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In this issue:

Len van Zyl Competition

CPYWE's 67 minutes for Mandela

Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra

Subscription Renewals

What's up with the Orchestra

Vacancies in Outreach



16 things musicians have never said

CPO and Divas unite

Paul Chandler

Spartacus and Sergei

Ryan van der Rheede

Upcoming Concerts:
SICMF Bursary Competition Concert
Endler Hall, Stellenbosch, July 6 20:00
Divas Unite!
Cape Town City Hall, August 9 15:00.
Conductor: Brandon Phillips. Women's Day concert with an all-female orchestra and stars.
Joshua Bell In Concert
Cape Town City Hall, August 26/27 20:00. Conductor: Bernhard Gueller. Beethoven; Mendelssohn; Tchaikovsky
Spring Symphony Concert
Cape Town City Hall, October 22 20:00. Conductor: Perry So. Soloists: Goitsemang Lehobye (soprano); Pallavi Mahidhara (piano). Ndodana Breen; Rachmaninov; Prokofiev
Spring Symphony Concert
Cape Town City Hall, October 29 20:00. Conductor: Perry So.
Soloists: Maria Solozobova (violin). Homage to Sibelius 150.
Spring Symphony Concert
Cape Town City Hall, November 5 20:00. Conductor: Bernhard Gueller. Soloist: Natalia Lavrova (piano). Haydn; Shostakovich; Respighi.
Spring Symphony Concert
Cape Town City Hall, November 12 20:00. Curtain raiser: CPYO Conductor Brandon Phillips. Conductor: Bernhard Gueller. Soloist: Maria Kliegel (cello). Dvorak; Bloch, Bruch, Beethoven.
FOM Gala Concert
Cape Town City Hall, November 19 20:00. Conductor: Bernhard Gueller. Soloist: Antonio Pompa-Baldi (piano). All Brahms.

Download it here...
Download Concerto here. It is also available at the concerts.

Subscription renewals for the October - November Season

The next season may seem a long way away, but subscription renewals open on July 14 for two weeks.The concerts, all at the City Hall on Thursday at 20:00, are listed down the side, and include conductors Perry So and Bernhard Gueller, soloists Goitsemang Lehobye (soprano), Pallavi Mahidhara and  Natalia Lavrova (piano), Maria Solozobova (violin) and Maria Kliegel (cello). Download the full concert card here.
      There are usually open dress rehearsals at 10:00 on the day of the concert managed by Friends of Orchestral Music and at a fee of R50, and pre-concert talks at 19:15 presented by Rodney Trudgeon, free to ticket-holders.

Vacancies in Outreach

The CPO is looking for a part-time violin teacher and a part-time administrator for the Masidlale projects. If you think you have – or know someone who has – the interest, please contact outreach manager Laurika Steenkamp,za for details. The closing date of June 30 has been extended to July 6.


Dirk Venter, FMR presenter, passed away suddenly ten days ago. His professional and seamless bilingualism will be missed

Laurie Wapenaar, founder of The Orchestra Company in Johannesburg and manager of the SA National Youth Orchestra passed away in Canada. Her energy and passion will also be missed

16 things musicians have never said

"I'm free all weekend!" and “Now the orchestra will  play Helicopter Song by Wagner” … ever heard these? See what other sentences you will never hear a musician saying! Read the Classic FM piece here

CPO and Divas unite

The CPO will celebrate women by fielding an all-female orchestra to accompany some of South Africa’s top inspirational female artists.  Divas Unite will take place at the City Hall on Sunday, August 9, at 3 pm.
Artists include Freshlyground’s Zolani Mahola,  sopranos Magdalene Minnaar and Zanne Stapelberg with 23-year-old opera star Noluvuyiso Mpofu,Kim Kallie and Judy Page and SAMA Award-winning instrumental pop group Sterling EQ.
      Just two men are in the line-up – conductor Brandon Phillips and MC Katlego Maboe. 
      Visit or contact / 021 433 1699 for more information.

Spartacus and Sergei

Guest principal oboe Sergei Burdokov is no stranger to the music of Spartacus .. .in his previous life as principal oboe of the Bolshoi, Khachaturian came to him at a reception afterwards and thanked him for his ‘excellent’ solo (watch for it in the last act!).


Four young CPYO musicians have won principal positions in the SA National Youth Orchestra taking place now. They are Megan Thebus (double bass) Shannon Thebus (horn), Jesse Williams (trombone), and Craig Nicholas (tuba). Well done, all –  the CPYO is proud to have been part of your growth!

