The Cape Town Philharmonic wil be back at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown with two concerts this year. On Friday, July 7 at 19:00, the orchestra, under the direction of its principal guest conductor Bernhard Gueller, will play Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro overture and the Franck Symphony in D minor. Luis Magalhães, one of South Africa’s foremost pianists, will play the Third Beethoven Piano Concerto.
In the second concert, on Saturday, July 8 at 15:00 the CPO will present a gala concert under the direction of Richard Cock with the winner of the 2017 Standard Bank Young Artist for Music Award, cellist Abel Selaocoe, and Patrick Goodwin, concertmaster of the CPO. The programme will include Hungarian Rhapsody and Two African Pieces featuring Selaocoe, and Czardas by Monti and the Meditation from Massenet’s Thais by Goodwin. Together they will play Por Una Cabeza arranged by Willie Haubrich. Other works range from Joplin, Paul McCartney and Rimsky-Korsakov to Elgar and Johann Strauss.
The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, which was established in 1914 as the Cape Town Municipal Orchestra, has an international reputation thanks to its recordings and overseas tours, and word of mouth of visiting artists. It also boasts conceivably the largest youth development programme in the country, comprising the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensemble, the Masidlale grassroots training project and the CPO Music Academy, the entry level for young musicians. Overall, several hundred young musicians are taught theory and practice, free, once a week. The CPYO musicians are mentored by members of the CPO. Musicians in the CPYO teach at Masidlale, evidence of the skills transfer which is part of the CPO’s mission.
The artists are all well-known to South African concert goers. Gueller, who has been music director of Symphony Nova Scotia in Canada since 2002, has been living and working in South Africa for 20 years. He has made several appearances at the festival, most recently in 2015 when Cue called his direction of the KZN Philharmonic “inspiring and commanding” and the symphony “electrifying”. The soloist in this concert, Luis Magalhães, Portuguese-born and living and teaching in Stellenbosch while playing internationally, is known for his “wonderfully full sound” and “polished, refined technique”. The ever-popular Richard Cock needs no introduction thanks to the wide variety of concerts he conducts around the country; Abel Selaocoe is an award-winning and versatile orchestral and chamber musician, collaborating with musicians across genres and Patrick Goodwin has just returned from New York where he was invited to play in the New York Philharmonic’s concerts of unity, conducted by Alan Gilbert.
Both concerts take place at the Guy Butler Theatre. More information and bookings from NAF https://www.nationalartsfestival.co.za/2017-festival/programme-2017/