Newsletter December 2010

 In Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 09 December 2010

Pretty Yende and Given Nkosi

10th Anniversary Gala Concert
Pretty Yende, the sensational multi-award-winning South African soprano who recently made her debut at La Scala in Milan to an excellent reception by audiences and critics alike, will be joined by tenor Given Nkosi to celebrate the orchestra’s 10th anniversary at a special Gala Concert on 29 December 2010 (20:00, Artscape Opera House).
The gala concert is the first event on the programme for the 5th Cape Town International Summer Music Festival, which will continue until 12 February 2011. In addition, it will mark the launch of a DVD featuring Pretty Yende in concert with the CPO at the Oude Libertas Amphitheatre in December 2009. The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra will be conducted by Richard Cock.
Pretty Yende is currently part of the young artist programme at La Scala and working with Mirella Freni. In 2009 she became the first South African to win the prestigious International Hans Gabor Belvedere Competition in Vienna, Austria, taking top honours in four categories: the first time in the history of the competition that one singer won all the first prizes.

In September 2009 she also triumphed at the Montserrat Caballé International Singing Competition in Barcelona (Spain) and earlier this year she won the 6th Leyla Gencer Voice Competition in Istanbul and also shared the first prize in the Savonnlina International Singing Competition (Finland) in front of a distinguished panel of judges which included artistic management from Covent Garden and the Metropolitan.

Given Nkosi, who made his debut as Edgardo in the recent Cape Town Opera production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and who was named one of the most successful men in South Africa in 2007, will join Pretty Yende to perform popular arias and duets from well-known operas.
Also read more here

5th Cape Town International Summer Music Festival
International summer music festival

After the Gala Concert of 29 December, the rest of the 5th Cape Town International Summer Music Festival will be equally exciting.
Among others it will feature for the first time an opera: two performances (27 and 29 January) of Richard Wagner’s dramatic, gothic masterpiece, Der Fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) are presented in cooperation with the Richard Wagner Society of South Africaand the Suidoosterfees. The director is Lara Bye and Kamal Khan is the conductor. The cast consists of local soloists including Nkosazana Dimande (Senta), Paul Madibeng (Dalanda), Ntobeko Rwanqa (The Dutchman), Karen van der Walt (Mary), Matthew Overmeyer (Erik) and Sunnyboy Dladla (Helmsman).
Here are some of the other highlights of the festival:
The world’s foremost trombone player, Christian Lindberg performs Leopold Mozart’s concerto for Alto Trombone (20 January). Having premiered over 300 works for the trombone (including more than 30 compositions of his own), Mr Lindberg has recorded over 70 solo CDs and was voted internationally as the greatest brass player of the 20th century in 2000.
Star pianist Olga Kern, darling of Cape Town audiences, will be back (5 February) to perform two works: Totentanz by Liszt and Rachmaninov’s Paganini Variations. The conductor is Vladimir Kern.
Award-winning Bulgarian conductor and composer Martin Panteleev and the young Russian/American violinist Philippe Quint, feature in two concerts (1 and 3 February). The programmes includes some of the works they will perform with the CPO on tour of the East Coast of the USA in February/March 2011 (among others the violin concertos by Tchaikovsky and Korngold)and also the South African premiere of Martin Panteleev’s own work “The Island”.
Jill Richards, who is well-known for her special insight into new music, will give the world première performance of a newly-commissioned Piano Concerto titled “Unterwegs” Musica per Pianoforte ed Orchestra by former South African composer David Kosviner. At the same concert on 22 January, German cellist Gabriel Schwabe, winner of numerous awards in national and international competitions, is the soloist in Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D major. Christian Lindberg will be on the stage again as well – this time as conductor.
Other works include the world premiere of Andrea Tarrodi’s “Camelopardalis” for Symphony Orchestra, Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 (the “Organ Symphony”) with organist Grant Brasler, Sibelius Symphony No. 5, Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade and Walton’s Johannesburg Overture.

