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Upcoming Concerts

8 June Vondrácek is back
15 June Graffin plays Brahms
22 June Gershwin in Paris
29 June Prokofiev and Brahms

Young composer makes his debut

Isaac van der Merwe (14) had a wonderful birthday present this year -  a first reading of his "Anthem for String Orchestra" at the end of a dress rehearsal, a rare bonus for a young composer. The piece, says Louis Heyneman, is imaginative and quite extraordinary for someone so young. Peter Klatzow, who brought Isaac to the CPO’s attention had this to say: “Nothing is more important for a young musician than to hear his music played well - it sets a standard for the rest of his career. The event turned out to be more auspicious than I could have imagined.”

Steinway keys are running out!

With 73 keys bought up to cover the shortfall of the costs of the CPO’s new Steinway which continues to garner praise after each outing! There are only another 15 left. Donors’ names appear on the web and in the programme. Since the Autumn season, we have been delighted to welcome new sponsorships, three in memory of Solly Mark, Sara Pascall and Mina Smulowitz, two anonymous and one taken by Sandy Bean. Very shortly all donors will be able to hear the sound of their keys on an interactive keyboard we are in the midst of having designed.
       The full list to date:
Nicholas Ackerman, Suzanne Ackerman (5 keys), Ruth Allen, Amanda Katz Architects,  Anonymous (4 keys), Sandy Bean, Richard Berger, In memory of Jean Louis Bertin, David and Rochelle Bloomberg, Mariki Chin, Robin Crawford, Dr Chris Eedes, In memory of Azriel Fine, Margot Gawith, Pam Golding, Hanne and Wolfgang Haupt, Louis Heyneman (2 keys), Gordon Johnson, Kirsh Foundation (8 keys), Ettienne Koekemoer, The Kove Collection (5 keys), Philip Krawitz/Cape Union Mart, Le Lude,  In memory of David Luyt, Faan and Kim Malan, In memory of Solly Marks, Dr NJ Nel, Nikola Nel, Shirley Parkfelt, Rupert Pardoe (2 keys), In memory of Sara Pascall, Maria-Jose Pascual, Ben Rabinowitz (8 keys), Gus Robins, In memory of Jenny Rogan (2 keys), (Allister Rogan; Helen Boonzaier), In memory of Mina Smulowitz, Brian Swart, Bill van Rensburg, Caroline van Zyl (3 keys), Ton and Anet Vosloo (2 keys), In memory of Sona and Michael Whiteman, Phillip Zietsman.
      Contact Mary Frew at 021 410 9809 / for details of payment. Each key costs R18 000.

CPYO in Rotary gala

Sunday May 14 sees the CPYO, conducted by Brandon Phillips, performing in a celebration of the Centenary of the Rotary Foundation Concert.  It will take place at Artscape at 16:00.
      Since the founder of the Foundation, Arch Klumph, was for 14 years a flautist and later manager of the Cleveland Orchestra, a flute soloist, Sakhile Humbane (21), winner of the 2015 National Youth Music Competition,  will play the 1st movement from Mozart’s Flute oncerto. The other two soloists are Jordan Brooks (13), winner of the 2015 Hubert van der Spuy National Competition for Primary School Learners, who will perform the 1st movement from the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, and 14 year-old Leo Gevisser (the youngest ever winner of the Atterbury National Piano Competition), who will play the 1st movement of Grieg’s Piano Concerto.
     Phillips will also conduct the CPYO in the William Tell Overture by Rossini and Finlandia by Sibelius.
     Proceeds go towards the Youth Orchestra and the Rotary Foundation.
     Tickets at R265 each (which includes a snack and a glass of wine or soft drink afterwards) can be booked through Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-Seat.


If you were not at final autumn season symphony concert, you may not have picked up your issue of Concerto. If you want to pick one up from the office, by all means do.  There are copies at various places, one of which is the stage door at Artscape. You can also download the magazine by clicking the picture above.

G&S is 70 years old!

Celebrate 70 years of Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas and musicals in Cape Town with the G&S Society and the Cape Town Philharmonic on Saturday, May 6, at 20:00 at the City Hall.  The company will present a gala concert, featuring a range of vocalists including Magdalene Minnaar, Barend van der Westhuizen and Monika Voysey, conducted by Alastair Cockburn with, as MC, the one and only Rodney Trudgeon.  The gala will feature many well-known and much loved Gilbert and Sullivan works from nine comic operas. Get your tickets from or email Tickets range from R145 to R207.

Musicians in the news

Peter Martens, soloist last year in the Dvorak Cello Concerto, will record two cello concertos with Gueller and the CPO later this year.

