With Germany’s world-renowned National Youth Orchestra opening the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra’s new symphony season on Thursday, August 15, and Canadian-Chinese violinist Yi-Jia Susanne Hou bringing it to an end on Thursday, September 12, the season covers a tantalising taste palette. New subscriptions on sale from July 8; single seats from July 15.

Three conductors – Alexander Shelley, Rossen Milanov and Bernhard Gueller – share the podium over the season, with an array of sparkling soloists – the singer Msaki, pianists Natasha Paremski and Daniel Kharitonov, cellist Gary Hoffman and Ms Hou, violin. The season includes not only the German National Youth Orchestra (the Bundesjugendorchester/BJO) but a curtain-raiser by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and Brandon Phillips in the concert on August 22. They will perform the overture to Candide by Leonard Bernstein.  Continuing the accent on the brilliance of youth, the Friends of Orchestral Music benefit concert on September 12 will include Tchaikovsky Competition laureate  Kharitonov performing the Rachmaninov-Paganini Variations.

Alexander Shelley is one of the most exciting conductors on the international podium today.  Music Director of Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra as well as principal associate conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Shelley is bringing the BJO on tour to South Africa to mark the youth orchestra’s 50th anniversary.   The concert, on August 15, is being presented by the CPO in collaboration with MIAGI (Music is a Great Investment). With the South African songstress Msaki, known for her soulful rhythms and sounds, performing Hendrik Hofmeyr’s Three Sangoma Songs, the programme will also include Walton’s Johannesburg Festive Overture,  A Symphonic Picture from Gershwin’s opera, Porgy and Bess, and the Symphony No. 2 by Brahms.  The tour of the Bundesjugendorchester is generously supported by the Foreign Office of Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. Rodney Trudgeon will interview Shelley and Hendrik Hofmeyr in a pre-concert talk open to ticket-holders at 19:15.

The next two concerts on August 22 and 29 are conducted by the Bulgarian-born American maestro Rossen Milanov, making his debut in Cape Town.  Milanov is music director of several orchestras in the US including the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and in Asturias in Spain and is known equally as an experienced opera and ballet conductor. Soloists in his concerts, respectively, are Natasha Paremski, a young American pianist celebrated for her flawless technique and dynamic performances, and cellist Gary Hoffman, a Rostropovich Competition Grand Laureate. Ms. Paremski, who performs with most major American orchestras, will perform the Grieg Piano Concerto. Hoffman, who is widely recorded and revered for his fullness of sound, instrumental mastery and exceptional artistic sensibility, will perform Walton’s Cello Concerto. The main works on the programmes are the Mendelssohn “Scottish” Symphony on the first programme and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade on August 29.

The CPO’s own popular and dynamic principal guest conductor Bernhard Gueller, who is also Music Director Laureate of Symphony Nova Scotia in Canada,  and continually praised for his profound interpretations,  returns to the podium for the final two concerts on September 5 and 12.  In the FOM benefit on September 12 which features Kharitonov, the CPO will also perform Liadov From the Apocolypse and Mahler Symphony No. 1, “Titan”. The final concert in the season sees the welcome return of the Canadian-Chinese violinist Yi-Jia Susanne Hou, who will perform both Chausson Poème and Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Saint-Saëns.  The main works are by Respighi: The Fountains and The Pines of Rome.

Only dress rehearsals for the concerts of August 22, 29 and September 12 will be open to the public. Pre-concert talks will take place before all the concerts.

Tickets for the concerts are available from Artscape Dial-A-Seat on 021 421 7695 and Computicket; / call 0861 915 8000. Subscriptions for all five attract at 15 per cent discount, with an extra 5 per cent for members of Friends of Orchestral Music.  New subscription sales open on July 8, single seats go on sale on July 15. Prices range from R95 to R450 for August 15; R135 to R350 for August 22, 29 and September 12; R200 to R450. More information / 021 410 9809 or visit