20 to 24 AUGUST 2016
The ARCO Festival at CMCM celebrated young string talent, collaboration and the joy of music!
Address: Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music, 5635 Mtembu Street, Central Western Jabavu, Soweto (behind the Morris Isaacson High School)
THE ARCO FESTIVAL; Ten ARCO teachers from Birmingham Conservatoire, Lucy Nolan, George Cooke, Martha Evans, Eileen Smith, Maria Parfitt, Matthew Johnstone, Alistair Rutherford, Laetitia van Wyk and Lieva Starker directed by Louise Lansdown are travelling from Birmingham to Soweto for the Festival at Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music. The Festival includes public concerts, the premiere of the ARCO Anthem, intensive individual tuition, quartet lessons, instrument specific classes, listening classes and much, much more.
ARCO FESTIVAL POSTER
Academic pennywhistle and djembe exams at CMCM - Pennywhistle and djembe syllabi taking shape at MIAGI's music centre in Soweto!
Anders Paulsson’s Celebration Suite commissioned by MIAGI at Berwaldhallen in Stockholm.
‘Reconciliation’ with Anders and the Swedish Royal Navy Band conducted by Petter Sundkvist - Marinens Musikkår's 'Freedom Fighters' concert.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
6 DECEMBER 2015
Follow the link to a MIAGI video on Youtube and enjoy Pata Pata - two of our young guitarists rehearsing for our End of Year Concert 2015!
16 JUNE 2015
CMCM Youth Day Celebration!
MIAGI 'New Skool' Orchestra - Spier Estate, The Shed, Saturday 7 March, Community Concert
Our CMCM Pennywhistle Ensemble performed at the Sounds of Celebration Concert on17 March - follow this link to a video, where your can hear them performing together with peers from other music education initiatives.
We welcome our wonderful new teachers Bongeka Ghanga and Zanele Ndlovu! Please follow this link to read more about Bongeka and Zanele
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015 WISHES FROM
THE MIAGI / CMCM TEAM
Photo: Young members of our trumpet ensemble at CMCM
MIAGI Proudly Presents: The New Skool Sextet's Debut Album!
22 JUNE TO 19 JULY 2014
MIAGI Youth & New Skool Orchestra Tour of Europe Celebrating 20 Years of Freedom South Africa 1994 2014 together with Freedom Struggle icons Barbara Hogan and Ahme Kathrada
Read a report at the Kathrada Foundation's website here
Link to an article about our tour, written by Allister Sparks and published in Business Day on 30 July 2014.
New MIAGI video from the tour here (click on the icon): - MIAGI Youth Orchstra: Shostakovich - Suite for Variety Stage Orchestra, conductor: Brandon Phillips
Barbara Hogan and Ahmed Kathrada, together with some of our orchestra members in Visby Cathedral, Sweden - 2 July 2014
Our guests of honour joined us from 30 June to 4 July at The Almedalen Week in Visby, Gotland, ‘Sweden’s biggest meeting place for democracy’ (3 400 seminars during eight days, MIAGI Seminars in partnership Global reporting, Global Utmaning, Forum Syd, Svenska Kyrkan – the Swedish Church with MIAGI’s special guests of honour Ahmed Kathrada and Barbara Hogan - Ahmed Kathrada Foundation
MIAGI Youth Orchestra & New Skool Orchestra and Ahmed Kathrada, Ahmed Kathrada Foundation - Seminar/Concert 2 July 20h00 Wisby Strand The Culture of Civil Courage - What is the alternative vision to the global resurgence of racism?
Alex Le Mat from PUM, Netherlands senior experts visited MIAGI - Thank you PUM and Thank you Alex - read Alex' report 'Two special weeks...' below!
Photo (right): Meyer du Toit, PUM representant in South Africa with Alex Le Mat Photo (left): Alex Le Mat at the Nelson Mandela statue
About PUM We are PUM Netherlands senior experts. We connect entrepreneurs in developing countries and emerging markets with senior experts from the Netherlands each of whom has gained at least 30 years of experience in a business environment. These senior experts voluntarily devote their knowledge to the execution of short-term, solid consultancy projects at the workfloor. By sharing knowledge we help entrepreneurs build sufficient knowledge to grow their businesses to the next level. This benefits local business as well as the surrounding community.
Two special weeks for a Dutch advisor in South Africa - by Alex Le Mat
During the second half of May I had the opportunity to visit MIAGI (Music Is A Great Investment) and the charismatic director, Robert Brooks. MIAGI's Creative Manager Ingrid Hedlund, was unfortunately not in the country during these weeks but we communicated regularly over Skype.
As Dutch “senior expert” in the field of culture and management it was my first visit to Africa. My task was to give some useful advices to this organisation. Every first visit of a PUM* expert is a surprise for both parties. And I enjoyed this surpise more than expected.
Speaking the same musical language, having the same artistic and humanitarian motivation we had useful discussions about possibilities for improvement of the organisation. But also I had the oppurtunity to see more of this beautiful country and meet so many nice and friendly people. Now I can understand what means: “I love South Africa.”
It was a privilige to be at the World Premiere of the Madiba opera, to see Pretoria, Johannesburg and the beuatiful nature.
Back at home I said: “this was my first visit. I hope it was not the last one”.
26 APRIL TO 3 MAY 2014
Feelings of joy and gratitude after the MIAGI Youth Orchestra & New Skool Orchestra course that culmintated in our 'Freedom Concert' in Johannesburg's Linder Auditorium on 3 May!
Photo: Thabang Sithole, MIAGI Youth Orchestra & New Skool Orchestra course 2014
SATURDAY - FEBRUARY 22 2014
A Day at our Music Centre CMCM - click on the images below for videos from our Djembe and Pennywhistle classes at our Youtube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/Manunju
CMCM Djembe Teacher Siboniso Tshabangu with his Students
CMCM Pennywhistle Teacher Sibusiso Lerole's Students
MIAGI and the Entrée crew are busy getting a shipment of instruments and music equipment to South Africa airborne.
MIAGI thanks Jean-Jacques Kravetz and Musikstiftung Entrée in Hamburg for the support given to MIAGI in form of a successful instrument and music equipment collection campaign
The instruments will soon be played by young talented musicians studying at our Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for music in Soweto
Many big names in the music business were eager to lend a generous hand to young musicians in South Africa. The list of donors includes Thomann, Yamaha, Klotz Audio Interface Systems, No. 1 Guitar Center, Musikschule der Stadt Siegburg, Groh PA, Vox Klangstudio.
Musical instruments and electronics worth about EUR 25,000 were donated, just shy of half a metric ton in net weight. All of it is currently stored at Groh PA, Maschen.
In 2014 media will report the scope of what the slogan "Music is a great investment" can achieve as soon as it turns into reality.
JANUARY 10 TO 18 2014
DECEMBER 17 2013
The 'MIAGI and the Swedish Odyssey - with the Times' project - follow the link to the Swedish international development cooperation agency - Sida's page, and a report about our PDC project
DECEMBER 1 2013
THANK YOU! FULL HOUSE AT OUR END OF YEAR 'OPEN DAY' CONCERT AT CMCM - 1349 Mputhi Street, Central Western Jabavu, Soweto
more information will follow at our CMCM page...
Check out the poster at our CMCM page
23 NOVEMBER 2013
Young violinist, penny whistle and percussion stars studying at our CMCM in Soweto in concert at the Soweto Theatre!
Click here for more images from the event at our CMCM page
4 TO 9 NOVEMBER 2013
The 'MIAGI and the Swedish Odyssey - with the Times' project - Five young South African musicians in love with Sweden and Sweden in love with them!
Thank you to LILLA AKADEMIEN and to FRYSHUSET for receiving our young musicians so generously! To Lilla Akademien a very special thank you for helping us out with instruments, equipment and transport in addtion to the great educational opportunities you offered us in the company of your wonderful teachers and students!
- check out the photo on our
28 OCTOBER TO 2 NOVEMBER 2013
MIAGI STRING TRAINING ASSESMENT WITH WORKSHOPS AS WELL AS SECTIONALS FOR MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA GAUTENG BASED STRINGS WITH NINA BALABINA (VIOLIN), AND ULRIKA EDSTROM (CELLO)
Nina and Ulrika from Lilla Akademien, MIAGI's top level music education institution partner in Stockolm, interacted with MIAGI's teachers and students within the 'MIAGI and the Swedish Odyssey - with the Times' project's capacity building/sharing programme.
Nina Balabina with the MIAGI Youth Orchestra strings at the State Theatre in Pretoria
NEW SKOOL ORCHESTRA LAUNCH EVENTS WERE A GREAT SUCCESS!
