Big names for festival of chamber music in Stellenbosch

Big names for festival of chamber music in Stellenbosch

The 14th Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival will run from June 30 to July 9 at the Stellenbosch Konservatorium. The Konservatorium is the home of the Department of Music at Stellenbosch University and the SICMF is among its most illustrious projects – a project of “hope, world-class education and performance, and diversity.”

From the point of view of the concert going public, the evening faculty concerts are a highlight, not only of the SICMF itself, but also of the entire South African classical music calendar. Local concert goers will be hard pressed to find a more inspiring and concentrated series of concerts in which new music is juxtaposed with favourites from the standard chamber music repertoire; all performed by a faculty that includes the likes of Daniel Rowland, Alissa Margulis, and Nicolas Dautricourt (violin), Alexander Buzlov, Thomas Caroll and Peter Martens (cello), James Austin Smith (oboe), a number of principals from the MET Opera Orchestra in New York City, and Nina Schumann and Luis Magalhães of TwoPianists fame to mention just a few.

Composers include Vivaldi, Mendelssohn, Schönberg, Shostakovich, Piazzolla, Mozart, Liebermann, Brahms, Sibelius, Saint-Saëns and Kapustin. The featured living composer is the South African born Robert Fokkens, who currently resides in the UK.

Maestro Daniel Raiskin, back by popular demand, will conduct the Festival Symphony Orchestra in a programme featuring Rimsky-Korsakov’s rousing orchestral showpiece, ‘Scheherazade’. Soloists, Billy Hunter – trumpet, and Tatjana Masurenko – viola, will play Arutunian’s trumpet concerto and Walton’s viola concerto respectively. Dutch maestro, Joost Smeets, will conduct Bizet’s Carmen Suites with a Festival Concert Orchestra of over 150 participants!

An undisputed highlight of the programme is the inclusion of the DECODA ensemble.

The DECODA ensemble is the affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall in New York City. DECODA creates and advocates for “meaningful musical experiences that are available to anyone, anywhere, regardless of circumstance.”

One only needs to read about DECODA’s Music for Transformation, a new criminal justice initiative which connects with emerging trends in rehabilitation and anti-recidivism for adults to appreciate the scope and effectiveness of their work.

DECODA has partnered with the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival in creating DISA (DECODA institute South Africa), a residency at the Department of Music at Stellenbosch University from June 23 to 28. Students signed up for DISA are looking to expand their capacity to engage through music, not least of all at a special community concert at the Luhlaza High School in Khayelitsha on June 28 at 12pm.

The DECODA Ensemble will also present a special concert as part of the Endler Concert Series on Saturday, June 24, at 8pm, in the Endler Hall, Stellenbosch. This concert will feature works by Mendelssohn, Ligeti, Ravel, Gould, Prokofiev and following the interval Brahms’ ‘Serenade No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11’.

* Tickets for the SICMF can be booked through Computicket and will also be on sale at the door, pending availability.

For more information about the Festival or to secure your Festival/Day pass for the entire Festival, visit For enquiries, send an email to; or call 021 808 2358.