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Viennese Concerts
Cape Town City Hall, 10 & 11 Jan, 18:00
Conductor: Richard Cock with Magdalene Minnaar and Lukhanyo Mokaye and members of Cape Town City Ballet.
Festival Concert no 1
Cape Town City Hall, Jan 22, 20:00
Conductor: Martin Panteleev; Soloist: Stewart Goodyear, piano; Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky. Rise cocktail curtain raiser 19:00
Festival Concert no 2
Cape Town City Hall, Jan 29, 20:00
Conductor: Martin Panteleev; Soloist: Derek Han, piano; Wagner, Beethoven Brahms.
Kirstenbosch Festival Concert
Kirstenbosch Gardens, Feb 1, 17:30
Conductor: Martin Panteleev; Soloist: Maria du Toit, clarinet; Mozart, Wagner, Ravel and Tchaikovsky.
Festival Concert no 3
Cape Town City Hall, Feb 5, 20:00
Conductor: Martin Panteleev; Soloist: Yi-Jia Susanne Hou, violin;  Shostakovich, Chen/He, Mahler. Rise cocktail curtain raiser 19:00
Galway Gala
(not part of subscription series)
Cape Town City Hall, Feb 11, 20:00
Sir James Galway with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra.
Festival Concert no 4
Cape Town City Hall, Feb 12, 20:00
Conductor: Martin Panteleev; Soloist: Maria du Toit, clarinet; Milhaud, Français, Debussy, Ravel.
Valentine under the Stars at the Castle of Good Hope
Feb 14, 20:30
Conductor: Brandon Phillips.
CPYO Festival Gala Concert
Cape Town City Hall, Feb 19, 19:00
CPYO and CPYWE. Conductors: Brandon Phillips and Faan Malan.
Artscape Opera Theatre, Feb 22, 18:00
Celebrating opera and ballet with the CPO, CPYO, Cape Town Opera Studio, pianists Nina Schumann and Luis Magalhães and conductor Kamal Khan.

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A Century of Symphony

We have a winner!

Congratulations to Mrs E R Samson, who has won two tickets to bring friends to the Yablonsky Trio’s performance of the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the CPO in April.  There’s another pair available for one lucky new subscriber to the 9th International Summer Music Festival.
FOM Soiree

Following on the successful gala concert in December, plans are already underway for the FOM Soirée at Old Mutual House on Sunday, March 8.  It will feature some of the best artists in Cape Town and Stellenbosch.  More information from chairman Derek Auret on
Freshlyground and CPO at Nederburg

Click here to view the video clip.
Learning violin may 'ease mental illness in children'

The largest-ever study of musical training and brain development is said to support a theory that learning an instrument, especially the violin, can reduce mental illness in young children more effectively than medication.
      The report, by a teams of psychiatrists at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, is based on a national database of 232 brain scans of children aged six to 18.
The findings support a hypothesis by lead author James Hudziak that music practice affects a layer of the brain associated with anxiety, depression and aggression.
       Noting that three-quarters of U.S. high school students ‘rarely or never’ take extracurricular music and art lessons, the report warns:  â€˜Such statistics, when taken in the context of our present neuroimaging results, underscore the vital importance of finding new and innovative ways to make music training more widely available to youths, beginning in childhood.
      The same should go for South Africa.
Do you know your composers from your cats?

Click here to test your knowledge.
Download Concerto or pick it up at a CPO concert.

Viennese New Year's concerts this Saturday and Sunday

There are still tickets available for both Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra Viennese New Year’s concerts on Saturday and Sunday at 6 pm at the Cape Town City Hall.  Parking for the Saturday concert will need to be in the side-streets, avoiding both the Parade and Darling Street. There will also be parking available in the Ackermans building garage in Longmarket Street at R10 a car on Saturday from 17:00.
      Richard Cock,  singers Magdalene Minnaar and Lukhanyo Moyake, and dancers of Cape Town City Ballet will give you a taste of Vienna with a selection of light classes like the waltzes of the Johann Strauss, father and son. Imagine you are in Vienna with the Emperor Waltz, the Blue Danube Waltz and the Fledermaus Overture, or the Radetsky March and the glorious Liebesleid played by CPO associate concertmaster Patrick Goodwin.
      Tickets at Computicket and the door, if available. More information: 021 410 9809.

Congratulations to Richard Cock

Richard Cock has been honoured with the Arts and Culture Trust Lifetime Achievement Award for Music. A graduate of UCT’s College of Music,  he then won a scholarship to the Royal School of Church Music, became Director of Music at the Cathedral Choir School and assistant organist at Chichester Cathedral in 1978 and a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists.  He became music director of the National Symphony Orchestra before freelancing as a conductor, putting together some very innovative concerts in the country including the annual Johannesburg International Mozart Festival. Congratulations, maestro!  


A unique partnership began on New Year’s even when the CPO’s outreach became involved the Unicef project, Imagine,  in London, New York, Rio and Cape Town to help inspire a global movement towards a better future for every child. Jacheano-Shehano Pietersen, 12, younger brother of CPYO intern and CPYO member Gregory Pietersen, was chosen to perform at the Waterfront ahead of the fireworks display. According to outreach manager, Laurika Steenkamp, Andrew Smith, the marketing manager of the V&A Waterfront, aware of what the CPO does in the community,  asked for her input. As the CPO does not teach piano, Laurika approached Gregory’s pianist brother.  Jacheano was superb and we are so proud and look forward to more collaborations with Unicef.
      The initiative is a coalition of nearly 1,000 organizations from around the world that have come together to influence world leaders about the most pressing issues facing children, communities, and the planet. Young people performed in these four cities, some, Jacheano,  accompanying themselves on a white piano, recalling the one John Lennon played in the filming of his iconic song in 1971.