Photo: New Skool Orchestra at the Soweto Theatre, 25 September
Tshepo Tsotetsi's and MIAGI composer in residence Anders Paulsson's compositions, performed by the splendid 46 'New Skoolers', received owerwhelming, positive response from the audiences at the Soweto Theatre, Musaion, University of Pretoria and at the African Gospel Church in Newcastle! Only launch tour set back; the poor attendance in Rustenburg, at Lebone II College of Royal Bafokeng. Anders Palulsson plays a key role within MIAGI's collaboration project with Sweden, funded by the Embassy of Sweden in Pretoria through Sida.
The launch events were proundly sponsored by Lanxess
MIAGI has registered New Skool Orchestra as a section 21 company – not for profit. Through funding from the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of South Africa, MIAGI was enabled to set up the orchestra with an own office and administration and to provide funding for the New Skool “in the making” workshops. New Skool Orchestra, performing in a variety of smaller and bigger formations, can now promote its own brand, promote young composers and other young musicians, take leadership and create an own market.
“New Skool Orchestra is a true reflection of a new South Africa, a reflection of how we view our country in a new way, as well as a unique modern-day South African approach to orchestral music. The orchestra seeks to bring forth a new wave of music that speaks of a current reality. One important way of achieving this is by giving young composers an opportunity to have their newly composed works debuted. New Skool Orchestra seeks to be the voice of modern day South Africa.” Tshepo Tsotetsi, Founder and Director of New Skool Orchestra
Read more about the launch at our Events page
MIAGI has registered New Skool Orchestra as a section 21 company – not for profit. Through funding from the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of South Africa, MIAGI was enabled to set up the orchestra with an own office and administration and to provide funding for the New Skool “in the making” workshops. New Skool Orchestra, performing in a variety of smaller and bigger formations, can now promote its own brand, promote young composers and other young musicians, take leadership and create an own market.
The New Skool Orchestra – a must experience
Report by Maria Kurian
Tshepo Tsotesti is a charm to watch and listen to. He is a 22-year old composer, saxophonist, conductor and visionary. The New Skool Orchestra is his creation. The Orchestra itself is young, fun, superbly talented and inspiring. I had the privilege of listening to them at the Musaion (University of Pretoria) on 26 September - part of a series of local concerts launching their European Tour to commemorate 20 Years of Democracy. Like all good things, experiencing them leaves you wanting more. They sang, got out of their seats to dance, laughed and enjoyed the concert. The audience also had a great time.
The music was wonderful filled with emotion, laughter and feeling. You could see the stories unfold with every piece of music performed. The Swedish guest saxophonist, Anders Paulsson was a brilliant Ambassador for his country. His performance and compositions were beautiful and his engagement with the orchestra and guests, wonderful enough to make you want to offer him citizenship.
This concert was filled with many charming moments that absolutely delighted the audience. From Tshepo using his pencil to conduct the orchestra, to him explaining how the composition Soup in the Garden was a piece inspired when he was having soup in the garden… from the cool guy with the trumpet and red socks who played a stunning solo to the getting caught up in the spirit of youthfulness and art – the New Skool Orchestra is an something you must experience.
How did this come about? One incredibly talented young artist and leader, many highly skilled young musicians and the foresight, support and grit of MIAGI (Music Is A Great Investment) – an NGO that has brought classical, indigenous and jazz music together to create a sound and culture that is relevant, innovative and significant of today’s world.
By: Maria Kurian
24 AUGUST 2013
FUNDRAISING CAKE SALE ARRANGED BY CMCM PARENTS' COMMITTEE
19 JULY 2013
FREE STRING MASTERCLASS AND ORCHESTRAL WORKSHOP AT CMCM
The Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music, Soweto hosted Birmingham Conservatoire’s Head of Strings, Louise Lansdown for a FREE string masterclass and orchestral workshop on Friday 19th July, 2013 - more information at our CMCM page.
The first orchestra course leading up to the high-light in 2014, the tour of Europe - 22 June to 19 July, Celebrating 20 Years of Democracy in South Africa, took place between 27 April and 4 May, 2013
The Celebration tour begins in Germany, followed by Sweden after which we will be heading southward again
Photo: Almost all of us at the course :-)!
Read about our wonderful MIAGI Youth Orchestra conductor 2013, Duncan Ward at our artists page.
Assisted by 21 instructors from South Africa and abroad, he guided and conducted the 110 young 'Miagians' at the course. Together they presented a truly impressive 'open reharsal' (on the programme among others Symphonie Fantasitque by Berlioz) for invited guests on 4 May.
Musiktiftung Entrée in Hamburg recently announced that their campaign for MIAGI at the Musikmesse Frankfurt in early April 2013 – international fair for musical instruments and other music equipment – has been highly successful.
June 2013, THE PERCUSSION WORKSHOPS
At the beginning of June MIAGI had the privilege of presenting workshops with Leif Karlsson from Sweden, for MIAGI's precussion instructors and a group of young musicians from The Orchestra Company.
Percussionist and conductor Leif Karlsson, founder of the world renowned percussion ensemble Kroumata, appeared as solo percussionist with major orchestras in Sweden such as the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Leif is today artistic director of Norrbotten Youth Symphony Orchestra, leader of the School of Music Ingesunds symphonic wind ensemble and director of Culture in the West, based in Gothenburg.
Thank you Leif, and thank you also Embassy of Sweden in Pretoria and Etienne Mecloen for your contribution towards making these events a success!
Leif Karlsson teaching
PARENTS MEETING WITH CONCERT AT CAPE GATE MIAGI CENTRE FOR MUSIC - CMCM - IN SOWETO
The Parents Meeting at our Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music in Soweto, in connection with a concert by the Arirang Quintet took place on Saturday 1 June, 2013- Read about the Arirang Quintet at our CMCM page
CMCM OPEN DAY
A hugely successful open day was arranged at the CMCM on 13 April, 2013
UNISA WORKWHOP AT CMCM
The UNISA Music Theory and Practical Musicianship Workshop took place at the Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music on Saturday 16 March 2013
February 2013, MIAGI IN COLLABORATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND CULTURE - NEW SKOOL ORCHESTRA VISITED SPAIN
A group of New Skool Orchestra members, directed by Tshepo Tsotetsi, visited Madrid, Spain, in February 2013 – the tour, funded by the Department of Arts and Culture, took place in connection with the Spain Fitur Tourism Trade Fair - here some electrifying tour feed-back:
Says Lebogang Ledwaba (photo):
"Was chilling with Christiano Ronaldo!!! Got to tour the entire Real Madrid stadium, from the locker rooms to the benches! Today felt undreal....Night made!!!!"
Excerpts of a tour report by Zihle Ndika:
The trip to Spain was nothing short of a miracle. We were all too excited to head to the home of the Real Madrid soccer team.
I think it took a while for all of us to get our minds around the fact that out of the many people that render music in South Africa, we were the chosen ones. This leads me to believe that more good things shall come our way.
Thre big day had come, the performance that was to put New Skool on the map. I felt truly blessed to be surrounded by such incredible talent from humble beings.
It wasnt' long until we had the ambassador and her associates dancing together with their faces lit up, displaying their happiness. That;s when we knew that our job in Spain was done.
The performance was a huge success.
June 2013: MIAGI'S INTERNATIONAL FILM APPEARANCE - PREMIERE IN MOVIE THEATRES ALL OVER THE WORLD!
Click here to link to the trailer of a splendid new documentary by Pierre-Yves Borgeaud produced by Dreampixies about legendary Gilberto Gil's life and visions, soon showing also in South Africa!
MIAGI organised the events in South Africa for this documentary that is 'Connecting South', Brazil, Australia and South Africa.
Musical actors from South Africa are Vusi Mahlasela, Paul Hanmer, members of MIAGI Youth Orchestra conducted by Kutlwano Masote, Wits Choir and Fatima Community Choir from Soweto.
The opening music in this trailer is by Xhosa Muse, Latozi Mphaleni more videly known as 'Madosini'.
Gilberto Gil, legendary musician and former Minister of Culture in Brazil
July/August 2012, MIAGI Youth Orchestra toured Europe - highlights included the sold out opening concert at the Young Euro Classic Festival in Berlin, New Skool Orchestra's concert at the same Festival a day later and performances at the Austrian Carinthian Summer Festival and German< Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele
NEW Youtube Video here! MIAGI Youth Orchestra presents 'Out of South Africa - Symphonic Poem on Themes by Tshepo Tsotetsi' composed by Christian Muthspiel - a MIAGI 2012 Commissioned Intercultural Composition!
Claude Debussy, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune - Click here to hear the 'Miagians'' Faun interpretation at the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele in Germany, July 2012
Photo: 'Miagians' celebrating their success after their performance - Young Euro Classic Festival, Konzerthaus Berlin - July 2012
MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA TOUR OF EUROPE 15 JULY TO 1 AUGUST 2012
January 2012, The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra from Minnesota, USA performed for an enthusiastic audience at the Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music in Soweto - CMCM - on 29 January 2012!