Concerts to come:
  • With Luis Magalhães, the soloist in Prokofiev Piano Concerto no 3 with the CPO on June 29 and also at the National Arts Festival in July, Peter will perform two of Beethoven's most popular cello sonatas, and also two Bach Suites for solo cello on Sunday, May 7 at 15:00 at Christ Church Constantia. Tickets are R100 from 021 701 0861.
  • On May 13, he will join violinists David Juritz and Suzanne Martens and violist Karin Gaertner to play three Beethoven String Quartets for the Cape Town Concert Series at the Baxter Concert Hall at 20:00.  The works are Opus 18, no 1, Opus 74 and Opus 132. Tickets from Computicket.
Renewals and new seats

After a series of super concerts in the Autumn season,  booking has opened for the Winter symphony season of four more blockbuster concerts.  All concerts in the season, which runs from June 8 to 29, will be conducted by principal guest conductor Bernhard Gueller. They feature  two Queen Elisabeth International Piano Competition laureates, Lukáš Vondráček and Liebrecht Vanbeckevoort, violinist Philippe Graffin and pianist Luis Magalhães. Booking is open now, for renewals, new subscriptions and single seats.
       But first, a brief word about subscription renewals … we value our subscribers' support but new subscribers don’t appreciate the leeway we give to old subscribers to renew and so we are going to have to be stricter.  For the Winter season,  renewals can only be undertaken at Artscape Dial-A-Seat. You have until May 22 to renew and then you will unfortunately lose your seats if you have not made arrangements for their retention. We will try to contact all those who have not renewed by May 15, but if your emails or cell numbers are not correctly recorded by Dial-A-Seat we may not reach you.
      We do hope you will adhere to this because we would hate you to lose your seats. We can, however, only retain them for one season.

Brandon is Rapport's Skouerklop!

When Brandon Phillips, conductor of the CPYO in its sensational concert at the Suidoosterfees last week, was invited by the organizers to attend the performance on Sunday night, he had no idea that he was to be awarded the prestigious Rapport Skouerklop trophy for 2017. For the humble Brandon it was a huge honour. “I am sure the CPYO’s concert had a impact on the choice!  All credit to the CPYO and the CPO members who mentored them.  The young musicians pulled off a very difficult programme and the CPYO worked hard and made the impossible possible. I am very proud of them.”  The CPO is proud of you, Brandon. You deserve this honour! Brandon is pictured with his wife Latecia, CPO board member Nisaar Pangarker (left) and chairman of the Suidoosterfees Prof. Brian Figaji.

FOM chairman

Congratulations to Rod Stevens who was elected chairman of Friends of Orchestral Music. He takes over from Derek Auret, who is now chairman of the CPO.  Rod, an architect, is also on the board of the Cape Town Concert Series and the Richard Wagner Society, so his love of good music runs deep. We welcome Rod in his new capacity and look forward to continuing the good relationship with FOM.

FOM AGM May 25

     The Friends will host its  AGM at the SA College of Music at UCT on May 25 at 17:00.
     All friends are urged to attend the meeting and concert, which features the UCT Trio of flute, violin and piano. The flautist, Sakhile Humbane, is one of the Friends’ sponsored young artists.  Refreshments will be served and entry is free but open only to members.

Concert etiquette

With a social media campaign in full gear and bringing us to the attention of  potential new audiences, we are delighted to be welcoming more and more young people to the concert. So now seems the time to share some tips on behaviour at a concert. But, when you have read this, read the link that follows and see that actually some people consider tweeting in Messiaen the right thing to do!
  • Dress as casually as you like, although we draw the line at bikinis in summer. You are welcome to really dress up. We would love to see more long dresses and tuxedoes, but we are realistic about the lack of air-conditioning in the City Hall! more
Then, for another view on applause, here’s a link to a lecture by Alex Ross to the Royal Philharmonic Society in the UK in 2010.  
       “… the etiquette and the music sometimes work at cross-purposes. The noisy codas of the first movement of Beethoven's "Emperor" and the third movement of Tchaikovsky's Pathétique demand applause, even beg for it.”  So, at the risk of upsetting the purists, read more here.

The CPO in Tiger Bay

With previews on May 20, 22 and 23 and performances from May 24 – 27, Cape Town Opera’s Tiger Bay, a musical in partnership with the Wales Millennium Centre, is set in the docks of Cardiff at a time when coal was king. It’s a universal story of courage, reconciliation and love. The CPO will be conducted by David Mahoney to music composed by Daf James, lyrics by Michael Williams, and directed by Melly Still. See it at Artscape Opera before it transfers to the UK in late 2017.

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