Newsletter September 2009

 In Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 11 September 2009

Orchestra news

Immediately after the Winter Symphony Season, the orchestra jetted out to Port Louis in Mauritius for the first Mauritius International Opera Festival (4-13 September). The CPO took part in six performances of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers with soloists of the Bavarian State Opera and also gave a symphony concert conducted by the Festival’s Music director Martin Wettges with the famous Mauritian singer Linzy Bacbotte as soloist.
Our Oratorio Festival 2009 (read more in the separate item below) starts on 17 September and continues until 8 October.
Dr John Alden Stanley, one of the world’s most famous brass band conductors and pedagogues, will conduct the Cape Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensemble (CPYWE) during their Spring Showcase concerts on 19 and 20 September. There is a full item about these concerts elsewhere in this newsletter.
After the Oratorio Festival the orchestra will perform with young soloists taking part in the Youth Music Festival at Artscape (10 October), followed by Cape Town Opera’s production of Jake Heggie’s controversial new opera Dead Man Walking.
October will end with two performances of Mozart’s Requiem, again in collaboration with Cape Town Opera (28 and 31 October). Our Summer Symphony Season starts on 5 November. We will preview that season in our next newsletter.

Oratorio Festival

Following the success of the first Oratorio Festival last year, the CPO will again perform oratorios and choral works during the 2009 festival starting on 17 September and consisting of four Thursday evening concerts in the City Hall and one afternoon concert in Mamre (Sunday 20 September).
In total five of the best local choirs and well-known local soloists lead by four different conductors will perform works that include among others Haydn’s Nelson Mass in D minor, Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum and extracts from his Messiah, Beethoven’s Mass in C major and Rossini’s Stabat Mater.
· 17 September: three works by Haydn – his powerful “Nelson” Mass in D minor, his Offertorium: “Insanae et vanae curae” and Symphony No. 94. Barry Smith conducts; the choir is the St George’s Singers and the soloists are Hanneli Rupert (mezzo-soprano), Zandile Gwebityala (soprano), Nick de Jager (tenor) and Conroy Scott (bass).
· 24 September: three works by Handel – his Dettingen Te Deum HWV 283, Dixit Dominus HWV 232 (Psalm 109) and the Overture to his “Occasional Oratorio” HWV 62. The CPO, Canticum Novum Choir and soloists Vanessa Tait-Jones (soprano), Minette du Toit-Pierce (mezzo), Willem Bester (tenor) and Barend van der Westhuizen (bass) perform under conductor Louis van der Watt.
· 1 October: two works by Beethoven – his Mass in C major and his First Symphony. Arjan Tien conducts, the choir is the Cape Town Symphony Choir and the soloists are Filipa van Eck (soprano), Janelle Visagie (mezzo), Sunnyboy Dladla (tenor) and Conroy Scott (bass).
· 8 October: the programme consists of Rossini’s Stabat Mater, preceded by Schubert’s Symphony No. 4 (the “Tragic”). The choir is the Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town and the soloists are Deirdre Adriaanse (soprano), Willem Bester (tenor) and Patrick Tikolo (bass). The conductor is again Arjan Tien.
· 20 September, Outreach Concert: this concert is included in the festival as part of the CPO’s outreach into the communities of the Western Cape. This concert takes place at 14:00 on Sunday 20 September in the Moravian Mission Church in Mamre. The CPO together with the choir of the New Apostolic Church and soloists Zandile Gwebityala, Janelle Visagie, Sunnyboy Dladla en Conroy Scott perform extracts from Handel’s Messiah. The conductor is Sjoerd Alkema.
Book at Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-Seat (021) 421 7695 for the four concerts in the City Hall. Ticket Prices are R60 – R165. For further information about the concert in Mamre, contact Thys Greeff at
See the Concert Calendar for information about forthcoming concerts and events.
Dr John Stanley here for Spring Showcase concerts
The Spring Showcase concerts by the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (CPYO) and the Cape Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensemble (CPYWE) take place on 19 September at the Parklands College in Table View and on 20 September at the Wynberg Senior Secondary School.
The famous brass band conductor and pedagogue, Dr John Alden Stanley, conducts the CPYWE during these concerts, while the CPYO is conducted by resident conductor Alexander Fokkens.
Dr John Alden Stanley is a professor of music education at Sonoma State University in California, US His conducting, teaching, administrative and adjudicative duties routinely send him throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, United Kingdom, Continental Europe, South Africa, Iceland and Southeast Asia.
A charter member of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) and British Association of Symphonic Band & Wind Ensembles (BASBWE), Dr Stanley has a distinguished reputation for promoting international cooperation among American, European, Pan-Pacific, and South and Central American orchestras and wind bands. His assessments at music festivals include the British Boosey and Hawkes and Festival of Youth Competitions as well as the California Music Education Association where he provided critical guidelines for the improvement of performance standards and selection of quality literature.
During the concerts some of the members of the CPYO will perform as soloists: flautists Jade Lawrence, Travis Moore and Lauren De Doncker, cellist Dane Coetzee and violinist Odile Lesch will perform movements from various concerti. Other works include extracts from Bernstein’s West Side Story, Biebl’s Ave Maria and Yi Chen’s Spring festival.
Tickets cost R30 at the door or contact Henriette Weber on (021) 410 9982/ .
More information:
The CPYO performing during the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. They gave four concerts in four days in Grahamstown – two performances each as part of the National Arts Festival and National Schools Festival respectively