Photos by Anders Bjorling
January 2012 - MIAGI IN PARTNERSHIP WITH JOHANNESBURG INTERNATIONAL MOZART FESTIVAL
Johannesburg International Mozart Festival presented 'The Soul of The Cellist', with Erich Oskar Huetter (cello) and Tanja 'Tanima' Schmid (dance) - the event was supported by the Austrian Embassy and MIAGI
The event took place on 30 January at The Fringe, Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein. Erich Oskar Huetter and Tanja 'Tanima' Schmid also presented a series of workshops around South Africa.
More about the artists and all events at our Events page!
GLOBAL MUSIC ACADEMY TEACHER'S TRAINING PROGRAMME FOR ASPIRING MUSIC TEACHERS FROM SIX AFRICAN COUNTRIES AT THE CMCM
Assisted by MIAGI, Global Music Academy (GMA) staged their first full training programme at the CMCM - 26 November to 16 December. more here
The GMA programme running under patronage of the German National Commission for Unesco and in partnership with among others Music Crossroads International.
24 NOVEMBER 2012, OPEN DAY YEAR-END-EVENT at Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music!
Address: 1349 Mphuthi Street, Central Western Jabavu, Soweto (at the premises of the Morris Isaacson High School).
Children from our Early Music Training Programme performed at our Open Day & Year-End-Event that took place on 24 November 2012
Download a full size version of our poster below here
TED Worldwide Auditions - Johannesburg took place at the Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music in Soweto - 1349 Mphuthi Street, Jabavu
May 3 to May 4, 2012
More about TEDxSoweto events at the CMCM, at our CMCM page.
February 2012 New Skool Orchestra Valentines Concert on 14 February 2012, in the Musaion, University of Pretoria
NEW SKOOL ORCHESTRA with its flamboyant Jazzy Musos & Music Mix presented a wonderful Valentines Concert supported by MIAGI in the Musaion, University of Pretoria!
May 2011 - opening of the brand new Capegate MIAGI Centre for Music - CMCM - on the premises of the Morris Isaacson School in Soweto. Please visit our CMCM page
May12 & 13, 2011 - Legendary Gilberto Gil at the Market Theatre with special guest appearance by Vusi Mahlasela - the two events on 12 and 13 May 2011 were sold out and the audience seemed to be happy with their investment!
The events were filmed to be featured in the exciting new documentary film on Gilberto Gil’s life and vision, ‘Connecting South’.
Also featured: Paul Hanmer, Xhosa Muse Madosini, MIAGI Youth Orchestra conducted by Kutlwano Masote, Wits Choir and Fatima Choral Community Choir from Soweto -
Legendary singer, composer, writer, and thinker Gilberto Gil’s musical work has been influenced by the great variety of sounds from the Northeast of Brazil, but also samba, bossa-nova, rock and reggae. Gil, whose career goes back to the 1960’s creation of the “tropicalist” movement, released his first records internationally following a very successful presence at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1978. Since then Brazilian Super Star Gil has spent a great part of his active time travelling the world, addressing the conflicts of our reality tin his unique visionary way hrough his poetry.
MIAGI Youth Orchestra 2011
2011/MYO & MYBB course with Rhythmic Affairs Gala Concert in the Linder Auditorium in Johannesburg
November/December 2010 Celebrating MIAGI's 10th Anniversary
MIAGI arranged a high profile concert, named 'Rebirth' in the Linder Auditorim in Johannesburg after the annual youth orchestra course. We celebrated MIAGI's 10th anniversary with the MIAGI Youth Orchestra and Youth BigBand and MIAGI 'composer in residence' 2010, Steve Dyer
Find the full programme here - read about 10 Years with MIAGI, download the 2010 - MIAGI Ten Years pdf
Hailing from Pietermaritzburg, Steve Dyer’s influences range from Mahler, Brahms and Mozart to Soul Brothers, Hugh Masekela and Jonas Gwangwa. Leaving South Africa behind for Botswana in 1981, he met Gwangwa and became a member of his band Shakawe. During this time he studied and mastered marabi/mbaqanga music traditions. In 1988, he moved on to Zimbabwe and formed a new band called Southern Freeway. Dyer is a strong believer that the southern African region, with its vibrant and varied musical heritage, has enormous potential to revitalize contemporary music.
May/June 2010 - Thokozani Brothers, directed by Mhlangabezi Masizana, tour of Switzerland, facilitated by MIAGI.
The Thokozani Brothers is community project based in a high rate crime area of Cape Town. The project, estblished in 1997, offers unemployed young men a meaningful occupation, and an alternative source of income, by giving them regular training in the traditional Isicathamiya music and dance style. The project is further committed to improving the mostly severely adverse living conditions of the youth in the area.
MIAGI Youth Orchestra 2009
|MIAGI Youth Orchestra and Bundesjugendorchester Germany - Rare music uncovered! Read more here
here a link to a short film by Deutsche Welle World about our youth orchestra tour to Germany in 2009
27 July to 1 August 2009 37th International Viola Congress with artists and lecturers from over12 countries
The 37th International Viola Congress was a special and enjoyable event- the first of its kind in South Africa!
The congress ended with the Festive Gala Banquet on the evening of 31 July at Morgenhof Wine Estate... congress photos below...
Morgenhof Wine Estate, situated on the slopes of the Simonsberg mountains outside Stellenbosch, falls under the Simonsberg appellation. This area is renowned for the production of the highest quality grapes producing top quality wines. At the end of 1998, Morgenhof was granted “Estate”, status. “The dedication of the Morgenhof Team, to making quality wines for consumption worldwide, begins in the vineyards, following through to final production.” www.morgenhof.com
of the Boland (literally “upper country”), the picturesque town of Stellenbosch offers the visitor a very central position from which to explore the entire Cape Peninsula.
Congress Photo Potpourri
The above and following photographs - courtecy of Björn Carlén from Norrköpings Symfoniorkester (SON). Visit the SON violas' lovely blog - http://sonviolas.blogspot.com/!
The SON VIola Group
Members of the SON Viola Group with congress colleagues
Madosini Latozi Mphaleni and Nosindi Mtimkulu
Kolwane Mantu, Sheila Masote and Michael Masote
Csaba Erdélyi dancing to some inspiring folk music from Sweden
Valery Andreev - Dwight Pounds, Kobus Malan and Anthony Caplan
Christine Rutledge - Master Class with Jerzy Kosmala
Mass Viola Ensemble rehearsal
Cape Lemons again...
The following photographs - courtecy of Dwight Pounds, violist, historian and photographer for the American Viola Society ...PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION...more photos will follow...
Member of the Shoshanguwe Viola Octet
The Congress Foyer
Violina Anguelov, Jutta Puchhammer-Sédillot and Elna van der Merwe
Welcome speakers - Hester Wohlitz, Robert Brooks and John Roos
Dawne Haddad, luthier
Sasha Mäkilä enjoying the view at a Cape fish restaurant...
Shoshanguwe Viola Octet
Sheila Browne, Congress Orchestra with Sasha Mäkilä
...PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION...more photos will follow...
About the Congress
The Congress offered an assortment of events for viola enthusiasts and professionals, from master classes and lectures, to recitals and orchestral concerts
The young Finnish conductor Sasha Mäkilä (34), assistant conductor of the Orchestre National de France, received his education through some of the most renowned conducting schools in the world; the St Petersburg State Conservatory in Russia and the Sibelius Academy in Finland. The beginning of his career included frequent performances as guest conductor of Russian and Finnish orchestras such as the Vaasa City Orchestra, the Jyväskylä Sinfonia, the student orchestras of the Sibelius Academy and the Helsinki Conservatory, the Karelian State Symphony Orchestra, the St Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic and the orchestra of the St Petersburg State Conservatory. In 2006, Mäkilä came to prominence after winning third prize in the 6th International Vakhtang Jordania Conducting Competition in the USA.
Since 2007 Mäkilä has been working with the Orchestre National de France as assistant to Kurt Masur. In 2008 he assisted Maestro Masur in preparing the orchestra for two complete cycles of Beethoven symphonies in Paris and in Bonn, and in 2009, for the Mendelssohn bicentennial year concerts with Orchestre National de France. The first event in this cycle took place in January, with Mendelssohn's oratorio Elias at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. Sasha Mäkilä is a visiting lecturer at the Helsinki University and at the Sibelius Academy in Finland....read more about Sasha Mäkilä at www.sashamakila.com...
Thank you to the EMBASSY OF FINLAND for funding Sasha Mäkilä's participation!
About Hester Wohlitz and the South African Viola Society (SAVS)
Hester Wohlitz, violist, conductor and teacher studied violin and viola with Professor Alan Solomon at the Conservatory of Music in Pretoria from 1972 to 1975. In 1975 and 1978 she was selected to join the National Youth Orchestra of South Africa. She holds an A Diploma in violin and viola, and a teacher's licentiate in piano from the University of South Africa (UNISA); in 2008, she became a qualified Suzuki teacher by completing a 6-year Suzuki teaching course (violin and viola) with Christophe Bossuat from the European Suzuki Association.
