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21 Aug 2009

YOUTH MUSIC FESTIVAL - Artscape Theatre Saturday 22 Aug 2009





Saturday 22 August at 19h30


On Saturday 22nd August 2009 at 19h30 in the Artscape Theatre, 15 exceptionally talented young classical music instrumentalists and singers will perform with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra at the annual Classical Music Festival.

Celebrating its 38th year, the Youth Music Festival (YMF) is presented by Artscape and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) and serves as a launching pad for young accomplished musicians in playing on a professional concert stage.

Theodore Kuchar, the internationally acclaimed conductor once again conducts the varied exciting two hour programme with musicians selected from over 50 participants in auditions. Considered amongst the finest of the Western Cape’s extraordinary young classical music talent, their ages range from 12 to 26 years and include -

Jessie Brand (12) on Violin, Michel Duffett (17) Violin, Carla van der Merwe (18) plays Clarinet , Anouschka Slager (19) & Jennifer Pott (20) perform a concerto for 2 flutes, Megan-Geoffrey Prins (19) Piano, Irene Kim (19) Piano, Maudèe Montierre (19) Soprano, Annelize de Villiers (21) Clarinet, Friedel Mitas (22) Soprano, Nozuko Teto (26) Soprano and The Hugo Lambrechs Saxophone Quartet features Lize van der Merwe (15) Soprano Sax; Hamman Schoonwinkel (16) Alto Sax, Jan Retief (16) Tenor Sax and Levi Alexander (18) Baritone Sax.

The main criteria for candidates are that they are bona fide music students, that they perform at a very high standard and are resident or studying in the Western Cape. The age restriction for participants is 23 for instrumentalists and 27 for singers. Because the emphasis of the festival is a celebration of young musical talent and not a competition, the appeal of the works presented, as well as good variety in the overall programme content, plays an important part in the final selection of these soloists/musicians.

The adjudicating panel this year is represented by Alastair Cockburn (Artscape), Aviva Pelham, Daniel Neal (CPO) and Ronnie Samaai (Member of the CPO Board of Directors).

Alastair Cockburn stated that; ‘It is a young musician's dream to perform with a real symphony orchestra. There is something so scintillating about such an experience and much of the biggest repertoire and most exciting to listen to and perform is in the concerto field (instrument with orchestra) or in the opera field (voice and orchestra). Very few ever get this opportunity, even as professionals. It's only the top performers that can persuade orchestral managements to "give" them a concert. Quite a few previous participants have made it on the concert stages of the world. These young musicians are most fortunate to be working with an international conductor with huge experience and an impressive profile, having worked with many of the world’s great soloists of our time.

Aviva Pelham, recognized for her significant opera performances, winning many awards and her ongoing contribution to the music industry said; ‘One of the most special highlights in my life has been the thrill of performing with an orchestra - nothing can prepare you for the excitement and the gigantic challenge, enveloped by the wondrous, diverse orchestral sounds, an audience full of anticipation and the sheer privilege of the opportunity.

Sourcing young fresh talent is one of my passions, so being part of the panel of adjudicators for this year’s Youth Music Festival has been most gratifying. It is heartening to realise just how much rich talent we have in this country. Let’s hope these young aspiring professional musicians will benefit greatly from this unique opportunity of performing with an orchestra of this calibre. May this exhilarating experience motivate them further to fulfill their potential and forge successful careers.’

The inception of the YMF dates back to the opening of Artscape (formerly the Nico Malan Theatre) in 1971. In that year, an orchestra was formed by David Tidboald to service the various performing arts genres (opera, ballet etc) attached to the new theatre centre. He also had the vision to start the youth music festival concept whereby young instrumental soloists and singers would be given the opportunity of performing annually with a professional orchestra. In 2003, on the initiative of the Artscape Audience Development and Education Department, the Youth Jazz Music Festival came on board and was presented as an extension of the original concept. This year’s Youth Jazz Festival was held on 6thJune. It was of a very high standard and the increase of applicants from young jazz musicians wishing to participate in the mentorship programme was significant.

Both the Classical and Jazz festivals are generously supported by the Distell Foundation for the Performing Arts.

Amongst this year’s exciting works at the Youth Music Festival are - Cimarosa: Concerto in G major for 2 Flutes (2nd & 3rd movements); Ravel: Tzigane for Violin and Orchestra; Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor (3rd movement); a Concerto on themes of Stephen Foster for a Saxophone Quartet; Mozart’s Dove Sono from The Marriage of Figaro (Soprano); Donizetti - O luce di quest anima from Linda di Chamounix (Soprano).

Tickets cost R60. Pensioners and students R30.00. Block booking less 10% for 10 or more. Book through Computicket, Artscape Dial-a-Seat, 021 421 7695, Shoprite Checkers, Pick ‘n Pay and online - For more information contact Debbie Damons on 021 410 9915.


"Jazz and freedom go hand in hand. That explains it. There isn't any more to add to it. If I do add to it, it gets complicated. That's something for you to think about. You think about it and dig it. You dig it..." Thelonious Monk
"Jazz and freedom go hand in hand. That explains it. There isn't any more to add to it. If I do add to it, it gets complicated. That's something for you to think about. You think about it and dig it. You dig it..." Thelonious Monk

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