Newsletter September 2010

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Newsletter 09 September 2010

On our calendar…

The orchestra is currently performing Georges Bizet’s Carmen in Mauritius, until Sunday 19 September, at the J&J Auditorium, Phoenix, Mauritius. The soloists include mezzo soprano Ann-Katrin Naidu, who regularly sings this role in prestigious productions. Mauritian artists include the singers Véronique Zuël-Bungaroo, Natacha Finette-Constantin and Jean-Michel Ringadoo. Some of the international artists, such as Francesco Petrozzi, Matias Tosi and Katrin Caine are already known to the Mauritian public as they took part in the production of Pearl Fishers last year. The CPO is conducted by Martin Wettges. The Orchestra also gives a symphony concert in the same venue on 17 September.
The CPYO and CPYWE present two Showcase concerts in September: on 18 September at St Mary’s Anglican Church in Woodstock and on 19 September at the Bellville campus of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. For tickets and more details, contact Henriette Weber at
The CPO will participate in Klein Karoo Klassique in Oudtshoorn, where the orchestra will give a symphony concert on 2 October conducted by Brandon Phillips. The soloist is the young pianist Megan-Geoffrey Prins and the programme includes Rossini’s Overture to The Barber of Seville, Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto and Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony (“From the New World”). The highlights from the Messiah will be performed by the St George’s Singers and Oudtshoorn Festival Choir conducted by Barry Smith on 3 October. The soloists are Yandiswa Makade-Mayeki (soprano), Monika Voysey (mezzo soprano), Nic de Jager (tenor) and Conroy Scott (bass).
The Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town and the Symphony Choir of Cape Town will give two performances of Verdi’s Requiem at the City Hall on Thursday, 7 October and Sunday, 10 October. The massed choir and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra will be directed by the internationally renowned conductor Victor Yampolsky, a frequent visitor to South Africa. The soloists are Hanli Stapela (soprano), Elizabeth Frandsen (mezzo-soprano), Dewald von Solms (tenor) and Monde Masimini (bass). Book at Computicket.
The National Youth Music Competition takes place in October with Victor Yampolsky conducting the final concert of the competition (9 October, Artscape Theatre).
Cape Town Opera’’s production of Donizetti’s grand opera Lucia di Lammermoor takes place from October 16 to 27 at the Opera House, Artscape. Book at Computicket.
A choral performance of Haydn’s “The Creation” with the New Apostolic Church Choir follows on 24 October at the Silvertown Auditorium. The conductor is Brandon Phillips.
The Spring Symphony Season starts on 28 October and continues until 3 December. Booking for season ticket holders will open on 20 September. Booking for new season ticket holders opens on 4 October 2010. Booking for single tickets opens on 12 July 2010.

At the Nagasaki Peace Concert…

3898.ctpjapan 073_tnThe successful Nagasaki Peace Concert held on 9 August at Artscape was attended by many members of the diplomatic corps and other dignitaries. While paying tribute to the people who died when the atomic bomb destroyed Nagasaki on 9th August 1945, it was also intended as an appeal for peace and a reminder never to use such weapons of mass destruction again.
The CPO was conducted by Owain Arwel Hughes and the programme included two works by Japanese composers: Memory of the Last Summer by Hozue Shimoda and Nagasaki No-kane by Yuji Koseki.3899.ctpjapan 070_tn

The main work was Alfred Schnittke’s Oratorio Nagasaki (with mezzo-soprano Hanneli Rupert as soloist).
The Japanese Consul Ichiro Muto, Masahoru Ozaki, Hozue Ikeuchi-Shimoda (composer of Memory of the Last Summer one of the works that was performed at the concert) and Rumiko Tanigawa.
Shirley Rabinowitz, Albie Sachs, Vanessa September (Vice Chair of the CPO’s Board of Directors) and Ben Rabinowitz (Chairman of the Board) at the reception after the concert.


CPO’s Masidlale gets big nod from Suzuki Association

Christophe Bossuat, the director of Suzuki Association Europe subsequently requested to visit the Masidlale programme en route to the Suzuki training Course that took place in Johannesburg early in August. He was highly satisfied with what he witnessed during his visit when he worked with the young violinists in Guguletu and Nyanga. Mr Bossuat acknowledged that this was an adaptation of the typical Suzuki method, but that it was the most relevant for the South African context. He indicated that he would present the Masidlale programme to the SASA Board in Johannesburg as a model for teaching.

The SASA Board meeting subsequently decided to make Cape Town an independent centre under the auspices of the CPO.

The CPO and SASA will host their first Suzuki Training programme in Cape Town in December 2010. SASA also acknowledged Maria Botha’s many years of experience of using this teaching method while living in France and afterwards in South Africa, and has agreed that she could coach and train teachers in preparation for the Suzuki courses held throughout the year.