New CD released

The CPO’s world première recording of Alfred Schnittke’s Concerto Grosso No. 1 – with Sharon Bezaly (flute) and Christopher Cowie (oboe) – and his Symphony No. 9 is now available. The recording was made for the prestigious BIS label during the CPO’s third Cape Town International Summer Music Festival in 2008 with the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor, Owain Arwel Hughes.
Although available at select CD stores, copies of the CD may also be obtained directly from the CPO at +27 21 410 9809 or
The famous cellist Alexander Ivaskin writes in his programme notes for the CD that
“Schnittke builds his concerti grossi on the baroque idea of intensive dialogue between orchestra and soloists. In 1988,,, Schnittke made a new version of his Concerto Grosso No. 1with flute and oboes replacing the two violins. This version has been performed on several occasions in Russia, but has never before been recorded,” and
“Schnittke’s Ninth Symphony is an extraordinary exploration of new resources in music… (he) was searching for a new musical language – one that was not necessarily related to stylistic diversion, but rather to the ‘even tension’ (Schnittke’s own expression) of the tonal fabric itself. Ascetic, but enormously energetic and highly expressive, Symphony No. 9 shows the direction in which Alfred Schnittke was heading in his last years, purifying his music and opening it up to new dimensions.”
Finalists for Conductors’ Competition announced
The finalists of the first national Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition have been announced. They are (in alphabetical order) Hanrich Claassen, Johan Grobler, Wesley Lewis, Nicholas Nicolaidis, David Nkosi and Brandon Phillips.
The final rounds of the competition will take place during the fourth Cape Town International Summer Music Festival presented by the CPO ape Philharmonic Orchestra, in February next year.
The Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition is run in conjunction with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra as an initiative to support and develop classical music talent in South Africa. A financial trust was created for this purpose by Mr Len van Zyl, who believes that a vital part of keeping classical music alive and well concerns the development of young talent.

Young artists shine

Two of the local soloists who have appeared with the CPO this year – Pretty Yende, and Avigail Bushakovitz – have recently won major music prizes, while one of the past members of the CPYO – Freya Apffelstaedt – has also excelled.
· Opera singer Pretty Yende became the first South African to win the prestigious International Hans Gabor Belvedere Competition in Vienna (Austria), taking top honours in four categories: opera, operetta, press and public.
· Violinist Avigail Bushakovitz won the second Unisa National String Competition 2009 as well as two further prizes: for best performance of a violin work by JS Bach and best violin recital in the third round.
· Past member of the CPYO Freya Apffelstaedt, has been admitted to the Sächsisches Landesgymnasium für Musik in Dresden. Her main instrument is the violin, while she also has an interest in conducting.
We congratulate them on their achievements.

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