Ryan van der Rheede's priceless experience

When told about Richard Strauss’s quote that he never looks at trombonists because it only encourages them, Ryan van der Rheede laughs.  “The trombone is a fantastic instrument and I love playing it!”  Ryan, the second trombone in the CPO,  came to the instrument by  chance. He was a trumpeter, grounded in the Moravian Church in Bellville from the age of 13, and three years later went to study at the Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre. There it was decided that he should transfer to the trombone and he knew then that this would be his future – he would be a professional trombonist. Read more here

Generators Galore

The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra had to hire a generator at a cost of R23 000 twice on the off-chance that load shedding would kick in during two of the last four concerts.  There was no threat as it turned out during the first one; at the second one, the night Brandon Phillips was confirmed as resident conductor, load shedding was announced.  The technicians were ready to flip the switch, the audience was prepped and we waited.  Nothing happened  … because the city was able, it seems, to compensate from energy generated at Steenbras Dam. While this is all well and good, it plays havoc with planning. We believe that the City Hall, a signature building in the City and belonging to the Council, should not be affected by loadshedding. Some areas in the city NEVER lose power.  The City Hall should be one of those, or the city should rent out a building with all the facilities intact. Please, City Council, buy a generator so that those who rent your grand old lady don’t have to spend more on hiring a generator than it costs to hire the premises for the night. The CPO can ill afford this.

The Len van Zyl Competition underway

Three days of master classes by Victor Yampolsky of 16 young conductors from all over the country ended with the hard task of choosing eight to go forward to the semi-finals of the Third Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition in February.   Those who go forward are Chad Hendricks (Cape Town), Reghardt Kühn (Stellenbosch), Andre Oosthuizen (Potchefstroom), Russell Scott (Durban), Grant Snyman (Port Elizabeth), Charl van der Merwe (Cape Town), Schalk van der Merwe (Pretoria) and Jaco van Staden (Pretoria).  Not only did they work hard, but so did the accompanists, François du Toit and José Dias, and adjudicators Richard Cock and Brandon Phillips with Yampolsky. After the semi-finals, which again include  a master class before a further winnowing, will be followed by the finals with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra at a concert on February 14, at which the panel will be joined by the eminent international conductor, Bernhard Gueller.  The winner wins a month’s internship with the Philadelphia Orchestra and two months with Yampolsky at Northwestern University in Chicago.  
      Says Len van Zyl, the man whose passion and generosity established this prize: “We were delighted to see that the third competition resulted in even more entries, with the initial elimination challenging, and that in the first round even more so. It is so rewarding to see that there are so many talented young conductors establishing themselves in South Africa.

Sixteen young conductors, seen with accompanists, François du Toit and José Dias (back row) and the organizers and judges, front row from left:  Richard Cock, Brandon Phillips, Victor Yampolsky, Len van Zyl, Louis Heyneman and Shirley de Kock Gueller.

CPYWE give 67 minutes for Mandela

The Civic Centre concourse will be the venue when 45 young musicians of the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensemble and 32  members of the SA Army Band give a concert of 67 minutes for Mandela. The concert will take place at 11 am on July 18.
      Under the direction of the CPYWE’s conductor Faan Malan and the SA  Army Band’s Captain Vernon Michels, the musicians will play separately and together, blowing up a storm to celebrate the South African icon, Nelson Mandela.  You will hear such favourites as a Frank Sinatra Medley and a South African medley of popular local songs.
     With the help of Fine Music Radio and Pick n Pay, the two groups will be hosting 100 children from disadvantaged communities, who will have a meal sponsored by the giant retailer.
      Enquiries: CPO outreach manager Laurika Steenkamp tel 072 293 0954 or

Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra and CPO concert

The Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra is joining forces with the 95 musicians of the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra from Scotland in a concert and ceilidh at Rhodes High School in Rosebank. The concert, on Thursday, July 9 at 19:00, will showcase the two along with young musicians from the CPO Music Academy and Masidlale grassroots project, to showcase shared goals and virtuosity.
      CPO outreach manager Laurika Steenkamp says  the CPO and the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra have the same aims – youth development while preserving local customs.  
       Each group will learn the others’ ways – the Ayrshire fiddlers will be taught an African folk song and will step-dance, while the South Africans will learn a Scottish one; they will play them in the concert. Concertgoers are invited to bring any instrument or pots, pans or spoons and join in the ceilidh and make their own music.
      The Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra is on a tour of South Africa, performing in Grahamstown and other places, adding to their international reputation which extends from Sydney via the White House to the Isle of Skye.
      Tickets for the concert are R50 and R25 (students) at the door or book with  Laurika Steenkamp Tel 072 293 0954.