Martin Panteleev

Philippe Quint

Other engagements in December

December also brings the following engagements for the Orchestra:
Recording sessions with virtuoso double bass player Leon Bosch and cellist Peter Martens to record the concertos for Double Bass and for Cello by Allan Stephenson and conducted by the composer himself.
Further recording sessions for the Munich-based Oehms Classics recording label of works by American composers with the German violinist Alexander Gilman, who was one of the soloists for the Spring Symphony Season. The works recorded will be the Barber and Korngold’s Violin Concertos, Waxman’s Carmen Fantasy and Williams’ Theme from Schindler’s List. The conductor is Perry So from Hong Kong.
The Orchestra will perform at selected performances of Cape Town Ballet’s production of Cinderella (17 –23 December). More details are available here.
A New Years Eve Concert takes place on 31 December at the Oude Libertas Amphitheatre with conductor Richard Cock and soprano Friedel Mitas (winner of the Olitalia/Rialto Bursary) as soloist. The programme consists of light classics and popular arias from operas and operettas. Book at Computicket. More information is available here.

Yamaha International music seminar

“I am most grateful to the CPO Board and management for giving me the opportunity to attend the 16th Yamaha International Music Seminar from 3-6 November 2010,” says Henriette Weber, Outreach and Education Manager of the CPO.
The CPO Outreach and Education presentation was well received and everyone was impressed with what we have achieved in only seven years. Other presentations included Batuta (an outreach programme sponsored by the Colombian government) and Gestion Musicale (Argentina).
Henriette continues: “Listening to at least four wind ensembles per day from the various communities, schools and universities was a treat. The fact that so many South American composers are writing music for symphonic wind ensemble is remarkable. Thus, these wind bands play their local music interspersed with the legendary wind music of Phillips Spark, Percy Grainger and others.”
She says each participating band was conducted by their local conductor, as well as by an international conductor. Renowned international guest conductors included Dr. Laszlo Marosi, Glenn Price (President of WASBE), Dr John Stanley, Dr Robert Gilford, Dr Leon Bly (Lifetime President of WASBE).”
Hudson Nogueira (Brasil) and Brian Wilson (USA) gave lectures on their compositions. Hudson is a jazz saxophonist who has composed works for wind ensemble and Brian Wilson’s works are derived from intense studies done on the works by Percy Grainger.
“I believe, that given Cape Town’s legacy of music, we need to start encouraging our composers to write music for our wind ensembles and youth orchestras,” concludes Henriette.
The seminar was made possible by Yamaha Latin America and managed by Juan Guillermo Ramirez, the General Manager of Yamaha Latin America.

Conductors’ training and master class

Brandon Phillips was influential in convincing visiting Dutch conductor Arjan Tien to present a master class for our trainee-conductors on Saturday, 4 December 2010. Maestro Tien put the trainee conductors through their paces with their prepared work, Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik.
The weekly conductors’ training programme was initiated by Brandon Phillips after his return from his conducting studies in the USA after winning the Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition. Maestro Tien said he was impressed with the ground-breaking work that Brandon has covered with the group of trainees in three months, as well as with Brandon’s own exceptional talent as a young conductor who only recently made his professional debut.
The five participants – Dane Coetzee, Charl van der Merwe, Andrew-John Bethke, Angus Petersen and Brandon Phillips – were assisted by a string quintet made up of CPO ad hoc and professional musicians – Danielle Asherson (violin); Elzahn Johnson (violin); Azra Isaacs (viola); Aristide du Plessis and Conroy Scott (double bass). Charl van der Merwe, Dane Coetzee and Elzahn Johnson will also be part of the group of young musicians accompanying the CPO on the USA tour in 2011.
We are indeed privileged to have had two international conductors presenting master classes for our young conductors in the past two months – Prof Victor Yampolsky from Northwestern University, Chicago (September) and now Arjan Tien.
Above left: Trainee conductors Angus Petersen, Dane Coetzee and
Charl van der Merwe with Arjan Tien and Brandon Phillips.
Above right: Trainee conductor Charl van der Merwe in action with
Maestro Arjan Tien looking on.
Thank you!
The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra acknowledges and thanks all the donors, sponsors and patrons who have contributed and still contribute to the success of the orchestra and its outreach and educational programmes.
We are grateful to the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and the Department of Arts and Culture for their generous and invaluable support; to all those companies, trusts, foundations, individual donors who contribute financially or in the form of in-kind gifts and to the Friends of Orchestral Music for their commitment and passion to help sustain the work of the orchestra.
It is because of you that we continue to exist and have the capacity to continue to strive for excellence in our music performances, while also helping to groom the new generation of musicians who will secure the future of symphonic music in our fair city.