As a conductor, Hester attended numerous conductors' master classes, a.o. under the leadership of Karl Österreicher (Vienna). She has directed the Tshwane Youth Symphony Orchestra since its foundation in 1979 and conducted the Northern Transvaal Youth Orchestra in the years 1988 to 1995.
In the late 1990s, Hester was approached by representatives from the music community in Atteridgeville township, outside Pretoria. The children in the township were in dire need of instruments and teachers. This marked the beginning of Hester's developmental commitment. Instruments were donated by many foreign embassies and Hester travelled into Atteridgeville on a weekly basis to teach. Hester's work has since grown to include other townships, and the movement has grown to include many former students, who now in turn are active as teachers. In 2002 she was engaged to work in Shoshanguve township through the Unisa Music Foundation.
Hester's success stories are many, her viola ensemble is renowned for its exceptional skill, and her great love for the viola as solo and chamber instrument has inspired many students to successful professional careers. Today Hester’s young viola players form the core of the viola sections of the MIAGI Youth Orchestra and of the South African National Youth Orchestra.
In 2004, Hester founded the South African Viola Society and is currently President of the Society. She attended the International Viola Congresses in New Zealand (2001), Kronberg, Germany (2003), Minneapolis, USA (2004), Montreal, Canada (2005) Adelaide, Australia (2007) and Arizona, USA (2008, and was awarded the bid for the 37th International Viola Congress to be held in South Africa.
The South African Viola Society encourages the performance, research and development of solo violists and viola playing and teaching in South Africa and is one of the 12 sections of the International Viola Society. Viola Days and concerts are encouraged in all the regions and one or two newsletters, which contain national and international news, are available to all members annually.
Marina Louw's report from the Bratschistentag 2008 that took place from 7 November to 9 November at the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf, Germany
"If our Congress in Stellenbosch can help to ignite a passion and a dream in the heart of every participant, every student, young and old, every amateur, then I think it will have been very worthwhile indeed..."(Marina Louw)
Background: 2008 is the 40th anniversary of international and national viola societies. In 1968 a protocol named the Poellau protocol, was signed by Franz Zeyringer and Dietrich Bauer. It contained a road map of activities that eventually lead to the formation of the International Viola Research Society, the American Viola Society, the German Viola Society and many more over the years – we now have viola societies all over the world forming the International Viola Societies (IVS) community.
The South African violist Marina Louw represented the South African Viola Society and MIAGI at the Bratschistentag 2008 that took place from 7 November to 9 November at the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf. The German Viola Society had programmed its annual convention, the Bratschistentag, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of viola societies, and had invited representatives from all IVS sections over the last 40 years to this special occasion. The Walter Witte Viola Contest was held alongside the Bratschistentag, Tabea Zimmermann, by many considered the most outstanding violist in the world today, appeared in concert and the Orpheus Quartet, featuring Emile Cantor plus guest artist Karin Wolf closed the event.
The official list of delegates gave 76 names, which included the three hosts, Professors Lila Brown, Emile Cantor and Jurgen Kussmaul from the Robert Schummann Hochschule, and 20 exhibitors (music and instruments). Most delegates were from Germany, but there were also delegates from Poland, Italy, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the United States and then of course one, me! from the Republic of South Africa!!
There were some really wonderful exhibited instruments, and they got played a lot! There were many students, and quite a few professors who might be on the lookout for instruments for their students, so it was surely worth the exhibitors' while, even if just for the exposure. Prices were in the region of EUR 10 000 to 13 000. There was also a fair selection of music, not huge, but I was able to find a couple of things I needed – I think the bookshops did very well.
After a very fine rendition of the Telemann Viola Concerto by Rudiger Spuck, there were a few words of greeting by the Chairperson of the German Viola Society, Prof. Karin Wolf. Dr Schmidt (Vice Chairperson) was the master of ceremonies, and he introduced all the other speakers, such as Uta Lenkewitz-von Zahn, Dr John White and Dr Michael Vidulich (President of the IVS). The IVS is the umbrella organisation that governs and supports existing and future national and regional organised group of violists. The Society is a non-profit organization that promotes and supports activities that serve the common good for all friends of the viola.
I gave Dr Schmidt the letter of congratulations from the South African Viola Society, and he asked me to read it aloud at that meeting, which was great because then everyone knew who I was, so during the next days, many people came to me to speak about the Stellenbosch Congress. The letter ends with an invitation to the SA Congress, which was then echoed by Dr Vidulich!
Students of the many professors of viola who were involved at the congress gave a combined concert, which was great at many levels; they got great exposure, they got to hear one another and make connections, and many new works (including a premiere for solo viola) were presented. The standard here was obviously not as high as the viola competition (more later) but still impressive. Some of the new works are almost unplayable – one does want to ask whether all the effort to learn some of them is justified by the artistic merit of the work? But there were also some lovely works such as Contemplation for Two Violas, by Isang Yun. All of these modern works were interspersed with Telemann Fantasias, which convinced me that both I and my students should be playing more of them!
About eight of us got together to play in a viola ensemble every day, which was great fun. Our instructor was Gerhard Dierig, a violist with the Kölner-Gurgzenich Orchestra, and a really lovely, fun person! He is also a tenor of note, and his trio “Joj...” performed a cabaret on the last day, all around the themes of love, betrayal, gypsies and violas...good, and very funny, and he played among other things Monti’s Czardas on the viola at quite a breakneck speed! The viola ensemble was sort of woven into the cabaret, so we got to play (after sight reading the music the day before) for all the brilliant young violists who we had heard in concert, and for their professors....
The Walter Witte Competition
When we were not playing in the viola ensemble or listening to a concert, we could listen to the viola competition which was taking place at the same time. No first prize was awarded, but there were three second prizes, and two third prizes. I thought the standard was quite high and two of the competitors really stood out for me: Corina Golomoz, a student of Prof. Karin Wolf, who has a really lovely, flexible technique and is intensely musical. Peijun Xu really impressed with her Biber Passacaglia, which she played with a baroque bow and with superb artistry! I have not heard anything like this in South Africa – it would be amazing for our students to hear this kind of playing, because it opens your ears to listen in a new way. I think if our 37th International Viola Congress 2009 in Stellenbosch can open a window in the minds of our students we will have achieved a lot.
Well, this was definitely the highlight – what a wonderful concert! She played the Schubert Arpeggione Sonata, a new work by Hans Werner Henze, a Solo Suite by Max Reger, and finally the brilliant Viola Sonata by Rebecca Clarke. What can I say – such masterful playing! Every note she plays, LIVES. Her sound is exquisite, rich, powerful, but also tender, with life and breath in every bow.
After the concert Tabea Zimmermann was awarded the Silberner Bratschenschlüssel by Dr Vidulich. Her encore was Romance Oubliée by Liszt, a real treat. Her pianist, Daniel Heide is also excellent!
On the last day we had a concert by the finalists of the competition, and in the afternoon the cabaret with Gerhard Dierig – but I have already told you about that.
There was yet another wonderful treat in store...the final concert on the Sunday night was given by the Orpheus Quartet, of which Prof, Emile Cantor is the violist. Prof. Karin Wolf joined them for a performance of a Mozart Quintet. Afterwards she told me that it was ‘such fun’ to play with them!
The Orpheus Quartet gave a brilliant, shimmering performance of the Haydn Quartet, Op 20 no 6. And then the ‘Harp’ Quartet by Beethoven....words fail me. Such an amazing sound, such a perfect blend, like layers and veils of transparent sound – it was utterly magical and heart-piercingly beautiful.
I left the congress reminded once again of why it was that I chose to make music my career, and chamber music in particular. I left with a dream revived in my heart, and inspired to reach for that dream every day that I teach and play.
If our Congress in Stellenbosch can help to ignite a passion and a dream in the heart of every participant, every student, young and old, every amateur, then I think it will have been very worthwhile indeed...
Festival 2009|and other highlights
MIAGI Youth Orchestra and Youth Big Band 2009 Highlights
MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA AND YOUTH BIG BAND 2009 HIGHLIGHTS
25 April to 02 May
MYO and MYBB Orchestra Course
05 to 15 August
MIAGI YO & BB Tour of Europe
Kassel and Berlin, other destinations TBC
Festival Kultursommer Nordhessen and young.euro.classic
27 August to 09 September
National Youth Orchestra and National Youth Big Band of Germany
Tour of South Africa
Ludwig van Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 3
Gideon Nxumalo: Jazz Fantasia
Antonin Dvořák: Symphony ‘From the New World’
Apart from Ludwig van Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 and the monumentalSymphony ‘ From the New World’, by Antonin Dvořák. MYO and MYBB will be sharing a common repertoire piece in 2009: MYO featuring the MYBB as soloist, will together be performing Jazz Fantasia by the late South African composer, Gideon Nxumalo. This work will be performed in the form of a MIAGI commissioned arrangement for Symphony Orchestra and Big Band, by leading South African pianist and arranger, Denzil Weale.