New season gearing up

Yi-Jia Susanne Hou is one of the stars in the 9th international summer music festival – and she is coming here on a really high note. She has just completed recording the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra, due for release later this year on CD, DVD and download. On February 5, she will play the Butterfly Lover’s Concerto, a setting of a Chinese Romeo and Juliet story dating back to the Jin Dynasty (265- 420 ), with the CPO and Martin Panteleev.  This is a concerto with a story behind it … it was written by classmates of her parents at the Shanghai Conservatoire and her father, pedagogue and violinist Alec Hou, was due to give its world premiere. In stepped the Chinese Cultural revolution, and the concerto was soon banned.  That was the last straw for Hou and he left for Canada with his wife and the four-year-old Susanne.  That that was a good decision for Susanne is obvious – this virtuoso violinist is fêted internationally now.  She will be on a 10 concert tour of South Africa, and will also play for the Cape Town Concert Series on February 21.   
       Subscriptions are still available for the season --- new subscribers stand a chance to win a pair of tickets to bring friends to the Yablonsky Trio’s Beethoven Triple Concerto in the April season.  There’ll be Rise cocktail curtain raisers before concerts on January 22 and February 5 – 19:00 in the Sunken Lounge and open to ticket holders.
      An article on principal guest conductor Martin Panteleev appeared in the Cape Times this week. Read more here.

CPYO and CPYWE bring 9th Summer Music Festival to an end

The Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensemble will bring the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra’s 9th International Summer Music Festival to a bright and breezy end. The rousing concert, featuring singer Melanie Scholtz,  will take place at the Cape Town City Hall on February 19 at 19:00. The concert will be hosted by Good Hope DJ Karl Wastie.
      Charismatic conductors Brandon Phillips and Faan Malan will lead the young musicians in works that span the Fanfare from Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss to a Suite of American Dances by Robert Russell Bennett, 007’s Skyfall,  a piece for orchestra and the Erub Children’s Choir trained by Keith Jenneker and written by Peter Klatzow, a march and Lord of the Dance.  The concert will end with a massed orchestral work.
      Tickets are R60 from Computicket.

Subscriptions for the Cape Town concert series 60th anniversary on sale

The Cape Town Concert Series celebrates its 60th anniversary this year …. The CPO has enjoyed a great relationship with the Concert Series over all of those years, often sharing artists. In the new season, the first collaboration takes place with a recital by Yi-Jia Susanne Hou, who will play, with Bryan Wallick,  a programme of Brahms, Schubert, Prokofiev, Saint-Saëns  and her own Taste of Canada, her home since she was four. This concert takes place on February 21. The CPO is offering a pair of tickets to the Yablonsky Trio’s Beethoven Triple Concerto as an inducement to subscribe to the super season which includes recitals by the brilliant Czech pianist Lukáš Vondráček on March 14, the Juliet String Quartet (a new quarter which is comprised of our own musicians Patrick Goodwin and Annien Shaw (violin), Emile de Roubaix (viola) and Babette Roosenschoon (cello) on April 25, bassoonist-raconteur Lecolian Washington and pianist Luis Magalhães on May 9, and cellist Anzel Gerber with pianist Ben Schoeman on June 13. There will also be a special concert with pianist Spencer Myer at the Hugo Lambrechts Music presented in collaboration with the Hugo Lambrechts Music Trust.
      Single seats go on sale on January 13 at Computicket but subscriptions are only available from / 021 439 7663 /

More composer Robert Fokkens

Cape Town born Cardiff-based contemporary composer Robert Fokkens has had a good year – last year he was elected an associate of the Royal Academy of Music and also released a CD, Tracing Lines, on the Metier label of recordings of chamber works he wrote between 2002 -2012.  He also had a number of vocal pieces performed in the Vale of Glamorgan Festival in the UK and saw performances of his works in the US with the New Juilliard Ensemble, in Ireland, the UK and South Africa.  His work, Mob of Meerkats from his piano trio Mammals of Southern Africa, was broadcast on BBC’s Radio 3’s In Tune, and  Jacques Fourie (violin) and Jill Richards (piano) performed his Irreconcilable Truths at the SASRIM conference at the University of the Witwatersrand.  His piece, Mzantsi Nights, the one performed by the New Juilliard Ensemble, was selected by the New Music South Africa Panel for submission to the ISCM World New Music Days 2015.
      Robert's composition studies at UCT and the Royal Academy were complemented by lessons and classes in violin, voice and conducting  - including masterclasses with Bernhard Gueller and Jorge Mester - and choral conducting with Patrick Russill at the RAM.  He then attained his PhD at the University of Southampton, where he studied with Michael Finnissy. He now lectures in composition at Cardiff University. He is also the brother of South African conductor Alex Fokkens, who was the music director of the CPYO and is now music director of the UFSSO. 
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