SPRING CONCERT WITH MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA AND BIG BAND, 08 SEPTEMBER, 2008

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 18 AUGUST 2008 

MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA & MIAGI YOUTH BIG BAND TO BE LEAD BY INTERNATIONAL CONDUCTOR PATRICK LANGE IN SPRING CONCERT ON SEPTEMBER 8th

Following on from the hugely successful MIAGI festival this past May, MIAGI (Music is a Great Investment) is proud to announce the return of the MIAGI Youth Orchestra (MYO) and MIAGI Youth Big Band (MYBB) in a stunning performance at the Linder Auditorium on the 8th September 2008 at 20h00.  The MYO will be lead by visiting German conductor, Patrick Lange and the MYBB by South Africa’s own Jannie ‘Hanepoot’ van Tonder.  The concert will usher in the long-awaited season of Spring with a delightful repertoire of outstanding jazz and classical favourites.

This concert is sponsored by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Cultural Fund of the Southern African–German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Goethe-Institut, Johannesburg and the Department of Arts & Culture.
The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany is funding the visit of the young and very talented German conductor, Patrick Lange, who will be conducting the MIAGI Youth Orchestra. The concert is, in effect, a reunion of the musicians who attended the 2008 MIAGI Youth Orchestra Course in Cape Town in April this year and successfully performed at the MIAGI Festival.

The young musicians from across the country will convene at Maropeng, the Cradle of Humankind, on the Saturday before the event, for intensive rehearsal sessions with Patrick Lange and Jannie ‘Hanepoot’ van Tonder. The diverse programme showcases MIAGI’s commitment to uniting the powers of diverse musical styles such as classical and jazz. The programme includes classical works by Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Mozart, Verdi and Grieg, while the jazz programme includes works by Ledbetter, Pukwana, Dyers and Armstrong.

It is no coincidence that MIAGI chose the Cradle of Humankind as venue for its short Spring weekend youth orchestra course - Maropeng was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999 because of the area’s exceptional contribution to our understanding of more than 3 million years of humanity, and the site, with its education centre, complements MIAGI’s educational intentions and vision in an ideal way!

Patrick Lange
Patrick Lange, the recently appointed Music Director of the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève (OCG) and Kapellmeister at the Komische Oper Berlin has, at the tender age of 27, emerged as one of the most talented conductors of his generation.
Born in Germany, he began his music career at the age of eight as a member of the Regensburger Domspatzen Boys' Choir. Patrick studied conducting at the music academies of Würzburg and Zurich. In the spring of 2007, he received the European Cultural Award in the category "promotional award for young conductors".
In 2005, he was appointed assistant conductor of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester where he began an association with Claudio Abbado. Since then, he has assisted Maestro Abbado with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Orchestra Mozart Bologna and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. 
Patrick Lange has appeared as a guest conductor with the Hamburg and the Bochum Symphony Orchestras, the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, the MDR Symphony Orchestra, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Deutsche Bundesjugendorchester and the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela - the world-renowned prime orchestra of MIAGI’s model initiative FESNOJIV - National System of Youth and Child Orchestras.
FESNOJIV in Venezuela is a movement of massive dimensions that uses music as the instrument that makes the social integration of different population and income groups possible. Because of its inextricable connection to human development within poor and marginalized communities, FESNOJIV is part of the Venezuelan Ministry of Health and Social Development, which funds the system to the tune of $29 million per year. Founded 30 years ago through the pioneering vision of Venezuelan economist, politician and musician José Antonio Abreu, a MIAGI patron, FESNOJIV represents an ongoing effort to improve the lives of low-income Venezuelan youth by offering artistic and intellectual opportunities that they normally would not be exposed to. In 1998 UNDP commended it as an outstanding example of poverty reduction.
Jannie ‘Hanepoot’ van Tonder

South African first-rate jazz trombonist, drummer, composer and teacher, van Tonder’s work across many musical genres has taken him throughout Southern Africa and Europe. He has performed and recorded with the likes of James Phillips, Johannes Kerkorrel, The Victor Ntoni Big Band, Die Gereformeerde Blues Band, Delicious Monsters and many others, and notably spent a year on the road with the African Jazz Pioneers under the leadership of the late Ntemi Piliso. In 2001, he started his own Biggish Band in Cape Town, as a platform for developing indigenous South African Jazz for the standard big-band format. . Now in their second year together, ‘Hanepoot’ and the MIAGI Youth Big Band have already established a reputation as an exciting, worth-listening-to, line-up.

MIAGI Youth Orchestra & Big Band

This year the MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA, along with the smaller YOUTH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA and the YOUTH BIG BAND, represent more than ever the talent and diversity of South Africa’s youth.

The combined list of musicians includes 55 young men and 42 young women from all walks of life, aged from 14 to 23. The musicians hail from Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Jeffries Bay and Welkom, and reflect the cultural diversity of South Africa, with talent and a passion for music being the most important common denominator among them.

MIAGI Background

MIAGI – Music Is A Great Investment, is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2001 with the support of the Department of Arts and Culture. MIAGI introduces South African music to audiences worldwide, commissioning new works combining indigenous and traditional with classical styles, thus promoting our music heritage internationally.
MIAGI unites people across all boundaries, playing a prominent part in efforts to empower local musicians throughout South Africa, and contributing towards the rebuilding of South Africa’s cultural heritage and integrity.
MIAGI focuses strongly on music education for children as a central tool of social upliftment and cultural awareness and is building a network of MIAGI-supported music education initiatives. This rapidly expanding MIAGI education network comprises initiatives from all around the country, in particular those active in rural and historically disadvantaged areas. For more information please visit www.miagi.co.za.
Tickets for the concert are available through Computicket.
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