About the conductor:
Marino Formenti - pianist/conductor – Orchestra Course HeronBridge College and Concert, Linder Auditorium
"…a Glenn Gould for the 21st century, a visionary for whom the usual limitations of either technique or tradition are not an issue." - Los Angeles Times. read more about Formenti at our Artists page and at www.marinoformenti.com
Abouth Jazz Fanatsia:
Gideon Nxumalo – composer of Jazz Fantasia
Gideon Nxumalo is perhaps one of South Africa ’s greatest unsung musical and cultural heroes. A man whose influence is felt today by the living and is still to be felt by generations to come, through the discovery of a collection of his manuscripts and unpublished works.
Born in Kimberly, South Africa in1929 Gideon Nxumalo was a gifted musician, composer, writer, actor and artist - a multi-talented master way ahead of his time. Gideon wrote orchestral works, plays, musicals, symphonies, overtures, jingles and musical themes - one of his most celebrated works being Jazz Fantasia (1962). He was able to embrace a full range of composition and craftsmanship across several genres of music from swing and big band tradition to African indigenous music. While Mozart was an essential inspiration to him, as seen in his string quartet writing and his works for chamber orchestra, he also had a strong identity in African choral singing and an uncanny foresight in preempting an age where the orchestral platform would be married to the art forms of his people and people of the African diaspora.
Gideon Nxumalo or “Mgibe”, as his admirers called him, passed away aged 40 on the 24th of December 1970 but his works remain - a testimony to his legacy - a blue print of his musical aspirations.
MIAGI YO & BB at young.euro.classic in Berlin on 14 August 2009.
We are extremely honoured to have been given this opportunity to perform at this illustrious international youth orchestra festival which sees the best youth orchestras from around the world performing annually to capacity audiences over a three week period. We have been given a very prominent Friday night slot at this festival which celebrates its 10th year of existence in 2009 (more information about young.euro.classic at www.young-euro-classic.de). y.
Upon our return to South Africa the MIAGI YO & BB will be hosting the National Youth Orchestra and National Youth Big Band of Germany during their tour of South Africa between 27 August and 10 September. The tour will include Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, then move via Sterkspruit (a rural community on the route to the Eastern Cape) to Port Elizabeth ending in Cape Town.
Festival 2009 |Dedicated to Haydn - D2H - Haydn Trio Eisenstadt and South African composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen
Thank You to the Embassy of Austria!
‘my language is understood throughout the world’ (Joseph Haydn, 1732 - 1809)
Haydn Trio Eisenstadt at Haydn's tomb
Concerts in Cape Town, Pretoria and Bloemfontein:
Haydn Trio Eisenstadt, comprising Harald Kosik (piano), Verena Stourzh (violin) and Hannes Gradwohl (cello) will perform the Haydn commemorative concerts on 7 May in Cape Town at the Baxter Concert Hall (20h15), 10 May in Pretoria at the UNISA Conference Centre, Sunnyside (16h00) and 13 May in Bloemfontein, Odeon Auditorium (19h30) More about the artists at our 'Artists' page.
Tickets available soon at Computicket (Cape Town and Bloemfontein), and one hour before the event at the venue (UNISA Conference Centre)
Joseph Haydn: Piano Trio Eb major, Hob.XV/29
Bongani Ndodana-Breen (Piano Trio 2009, Dedicated to Haydn): ‘Two Nguni Dances’
Joseph Haydn: Piano Trio C major, Hob.XV/27
Franz Schubert: Piano Trio Eb major, Op 100
Haydn Trio Eisenstadt ranks as one of Austria’s leading small ensembles. The trio, which will perform for the first time in South Africa, is engaged in a project named D2H, short for DedicatedToHaydn. The project commemorates Joseph Haydn, who deceased in 1809, exactly 200 years ago this year, and it has an illustrious history. 100-years ago a similar initiative launched by a French music journal, commissioned six leading French composers of the day – Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Paul Dukas, Reynaldo Hahn, Vincent d’Indy and Charles Widor - to each write a short piece for piano inspired by Haydn, 'Hommage à Joseph Haydn'. The D2H project is the brainchild of Harald Kosik, the trio’s pianist, and Dr Walter Reicher, director of the Haydn Festival Eisenstadt. Haydn lived in Eisenstadt, where he worked as court composer in the court of Prince Esterhazy. For the Haydn Bicententary 2009, D2H has commissioned six Austrian composers, six composers from across the rest of Europe and six composers from other continents to contribute brand new pieces for piano trio. One of the composers picked to contribute, is South African composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen (34). Ndodana-Breen, based in Canada (where he also works as a conductor) is one of South Africa’s leading young composers (read more about the composer at our ‘Artists’ page). Ndodana-Breen’s new composition for the D2H project is called ‘Two Nguni Dances'.
(more about D2H and Haydn Trio Eisestadt at www.d2h.at)
Events|Instrument collection campaign in Austria
The MIAGI instrument collection campaign will take place in six major cities in Austria in 2009; the cities of Vienna, Salzburg, Graz, Linz, Klagenfurt and Innsbruck. The collected instruments (including strings, bows and other instrument related equipment) will go to MIAGI’s Instrument Library.
The MIAGI Instrument Library consists mainly of instruments collected during two successful instrument collection campaigns held in Germany in 2003 and 2006 in collaboration with the Hamburger Abendblatt. The Library provides high quality instruments on loan to young music students in South Africa.
Events|Spring Concert - the MIAGI Youth Orchestra and Youth Big Band performed at the Linder Auditorium on 08 September!
The concert was funded by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Cultural Fund of the Southern African–German Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg and was billed as a Spring Concert by the German Cultural Attaché, Mr Andreas Haack.
The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany funded the visit of the young German conductor, Patrick Lange to conduct the MYO (read more about Maestro Lange at our ‘Artists’ page).
The MIAGI Youth Big Band performed under the direction of Jannie ‘Hanepoot’ van Tonder (read more about 'Hanepoot' van Tonder at our ‘Artists’ page).
The concert was in effect the high-light of a reunion of musicians who attended the 2008 MIAGI Youth Orchestra Course in Cape Town in April. The young players gathered at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, at Maropeng on Saturday 06 September for intensive rehearsal sessions read the report on this event at our education page.
About the Cradle of Humankind at Maropeng: The Cradle of Humankind was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999 because of the area’s exceptional contribution to our understanding of the history of humanity, over more than 3-million years. All together, there are 15 major fossil sites in the Cradle of Humankind, of which Sterkfontein Caves is the most famous. The fossils 'Mrs Ples' and 'Little Foot' were both discovered at the Sterkfontein Caves, as well as thousands more fossils of hominids, which are human ancestors, as well those of plants and animals. More hominid fossils have been found in the Cradle of Humankind than anywhere else on Earth.
Festival|MIAGI Festival 2008 Report
One of the main purposes of the MIAGI Festival, and of other public MIAGI events, is to use the publicity received through these to promote our organisation’s key objectives.
Music education and engaging in musical activities are effective tools of positive social development. Music also unites people, thus offering an invaluable contribution to community and nation building.
On an individual level, music assists children in developing life skills, awakens their creativity and acts as a catalyst for positive social interaction.
The Festival offers MIAGI a platform of showcasing our main activities, such as our nationwide Youth Orchestra and Youth Band movement, our work for increased understanding across ethnic and other borders, and our work to bring lesser-known African music cultures well-deserved recognition and exposure in an international context.
In this way, we aim to attract long-term supporters for our organisation, while at the same time raising the profile of other organisations that are working towards the same goals as MIAGI.
MIAGI Youth Orchestra Course 2008
The annual MIAGI Youth Orchestra Course was held from April 26 to May 3, at St Cyprian’s Girls High in Cape Town (please refer to the separate MIAGI Youth Orchestra Course report), as a run-up to the MIAGI Festival. 99 enthusiastic children and youth that had been selected through an extensive auditioning process around the country formed the MIAGI Youth Orchestra, Youth Chamber Orchestra and Youth Big Band. The children were offered free board and lodging, as well as tuition from first-class musicians/music pedagogues from South Africa and abroad. The conductors were Maestro Cem Mansur and big band leader, Jannie ‘Hanepoot’ van Tonder, who both deepened the successful and affectionate rapport that was initiated at the MIAGI Youth Orchestra Course 2007. Transport for the children who were flown to Cape Town from their respective towns and cities was also arranged and paid for by MIAGI. We are particularly grateful for the support we receive from our major funders, such as the Department of Arts and Culture, for our work among South African children and youth.
The Government of Finland:
MIAGI’s Education Programme has, since inception of our organisation, also had a major supporter and funder in the Embassy of Finland. As a thank-you to the Finnish government, MIAGI 2008 celebrated Finland by bringing three world-renowned Finnish musicians to the festival: Ralf Gothóni (pianist, and principal conductor of the English Chamber Orchestra in London), Elina Vähälä (violinist and 1999 Young Concert International Auditions winner in New York) and Arto Noras (since his success at the Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow, by many considered one of the world’s leading cellists).