This is a great achievement for music education in the Western Cape. We invite violin teachers who are interested in participating in these activities to contact us via Henriette Weber at
CPO Education rural outreach
In our last edition we reported that the CPO Education programme took its first steps into the rural community of Goedverwacht on the West Coast.
As this community started as a Moravian mission station in the late 1800’s accompanied by the rich tradition of brass bands, commonly known as ‘basuinkore’, it was natural that our first major activities would be focused on brass bands.
Therefore, in July we held a five-day brass workshop in the community under the direction of Sean Kierman, retired Head of Brass, UCT.The workshop coincided with the annual Snoek-en-patat festival and the various ensembles trained during the workshop performed at a number of venues at the festival. Among others The Cape Philharmonic Youth Saxophone Ensemble was invited to perform at the banquet that opened the festival.

On 17 July, 14 learners who participated in the workshops attended the CPO education activities at Good Hope Seminary High School to give them an overview of the education programme and their future in one of the ensembles.

On 29 July, 60 learners from the community including the young musicians, attended the CPO’s final dress rehearsal for the symphony concert at the City Hall. We hope that once the transport costs have been sourced, these learners will become part of the CPO teaching programme on a Saturday morning. Potential sponsors for this and other outreach projects can contact Karin Blumer at 021 410 9826 or e-mail
Mauritius outreach
Henriette Weber, the Outreach Manager of the CPO, was invited to Mauritius by Paul Olsen of the Fondation Spectacles et Culture to witness first-hand the music education environment there and create a programme similar to the CPO Education programme.
The foundation is keen to implement the Masidlale programme in Mauritius and also wanted to create opportunities for the CPO to work with community projects during their stay in Mauritius for the production of the opera Carmen.
Ms Weber addressed the Fondation board members and various government departments and met with the Vice-Prime Minister (who also holds the portfolio of Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment) and the Director of Arts and Culture and his financial advisor who all offered financial assistance to the Fondation for this model to be implemented.”
“We met with about 50 children showing them DVD’s and their excitement and interest was immediately evident when it came to question time. Their situation is very similar to ours when it comes to language. We needed to find suitable Xhosa speaking teachers to work in Masidlale, while in Mauritius they need to train Creole speaking teachers. There have been positive results in this regard as the first teacher from Mauritius is currently with our Masidlale teachers in Johannesburg attending the Suzuki Training course.”
She says the community of Mangalkhan is the second community that will benefit from training, but this community’s programme will be based on the CPO teaching that takes place on a Saturday with more senior learners. “The Mangalkhan group already read staff notation and have a small recorder ensemble. It is hoped that these learners will graduate to orchestral wind and brass instruments.”
Well done Henriette and her team on these developments!
More Youth Orchestra and Development news
Conductors’ training: Since Brandon Phillips’ return from Philadelphia and Chicago (his prize for winning the first Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition), his desire was to transfer his skills to other young conductors. On 17 July, CPO Education held an Open Day to determine the need for such a course. No less than 15 eager trainee conductors, five of whom are members of the CPYO, have since been attending training, which will culminate in master classes with Prof. Victor Prof Yampolsky at the end of September. The training will continue next year and who knows, perhaps one of these young conductors will make us proud at the second Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition in 2012?
CPYWE TOUR (5-9 August): The CPYWE participated in the Mandela Bay Festival of Sound (a festival created to celebrate the centenary of the Symphonic Wind Ensembles) that took place at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth. The CPYWE was conducted by Sean Kierman in two performances, including the gala concert. They were also part of a massed band and participated in various ensembles, workshops and presentations. En route to Port Elizabeth, Franklin Lewis of the Western Cape Education Department invited the CPYWE to perform in George. This performance took place at the Outeniqua Primary School on 5 August.
Staff news
Vincent Michaels, CPO’s orchestra attendant and driver passed away recently after a long illness. Our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.
Roxane Steffen, principal double bass, is currently on long-term medical leave. The CPO management and her colleagues wish her a speedy recovery.
Cellist Babette le Roux has taken a year’s leave from the CPO to pursue post-graduate studies at the University of North Texas, US, under Professor Osadchy.
US Tour Reminder
The orchestra has been invited to undertake a concert tour in the along the East Coast of the US from February to March 2011. This tour will consist of 18 concerts and it is estimated that it will attract almost 30,000 people at top venues. The CPO is the first-ever orchestra from the African continent to be invited, which attests to its good reputation and excellent performance standards. Some of the orchestra members on this tour will be development musicians receiving a unique opportunity to travel, play with the professional orchestra, benefit from the additional income and gain invaluable experience and exposure via this tour.
This also presents a fantastic marketing opportunity to be showcased as a top export product of the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape and South Africa to an international audience.

To help finance this tour, Call Karin Blumer at 021 410 9826 or e-mail ‘; document.write( ” ); document.write( addy_text16555 ); document.write( ‘<\/a>’ ); //–>

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