Please help to build the Endowment Trust

“As a regular reader of the CPO newsletter, you will know a lot about the world-class performances of our orchestra,” writes Susan Murray, Chief Executive of the CP Endowment Trust. “You will also have read stories about the great, ongoing work of our education and development programmes. Many of the teachers in these programmes are members of the professional orchestra and also youngsters from the CPYO, transferring skills and ensuring that high quality music never ceases in Cape Town.”
“This training and education work is the engine room that ensures a continuous stream of budding local talent for the CPO. It also means that the demographic make-up of the CPO is progressing towards full representivity, as most of the youngsters in the training process are from previously disadvantaged communities. But it costs money to run and it is essential that it is an ongoing process.
“The CPO has been successful in fund-raising sufficiently to keep both the performance and training aspects on target, however there is always a chance that a long-standing donor might reduce or re-direct their contributions to another worthy cause,” she continues.
“This is why we need a solid Endowment Trust, from which the CPO can draw the income (but not the capital) if and when it is ever needed.”
The trustees are immensely grateful to those who have contributed so far: the CPO as founding donor, Denise Read, Ruth Allen, Henk Rubidge, Klaus Pfleiderer, Harris and Tessa Gordon (in recognition of the lifelong community building role played by Shirley and Bennie Rabinowitz), Caroline van Zyl, an anonymous donation of R70,000 and our first individual contribution of R1m – from Wendy Ackerman. THANK YOU!
The Trust is nearing the R4m mark – with a long way to go to reach the ultimate goal of R100m. We appeal to you to help us make it happen. Contribute in whatever way possible. It could be a small one-off donation, or a monthly debit order, or an annual Christmas present to the Trust. Many South Africans are approaching annual bonus time: spare a thought for how much the music of the Cape Philharmonic means to you. By contributing to the Endowment Trust now you will play an important role in ensuring that this music never ceases.
Debit orders and EFT
Account number: 10010935645
Bank: Investec Bank
Branch: Grayston Drive Sandton
Branch Code: 580105
Account Name: Cape Philharmonic Endowment Trust
Reference: Your name
Direct deposits (Cheque and Cash deposits)
Account number: 01043960306
Bank: ABSA Bank
Branch: Eloff Street
Branch code: 503005
Account Name: Investec Bank
10010935645 Reference:
Please advise Susan Murray, Chief Executive of the Trust, of your donation at or 082-444 1515 or 044-533 0799 (Tel /Fax during office hours), or contact her to discuss making a bequest. Your donation or bequest could also mean a tax benefit.
Trustees: Ton Vosloo (Chairman), Wendy Ackerman, Louis Heyneman, Dr Wilmot James,Susan Murray (Chief Executive), Christoff Pauw, Ben Rabinowitz.
Cape Philharmonic Orchestra Reg. No. 2000/014462/08
Cape Philharmonic Endowment Trust Exemption No: 930 014 371
Concert tour to the US: February to March 2011
The CPO undertakes a concert tour along the East Coast of the United States 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. The tour also presents a fantastic marketing opportunity to be showcased as a top export product of South Africa to an international audience, adding to the scope of the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape and South Africa and acting as cultural and social ambassadors for South Africa.
The CPO needs your financial support for this tour. Call Karin Blumer at 021 410 9826 or e-mail

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