The Gala Concert 2008
MIAGI, in partnership with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, celebrated South Africa’s indigenous music and musicians. In this groundbreaking concert that was the first event of the CPO’s Symphony season (Fall/Winter 2008), Thikundwi kha Sialala Venda Ngoma drummers and dancers and Ensemble Uthingo (kudu-horns) were offered an opportunity to show their unique art form and perform for the CPO’s subscription audience. It was undoubtedly also the first time in history that an exceptionally skilled and strong group such as Thikundwi kha Sialala, consisting of 27 Venda musicians and dancers, performed together with a professional symphony orchestra such as the CPO. This colourful concert also formed part of MIAGI 2008 Celebrating Finland, in a programme presenting ‘Dances from North and South’.
The programme: Ciacona & Tshikona – Dance from North and South for Venda Ngoma drummers and dancers, kudu-horns and classical orchestra by South African composer Hans Huyssen (who also conducted the work), was commissioned for MIAGI 2007 and premiered to great public acclaim at the 2007 Festival Gala Concert at the Johannesburg City Hall. Conductor and pianist Ralf Gothóni and violinist Elina Vähälä performed Felix Mendelssohn’s Double Concerto for Violin and Piano. Dances from the North were offered by Arto Noras, with a piece by Aulis Sallinen: Chamber Music III ‘The Nocturnal Dances of Don Juanquixote’, for Cello and String Orchestra.
The MIAGI Festival 2008 Intercultural Work
For the 2008 Festival, MIAGI commissioned composer, arranger and pianist Isak Roux to compose a full jazz gospel cantata.
South African composer Roux's work is deeply rooted in Africa. It draws from traditional American spirituals and township jazz rhythms, using ethnic instrumental elements such as Venda horns, penny whistles, djembe drums and marimbas. The structure, drawing from the classical cantata, juxtaposed this unique African texture with the classical in an interesting way. In Coming Home, Roux brought traditional spiritual music – often associated with America – back to its ancestral home. To this end, the narratives of the spirituals were re-interpreted and translated into South Africa's indigenous languages, creating 'a triumphant vision of our past, present and future as a testimony to the power and creative endurance of the human spirit,' to quote Roux.
Earlier successful MIAGI/Roux collaborations have included the ‘No Boundaries’ CD, with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the English Chamber Orchestra, nominated for a Grammy Award in 2006. Also in 2006, his work for orchestra and four pennywhistles was presented in Bern, Switzerland, by Kwela Tebza and the Bern Symphony Orchestra.
MIAGI Patron, Unicef Goodwill Ambassador and world renowned Violinist, Maxim Vengerov:
MIAGI was proud to once again present Maxim Vengerov, world-renowned violinist, conductor, Unicef Goodwill Ambassador and MIAGI patron. It was Vengerov who in 2003, during his first visit to South Africa, coined the expression ‘Music Is A Great Investment’ - MIAGI, giving our organisation its current name.
In January 2007 Vengerov became recipient of the World Economic Forum’s Crystal award. The award honours artists who have used their art to reach out to other cultures and has been given to many a distinguished artist over the years. Vengerov was being honoured, not only for his artistry, but for his passionate commitment to human dialogue across all boundaries of nationality.
It was in this context Vengerov generously accepted MIAGI’s invitation to return to South Africa, to assist us in promoting our objectives. Four major events were scheduled, at the Cape Town City Hall, the Linder Auditorium in Johannesburg, at The Westcliff - a MIAGI accommodation sponsor, and at the Morris Isaacson School in Soweto. Vengerov interacted with the audience in his inimitably inspirational and entertaining way and conducted the MIAGI Youth Chamber Orchestra in two public ‘Masterclasses for Orchestra’. At the MIAGI/Unicef VIP dinner at The Westcliff, Vengerov held a speech for 89 selected, high-ranking MIAGI and Unicef VIP guests in the distinguished presence of Macharia Kamau, Country Representative Unicef South Africa, and the patron of Maxim Vengerov’s visit to South Africa, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe.
Dr Moloi-Motsepe is a businesswoman and Executive Director of the Motsepe Family Foundation, and is passionate about the development of young people in the creative arts and industries.
“I believe that music is a powerful tool and gives a message of life and hope for a better future for our children.” says Dr Moloi-Motsepe. “South Africa is a medley of cultures. The end of the apartheid era has opened up a cultural renaissance in our country. The raw talent in our creative industries needs to be nurtured and allowed to fully develop. It is to this end that I feel honoured to be the patron of this initiative, which brings to our shores one the world’s outstanding cultural leaders, in Maxim Vengerov.”
Excerpt from a message from Macharia Kamau, Country Representative Unicef South Africa:
“It was with great pleasure that we received the news that Maxim Vengerov, world renowned violinist would be returning to South Africa in his capacity of MIAGI honoured guest and Unicef Goodwill Ambassador.
In 1997, Maxim became the first classical musician to be appointed envoy for music by Unicef. In this role he has met with and performed for disadvantaged children in Uganda, Harlem, Thailand, Kosovo and here in South Africa. Through this work he inspires children to learn and grow through music education and encourages donors to support Unicef assisted programmes around the world. He aims to do no less for South Africa through the wonderful partnership with MIAGI. We commend Maxim for his willingness to share his extraordinary talents with music lovers in the country, but most of all, for his tireless promotion of music and music education to enhance the cognitive and social development of children and youth.
Worldwide, music is recognised as a tool for positive social change and its benefits are vast. MIAGI stresses that “music is a great investment” and the reality is that children who engage in music-related activities are far more likely to complete their studies and avoid negative social behaviours such as gang-violence and substance abuse.
Unicef is proud of its partnership with MIAGI and congratulates MIAGI and Maxim on their important work to improve children’s lives through the most powerful universal language of music”.
During his sojourn in South Africa, Maxim Vengerov made a site visit to the planned MIAGI Music Centre at the Morris Isaacson School, turning the sod at the proposed building site in the presence of representatives from MIAGI, Unicef South Africa and the media. The architects presented the building plans and showed the delegation around the premises. A warm reception in the headmaster’s office (with coffee, food and snacks) finished this touching, symbolic event. His visit has already proven to have been a highly successful partnership endeavour together with Unicef South Africa and under the distinguished patronage of Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe.
MIAGI is indebted and infinitely thankful to Maxim Vengerov for his deep commitment and immense generosity and support.
Workshops and Opportunities for 50 specially gifted, aspiring young South African Artists:
As in previous years, the most renowned musicians offered workshops for children from MIAGI-supported music education initiatives (Maxim Vengerov’s ‘Masterclasses for Orchestra’) and at the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town (Arto Noras and Ralf Gothóni). Cellist Abel Selaocoe (16) was chosen to play as soloist with the MIAGI Youth Orchestra. He gave three public performances, one under the baton of conductor Cem Mansur, and two under the baton of conductor Maxim Vengerov. Abel received many hours of private tuition from Maxim Vengerov, who also gave him his personal recommendation as a highly worthy candidate for scholarships. MIAGI is currently trying to facilitate a much-needed scholarship that will enable Abel to effectively pursue his studies.
MIAGI Socializing 2008 – the VIP Cocktail Events – the Soirée at the Vineyard Hotel – the Delegation of high-ranking Personalities from the Culture and Business Sectors in Finland:
MIAGI is well-recognised for the exceptional high-profile networking opportunities our events offer. We understand well the importance of offering such opportunities to key players from the national and international governmental, cultural and corporate sectors, and believe in Unesco’s statement that ‘sustainable development and the flourishing of culture are interdependent’.
The Finnish VIP delegation that accompanied the three Finnish artists were offered an unforgettable experience, with accommodation at the Vineyard Hotel - a MIAGI accommodation sponsor, tickets to all the MIAGI events including all MIAGI VIP after-concert cocktail events and a bush holiday at Inyati Private Game Reserve, a MIAGI accommodation sponsor. The Gala Concert cocktail event was generously co-hosted by the City of Cape Town and the event after the Youth Chamber Orchestra Concert with Maxim Vengerov, by the Joan St Leger Lindbergh Arts Foundation. MIAGI also organised a VIP Soirée together with the Vineyard Hotel and Spa. This event offered an unusual musical mix with performances by the Isicathamiya group Thokozani Brothers, Jazz pianist Tete Mbambisa and singer Vuyisua Mbambisa, as well as classical artists such as Ralf Gothóni, Elina Vähälä and the young up-and-coming violinist from the MIAGI mentor-and-protégé programme, Anele Mhlahlo.
MIAGI has throughout the years utilised less popular venues, such as the Cape Town and Johannesburg City Halls, in an attempt to draw the public’s attention to these excellent historical venues that need and deserve thorough renovations.
