Johannesburg Musical Society launches 2019

In February the Johannesburg Musical Society launches Season 2019, with two superb pianists, stars of the international circuit, in the bouquet.


After 170 years of delivering fine music and exceptional performers to the music-loving public, the Society has not lost its edge. The 2019 Season is booked-ended by two superb pianists in February and November and – sandwiched between these two concerts – is a bouquet of delightful music.

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Pianist – Mariangela Vacatello

The season kicks off on Saturday 2 February with a concert by the passionate Neapolitan pianist Mariangela Vacatello. She is a First Prize winner at Norway’s Top of the World International Piano Competition and also winner of the Worldwide Audience Award at the famous Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. This concert is presented as part of Johannesburg’s International Mozart Festival and will feature Beethoven’s wonderful ‘Pathetique’ piano sonata, as well as work by Ligeti and Chopin (Chopin’s Third Ballade and Third Piano Sonata).

Another pianist who needs no introduction to Johannesburg audiences is Olga Kern, pianiste-extraordinaire and winner of the Van Cliburn International Competition. She plays for the JMS in March and South Korean pianist Jongdo An – winner of the prestigious Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud International Piano Competition – ends the season in November. Yet another pianist, Ben Schoeman, the South African pianist now resident in Europe and enjoying a busy international career, will take to the stage in June. He is a familiar face in such halls as Berlin’s Konzerthaus and Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Auditorium.

Ben Schoeman

But there is more to the JMS than piano recitals. Also featured are two fine violinists and a great cellist. The young and vibrant Alexander Gilman will take the season forward in late February, and the scintillating Yi-Jia Susanne Hou will play in August. Renowned international cellist Gary Hoffman will give his admirers a musical treat in September.

There are also several ensembles that will round out the year. In April, the Trio Cap de Classique (piano, flute and cello) presents some gems of the chamber repertoire, while in October the highly-respected Minguet String Quartet from Germany will perform for the JMS.

Of special note is a more light-hearted concert that will take place in May. The urbane and witty Charl du Plessis and his trio will present an elegant evening of Cole Porter’s music. Joining them will be Corlea Botha, a soprano who has sung in the company of many of South Africa’s ‘greats’. This will be a concert with great all-round appeal.

All the above concerts take place in the Linder Auditorium on the Wits Education Campus in St Andrews Road, Parktown. All Saturday concerts will start at 20:00, while Sunday concerts start at 17:00 in the afternoon.

Pre-bookings can be done at Computicket, and tickets are also sold at the Linder box office from one hour before the start time of each concert. Please note though, there is NO credit card facility at the box office.

All concerts are open to the public, but members of the Johannesburg Musical Society get a hefty discount on ticket prices, as well as a free programme at each concert. Students 23 years and under with a valid student card, pay only R40 per seat.

For more details, consult the website at or phone Avril on 011 728 5492 or Herman on 083 228 2917.

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