists, who performs Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. The programme also includes Mozart’s Overture to“Il Seraglio” and Dvořák’s EighthSymphony.

On August 27, the multi-award winning South African pianist Nina Schumann performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Also included is Rossini’s“La gazza ladra” Overture and the season concludes with Tchaikovsky’s Suite for Orchestra No. 3.

Book at Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-Seat (021) 421 7695.
Current season ticket holders: from 3 July 2009
New season ticket holders: from 13 July 2009
Single tickets: from 24 July 2009

Rotary Gala Fundraising concert
On Tuesday 30 June The Rotary Club of Cape Townand the CPO present a memorial concertin honour of the late Alderman Dick Friedlander. The proceeds of this gala concert will go towards the refurbishment of the conductor’s dressing room in the City Hall and to provide a bursary to a deserving second-year music student at a local university. The conductor is Bernhard Gueller and the soloists areMegan-Geoffrey Prins(piano) and Golda Schultz (soprano). More details appear on the website (click here) and booking is at Computicket.

CPO and CPYO at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown

On 1 July, the Orchestra travels to Grahamstown to participate in the National Arts Festival:
On 2 July Bernhard Gueller conducts the CPO at a symphony concert (Guy Butler Theatre, 19:00). The soloist is Catherine Foxcroft (piano) and the programme includes Michael Moerane’s “Fatso la heso”, Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and Brahms’ first symphony.
The CPO performs with Cape Town City Ballet to present the ballet “La Sylphide” at the Guy Butler Theatre on 3 and 4 July with Allan Stephenson as the conductor.
On 5 July the Festival Gala Concert takes place at 15:00 at the Guy Butler Theatre with Allan Stephenson conducting and the young baritone Jacques Imbrailo (Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winner) as soloist.
The CPYO will perform at the National Arts Festival on 10 and 11 July, and at the National Schools Festival on 12 and 13 July.
Detailed information about the Festival is available at
The CPO at Klein Karoo Klassique
On 15 August the CPO will present a concert in the Oudtshoorn Civic Centre as part of the Klein Karoo Klassique Festival. Theodore Kuchar will be on the podium and the soloists are Pretty Yende (soprano) and Given Nkosi (tenor). Details about this festival are available from

Cape Town/Paris Music Atelier project

The CPO has become involved in a project to create a music atelier at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France “..since our vision is to assist in fast-tracking young musicians on their path to a professional career in music,” says Louis Heyneman, Chief Executive of the CPO.
This world-renowned establishment is based in Paris’ historically important Marais area. It offers residence to professional artists in many media. Already hosting two South African Arts Ateliers, one or more South African Music Ateliers would offer many benefits to our talented young musicians.
The complex is equipped with 200 studios – some with pianos – and offers young musicians opportunities to practise, interact with artists from all over the world and attend concerts by world-class musicians.

It is rare for an Atelier to become available and we are proud and privileged for South Africa to be considered. We are encouraged by the response of French arts and cultural organisations – in South Africa and Paris.

The CPO will help raise funds to support young South African musicians to attend the Cité through concerts and sponsorships from other donors.
For more information please contact Benita Munitz (021 434 9161 or via e-mail

Staff News

David Snaith (Principal Viola) resigned and moved to Durban in March, while Andrzej Zacny (Viola) retired at the end of April. Paula Fourie was promoted to Principal Viola from 1 May. New appointments in the viola section are Azra Isaacs and Annemi van der Merwe

Brandon Phillips has been promoted to Principal Bassoon from 1 June and Simon Ball will rejoin the orchestra as Sub-Principal Bassoon from July.
Three appointments of teachers in the CPO Education String Academy were made recently. Maria Botha was appointed Project Leader, Strings Outreach. In addition, Tembisa Ntshongontshi and Noluvuyo Nteta will teach strings at Hlengisa Primary School in Nyanga from Monday to Thursday for the next three years. On Fridays they undergo in-service training in the Suzuki method of violin teaching under the guidance of Maria Botha.

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