MIAGI Executive Director Robert Brooks, Creative Manager Ingrid Hedlund, Education Consultant Frank Sturgess, and the key festival artists Cem Mansur, Sibongile Khumalo, Kutlwano Masote, Isak Roux, Maxim Vengerov and Abel Selaocoe as well as the children partaking in the MIAGI Youth Orchestra Course were interviewed for numerous live television and live radio interviews around the country (please refer to the separate media report below for more details).
The MIAGI Festival Concerts, May 03 to May 21-2008,
the public events in detail:
Cape Town and Johannesburg came alive in the month of May when the MIAGI Festival 2008 rolled into town! MIAGI has for the past eight years wowed fans across South Africa with its exciting festival, celebrating the unity in diversity of our country and musical heritage by fusing distinctly African with Western classical sounds. This year MIAGI once again presented an eclectic line-up of local stars, aspiring young musicians and international greats such as Maxim Vengerov, Sibongile Khumalo, Thikundwi kha Sialala Venda Ngoma Drummers and Dancers, the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, Hans Huyssen, Kutlwano Masote, Thinus Maree, Ralf Gothóni, Arto Noras, Sibongile Mngoma, Elina Vähälä, Isak Roux and the Chamber Orchestra of Johannesburg. The festival kicked off with a free concert at the Cape Town City Hall on May 3, featuring the MIAGI Youth Orchestra and Youth Big Band with young up-and coming cellist Abel Selaocoe as soloist.
MAY 03, 20h00, CAPE TOWN CITY HALL – MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA CONCERT – FESTIVAL 2008 OPENING CONCERT
The MIAGI Youth Orchestra, Youth Chamber Orchestra and Youth Big Band with Cem Mansur (conductor), soloist Abel Selaocoe (cello) and Jannie ‘Hanepoot’ van Tonder (big band leader). It was a ‘free entrance event’ through which MIAGI once again successfully promoted our nationwide Youth Orchestra and Youth Big Band movement. It was also the Festive Opening Concert of the MIAGI Festival 2008.
The MIAGI Youth Orchestra, Youth Chamber Orchestra and Big Band had prepared the programme at the MIAGI Youth Orchestra course 2008, held between April 26 and May 3, at St Cyprian’s Girls High in Cape Town (please refer to the separate MIAGI Youth Orchestra Course report). The young players were led by Turkish-born conductor Cem Mansur and South Africa's Jannie ‘Hanepoot’ van Tonder. On the programme: Giuseppe Verdi’s Overture to La Forza del Destino, Luigi Boccherini’s Cello Concerto in B flat major, Edward Grieg’s Peer Gynt suite nr. 1 and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave, together with some of South Africa’s best jazz composers such as David Ledbetter, Merton Barrow, Dudu Pukwana, Errol Dyers and Douglas Armstrong.
MAY 06, 20h15, BAXTER CONCERT HALL, CAPE TOWN – ‘CHAMBER MUSIC AT ITS BEST’
MIAGI Celebrates Finland – MIAGI’s Education Programme has since inception of our organisation had a major supporter and funder in the Embassy of Finland. In this concert ‘Chamber Music at its Best,’ MIAGI presented three premier musicians from the international stages, Ralf Gothóni (piano), Arto Noras (cello) and Elina Vähälä (violin).
On the programme, Ludwig van Beethoven: Seven variations on ‘Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen’ from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Trio in D Major (‘Ghost Trio’), Antonin Dvorák: Piano Trio in E Minor (´Dumky´).
MAY 08, 20h00, CAPE TOWN CITY HALL – GALA CONCERT
MIAGI Celebrates Finland and South Africa’s indigenous music and musicians in a concert presenting Dances from North and South - MIAGI Festival 2008 Gala Concert – MIAGI in partnership with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra. Thikundwi kha Sialala Venda Ngoma drummers and dancers, Ensemble Uthingo (kudu-horns), Hans Huyssen (conductor) Ralf Gothóni (piano and conductor), Arto Noras (cello) and Elina Vähälä (violin) performed together with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra
The programme: Ciacona & Tshikona – Dance from North and South for Venda Ngoma drummers and dancers, kudu-horns and classical orchestra by South African composer Hans Huyssen, was commissioned for MIAGI 2007 and premiered with great public acclaim at the 2007 Festival Gala Concert at Johannesburg City Hall. Conductor and pianist Ralf Gothóni and violinist Elina Vähälä performed Felix Mendelssohn’s Double Concerto for Violin and Piano. Dances from the North were offered by Arto Noras with a piece byAulis Sallinen: Chamber Music III ‘The Nocturnal Dances of Don Juanquixote’, for Cello and String Orchestra.
MAY 14, 20h00, CAPE TOWN CITY HALL - MASTERCLASS FOR ORCHESTRA WITH THE MIAGI YOUTH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA, CONDUCTED BY MAXIM VENGEROV
Maxim Vengerov and the MIAGI Youth Chamber Orchestra – ‘Masterclass for Orchestra’– a MIAGI/Unicef partnership under the distinguished patronage of Dr. Precious Moloi–Motsepe
MIAGI's patron, world renowned violinist Maxim Vengerov joined the festival in support of MIAGI’s objectives and the MIAGI Youth Orchestra Programme in his capacity as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Vengerov, who has since 2000 also been dedicating himself increasingly to conducting, is considered one of the most extraordinary musicians of his time, and the supreme violinist of his generation. He shared his thoughts with the audience, and worked with the young players before the performance – this very special event, which eluded an 'easy definition' was billed as a: ’Master Class for Orchestra with Maxim Vengerov'. A passion of Vengerov’s life is his involvement with young people through giving public master classes.
On the programme: Mozart’s overture to the Marriage of Figaro, Luigi Bocherini’s Cello Concerto in B flat major, Edward Grieg’s Peer Gynt suite nr. 1
MAY 17, 20h00, JOHANNESBURG CITY HALL – THE JAZZ AND GOSPEL CANTATA ‘COMING HOME’ BY ISAK ROUX
‘Coming Home’, Jazz Gospel Cantata by Isak Roux sung and spoken in English, Zulu, Sesotho and Afrikaans. Sibongile Khumalo (mezzo soprano), Robert Brooks (tenor), Thinus Maree (baritone), Sibongile Mngoma (narrator), Isak Roux (piano) with the Gauteng Choristers, the Chamber Orchestra of Johannesburg and an all star Jazz Rhythm Section conducted by Kutlwano Masote.
MAY 18, 15h00, LINDER AUDITORIUM, JOHANNESBURG – MASTERCLASS FOR ORCHESTRA WITH THE MIAGI YOUTH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA CONDUCTED BY MAXIM VENGEROV
Maxim Vengerov and the MIAGI Youth Chamber Orchestra – ‘Masterclass for Orchestra’ - a MIAGI/Unicef partnership under the distinguished patronage of Dr. Precious Moloi–Motsepe – the programme: please see above, May 14, Cape Town City Hall.
MAY 20, 20h00, BAXTER CONCERT HALL, CAPE TOWN – CEM MANSUR CONDUCTS THE UCT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Cem Mansur and the UCT Symphony Orchestra - MIAGI in partnership with the South African College of Music. Soloists: two young South African College of Music students - MIAGI protégé Pretty Yende (soprano) and Tzu-Fan Tang (violin)
Born in Istanbul, Cem Mansur has conducted the English Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hungarian State Orchestra and worked with many world-renowned soloists such as Janos Starker, Midori, Dmitri Alexeev and Håkan Hardenberger. Mansur has further conducted opera at prestigious stages such as the National Theatre in Prague and the Kirov Opera. He was conductor of the Istanbul Opera between 1981 and 1989 and principal conductor of the City of Oxford Orchestra from 1989 to1997. He is President of the Ipswich Choral Society in England and Artistic Director of the Akbank Chamber Orchestra in Istanbul.
Richard Strauss: Vier Letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs), Pretty Yende (soprano)
Maurice Ravel: Tzigane, Tzu-Fan Tang (violin)
Alexander Borodin: Symphony No. 2
Festival 2008|Media Exposure
SOME 30+ MAJOR ARTICLES ABOUT MIAGI AND THE FESTIVAL EVENTS WERE PUBLISHED IN THE FOLLOWING NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES, in addition to “mentions” in the events pages of many of these.
Athlone Community Paper
Cape Argus (Weekend)
SA Jewish Reporter
Mail & Guardian
Classic Feel Magazine
The Blue Train
Audio & Visual SA
Wine Tourism News
THE FESTIVAL RECEIVED EXTENSIVE COVERAGE THROUGH TELEVISION AND RADIO
LISTINGS AND RECORDINGS:
Afro Café’s events calendar – Afro Café also filmed the Jazz Gospel Oratorio at Johannesburg City Hall on May 17.