What's up with the Orchestra

Don’t miss
  • Spartacus – Music by Khachaturian, performed by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Ballet Rambert’s Paul Hoskins and the CPO’s resident conductor, Brandon Phillips, is the most perfect foil to the divine dancing on stage. It runs at Artscape Opera until July 12 and is a spectacular production in all aspects. The standing ovations are well deserved
  • The final round with four finalists in the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival bursary competition in Stellenbosch on Monday, July 6, at 20:00 in the Endler Hall, Stellenbosch, with the CPO under the direction of Daniel Boico. The first prize is R200 000, the largest single bursary awarded in a local classical music competition, for study abroad at a recognised institution. The second prize is R60 000, sponsored by Rand Merchant Bank, and there are four prizes of R10 000 each for the best rendition of a South African work, the best recital, the best rendition of a major chamber work, and the best concerto performance
  • The latest Gilbert and Sullivan offering, The Mikado, with Alastair Cockburn conducting, at Artscape Opera from Saturday, July 18 for a week
  • West Side Story at Artscape Opera with previews beginning on Thursday, July 23, the official opening on July 29 and running until August 23
  • Joshua Bell on August 26 and 27 although at the time of writing there were only a handful of  platform seats left.

Volunteerism is critical to Arts Organizations

With the indefatigable Friends of Orchestral Music quietly working behind the scenes to raise funds which help support the CPO, volunteerism is part of the fabric of the CPO and we are grateful. We are also grateful to other volunteers without whom we would find life a lot harder.
      Louise Steyn is the editor/proofreader of the concert programme, and she’s the one who takes the programme notes and biographies supplied and checks them for factual accuracy, language and style.  Louise has been involved for eight or so years, having spent virtually her entire working life in the book publishing industry. Now retired, she is enjoying a second career as a freelance language practitioner doing editing, proofreading and translating. Even though she spent all those years working with words, Louise says, music is her first love in life, even before literature. And for her nothing beats hearing good music being performed live. “All over the world orchestras are having a hard time,” she says, “and the fact that we have a world-class orchestra here in the Mother City and can hear the great works of the classical repertoire performed live – and so well too! – is nothing short of a miracle. That is why I feel I want to do my bit to help the orchestra. I’m a pensioner, and I can’t donate huge amounts of money, as I would like to do. But I can donate my time and expertise.”
Gretha Aalbers, who is our programme translator, is a freelance editor and translator, who has been working mainly in the publishing industry, and recently completed an MPhil in translation at Stellenbosch University. As a language practitioner she feels strongly about using language creatively and effectively, and about communicating in her mother tongue, Afrikaans. Promoting the language profession is a priority for her and she is a long-standing member and chairperson of the Western Cape chapter of the SA Translators’ Institute. Her interests lie mainly in the arts, and apart from her love for literature, music has always played a very important part in her life, ever since she started listening to her parents’ classical music record collection and then started buying her own records at Hans Kramer’s shop in Cape Town! Living in Cape Town, she feels privileged to be able to attend concerts and recitals, and to listen to FMR. Translating the CPO concert notes gives her an opportunity not only to apply her language skills in the field of music and ensure that the programme notes are accessible to Afrikaans-speaking concert goers, but also to make a contribution to the CPO, one of the treasures of Cape Town she feels should be valued.
      Thank you both, for what you do for the CPO. In America and Canada, volunteerism is what people do  - from fetching and carrying artists and looking after them to acting a guides on tours or hosting fundraising events.  If you feel you have time on your hands, the Friends and the orchestra would be happy to hear from you!
Thank you both, for what you do for the CPO. In America and Canada, volunteerism is what people do  - from fetching and carrying artists and looking after them to acting a guides on tours or hosting fundraising events.  If you feel you have time on your hands, the Friends and the orchestra would be happy to hear from you!

Paul Chandler is a man on the move

The assistant manager of and trumpeter with the CPO, Paul Chandler, is in a good place – he combines all facets of his life from his wife, 2 children and 4 dogs to his teaching, his playing and his talent for organization.  Paul’s career has grown and expanded, thanks to orchestral opportunities. He  started his career as a cadet in the CTSO when he was about 20 and studying. When the CTSO and CTPO merged in 1997,  there were four trumpeters and no need for extra musicians. So, having graduated from UCT with an honours in Music (he later for his masters), he began to freelance in Durban, Johannesburg and Windhoek.   Much as he loved freelancing and teaching, the chance of a position in the newly formed CPO in 2000 was appealing, and he auditioned for and won a position.
      A few years, in 2004, when the CPYO was formed, he saw the need for a wind band to accommodate all those extra wind musicians who wouldn’t have been able to join the CPYO and so, under the direction of Henriette Weber as outreach manager, he became the first conductor of the CPY WE.  He did this for about five years, until his growing family required his presence over the weekends, and he reluctantly relinquished his WE work. All the time, though, he continued with his teaching, for he is passionate about passing on his skills to others. He teaches now at Pinelands High, but has taught at many other schools from Bishops and Western Province Prep to SACs and to Beau Soleil where he taught for 10 years. Read more here
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