LIVE TELEVISION INTERVIEWS WITH MIAGI KEY PEOPLE AND ARTISTS:
Lunch Time on e-tv
Morning edition e-tv
SABC Africa 180 Degrees
LIVE INTERVIEWS WITH THE MEMBERS OF THE MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA:
17 LIVE INTERVIEWS ON FOLLOWING RADIO STATIONS WITH MIAGI KEY PEOPLE AND ARTISTS:
Regional Radio Stations: Ofm, Fine Music Radio, 702 Talk Radio
National Broadcaster: SAfm, RSG, Radio 2000
Community Stations: CCfm, Bush Radio
ADDITIONAL ONLINE PUBLICITY
LISTINGS AND ARTICLES:
Cape Town Natural
City of Johannesburg Entertainment
PUBLICITY, PUBLIC AND MEDIA RESPONSE
MIAGI enjoyed significant media coverage for the 2008 Festival. The press in the Cape, especially, were most supportive of and enthusiastic about the events. The SABC also provided many opportunities for interviews, which were broadcast nationally; while Fine Music Radio in Cape Town provided consistent regional coverage. ClassicFEEL magazine has provided continuous exposure of MIAGI. The goodwill, in the form of discounts and free publicity, that was shown to MIAGI, before and during the Festival, clearly demonstrates the media’s abiding interest in, and support for our organisation.
The financial value of the publicity is expressed as AVE. The AVE, or Advertising Value Equivalent, is the amount that would have had to be paid for the same exposure/reach in an advertisement, and is calculated using circulation/audience figures and the advertising rate-card prices for the various media.
Not all reports have been received from the news monitoring service, but to date, the AVE for the MIAGI 2008 Festival is R1,595,473, of which R202,572 is for broadcast (radio & TV) and R1,392,901 for printed media. Most electronic (online) media is excluded - it is not always possible to calculate the AVE for on-line presence.
In total, 26 interviews were given, of which 17 were radio and TV interviews, both live and pre-recorded: Fine Music Radio interviewed Cem Mansur, Robert Brooks and Ingrid Hedlund live in the 13h00 to 14h00 slot on three consecutive Mondays. Jan Stofberg was interviewed by RSG, a pre-recorded interview that was broadcast on 13 May in the arts programme. Talk Radio 702 interviewed Robert Brooks by telephone on 16 May – this was a vital interview, taking into account the relative lack of print-media coverage in Johannesburg. Interviews were given on a number of community stations as well – the spread between the different categories of radio (public broadcaster, commercial and community) was a very good one.
Printed-media coverage was as diverse as could be, with the Festival being discussed in the Wine Tourism News, The Blue Train and the Jet Club magazine and twice in the Audio & Video SA magazine! It was even mentioned in GQ Magazine. In addition to this eclectic mixture, almost all of the major daily and weekly newspapers carried articles, interviews or mentions of the Total MIAGI Festival 2008.
Public and Media Response
The responses received from audience and participants alike have been positive, with negative comments relating more to arbitrary matters (such as the fact that no refreshments were for sale at some events) than about the Festival events themselves. We have taken note of these comments, and will endeavour to address them in the future. Here are some of the comments:
The interaction I witnessed between the children was wonderful to see, sharing technical exercises and methods of playing etc. (parent of MYO participant)
Many thank you to all the instructors who have had an amazing impact on our youth that enjoys playing together in this kind of environment. (parent of MYO participant)
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it. It was a great privilege for me! (MYO participant)
A few samples of Emails received:
Thankyou for ALL the LOVELY INSPIRING concerts we’ve seen this year !!
The concert on Sat night in Cpt City Hall was, in short-brilliant!
My sincere thanks for a remarkable evening and afternoon. It was memorable!
It was heartwarming to experience the beautiful music created by the talented group of kids!
A great evening. Loved the Mendelssohn. As to the 'Ciacona & Tshikona': found it exhilarating and refreshing!
Such wonderful visuals and music. I think this ['Ciacona & Tshikona'] is the best yet of African and Western fusion!
Standing ovation for MYO – fantastic playing!
And in the press…
Die Burger, 8 Mei 2008
’n Ryk luisterervaring
Met die tweede deel was die samespel puik… ook die finale presto-deel was uiters geslaagd.
Die Burger, 10 Mei 2008
... die tjellis Arto Noras, wat dit hier uitgevoer het. Hy het die talle moeilike frases met groot welslae behartig.
Die KFO se strykers het hier goeie spel gelewer onder Huyssen se meelewende leiding.
Gothóni het agter die klawers indrukwekkende spel gelewer en terselfdertyd die orkes gelei in dié uiters opwindende [Mendelssohn} dubbelconcerto.
Cape Times, 15 May 2008
It proved a delightful romp through a variety of dance forms, incorporating references to diverse dance forms and composers in a witty picaresque. Noras demonstrated a sure-fire technique in the taxing instrumental writing.
… a stylish and invigorating account.
The Weekender, 24 May 2008
… Coming Home certainly is [unusual]; but it is a carefully modulated work that straddles these different musical styles with both sophistication and gusto.
The standing ovation was, however, well deserved. The musical scope of this “jazz gospel cantata” is impressive and it is to be hoped that Coming Home will be performed again soon.
MIAGI 'Photo Album' 2001 to 2008. In the years 2001 to 2004 MIAGI was called the International Classical Music Festival)
Photos | 2001 - 2008
Maxim Vengerov and Abel Selaocoe
Members of the MIAGI Youth Orchestra
Elina Vahala, Ralf Gothóni and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra
Musawenkosi Ngqungwana, Mlamli Lalapantsi and Sunnyboy Dladla
Members of Thikundwi kha Sialala and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra
Thikundwi kha Sialala
...more photos will follow...
Album | 2007
Cem Mansur, Sergei Nakariakov and the MIAGI Orchestra
Jannie 'Hanepoot' van Tonder
..Anmari van der Westhuizen
Carlo Mombelli and the Prisoners of Strange
Ciacona & Tshikona at the IBSA Conference
Gauteng Choristers at the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad
Sergei Nakariakov and Maria Meerovitch
Sergei Nakariakov & Maria Meerovitch
...more photos will follow...
Album | 2006
Edward Tawiah and Fazil Say
The 2006 Youth Orchestra Course with Kolwane Mantu
..The 2006 Youth Orchestra Course with Innocent Ngwane
Pretty Yende and Given Nkosi
...more photos will follow...
Album | 2005
'Miriam Makeba in her Grande Finale Shows'
Miriam Makeba, 'Papa' and the MIAGI Orchestra
Miriam Makeba with her Band and the MIAGI Orchestra
Miriam Makeba and the MIAGI Orchestra
'Cultures of the Oceans'
Baladna Taarab Orchestra
The 2005 Youth Orchestra Course with Michael Masote
...more photos will follow...
Album | 2004
The MIAGI produced CD 'No Boundaries', with arrangements by Isak Roux, and featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo together with the English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Ralf Gothóni - the CD was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2005
Sibongile Mngoma - UShaka tour to Europe celebrating 10 Years of Democracy in South Africa
Bonisudumo Choristers and the Gauteng Choristers - UShaka tour to Europe
Miriam Makeba and Barbara Hendricks - 'duo recital'
Miriam Makeba and Barbara Hendricks
Demaj - South African All Female Jazz Quartet
Fynbos - Hans Huyssen's and Annika Harms' Ensemble Refugium and the Dizu Plaaitjies' Kudu Horn Band
...more photos will follow...
Album | 2003
The Xhosa overtone singers, Nqgoko Women and the MIAGI Orchestra
Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the English Chamber Orchestra
Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the English Chamber Orchestra with Ralf Gothóni
Maxim Vengerov and a young music student
Caravan Dance Group, Xincayincayi dancers at the AUDI Festival in Ingolstadt, Germany
The Xhosa overtone singers, Nqgoko Women
...more photos will follow...
Album | 2002
Soweto String Quartet's 'Our World' CD - SSQ and the MIAGI Orchestra in musical pearls as arranged for SSQ and Orchestra by Bruce Cassidy and commissioned by MIAGI
Soweto String Quartet (SSQ)
SSQ rehearsing with the MIAGI Orchestra
Kutlwano Masote, Daliwonga Tshangela, Petri Ainali and Brian Choveaux
Jakes 'Big Voice' Lerole and Isak Roux
'The Songs of Madosini' - The Sontonga Quartet, Madosini and Ori Leshman giving the work its first performance - Latotzi Mphaleni's (Madosini) songs, as arranged for string quartet, clarinet and narrator by Hans Huyssen and commissioned by MIAGI
Hans Huyssen in 'The Songs of Madosini'
Teemu Myohanen and a member of the African Youth Ensemble
Caravan Dance Group
Jukka Merjanen and members of the African Youth Ensemble
The MIAGI Orchestra and Ori Leshman
SSQ, Pops Mohamed, Bruce Cassidy, Ori Leshman and the MIAGI Orchestra
Album | 2001
Our first logo - as International Classical Music Festival
The English Chamber Orchestra
Marilyn Groves and the 'Close Encounters' outreach programme of the English Chamber Orchestra
A young member of the African Youth Ensemble
Media | Press Releases.