Pianist Howard Shelley’s happily back with CPO

Howard Shelley. Credit: Eric Richmond.
Howard Shelley. Credit: Eric Richmond.

Excitement is mounting for the reappearance in Cape Town of British pianist Howard Shelley, performing with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.

It has been more than 30 years since Shelley performed in Cape Town, and this maestro of the keyboard and the podium will be back to play and conduct an all-Mozart concert. Presented by the Friends of Orchestral Music in as a gala fundraiser for the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the concert will take place at the Cape Town City Hall on Thursday, November 3, at 20:00.

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Shelley will showcase Africa’s oldest orchestra, the CPO, in Mozart’s Symphony no 35 in D (Haffner) and two piano concerti – no 18 in B-flat, K 456, (Paradis) and no 20 in D minor, K 466.

A household name thanks in large part to his extensive discography, Shelley made his television debut when he was 10, graduating later from the Royal College of Music. In the same year, 1971, he made his Wigmore Hall debut. He has in the meantime become acclaimed for his conducting from the keyboard, and has appeared as such with all the major orchestras around the world.

He is delighted to be back:

“I have long looked forward to performing again in the city because I remember it so vividly from concert tours I undertook in South Africa back in the late seventies, early eighties. My teacher, Lamar Crowson, who was one of the strongest musical influences in my life, and a good friend, moved on from London to Cape Town and taught at UCT, as well as giving many concerts around the country. Sadly he is no longer alive, but his spirit lives on in this city which he loved. I also have very good friends from my student days at the Royal College of Music, whom we have remained very close to, and who live in Cape Town and have told me about the re-birth and the current fine state of the orchestra,” he says.

Tickets from Computicket on 0861 915 8000/ www.computicket.com or Artscape Dial-A-Seat on 021 421 7695. More information from luvuyo@cpo.org.za or 021 410 9809. Tickets are R500; members of FOM receive a 10 per cent discount and an invitation to the post-concert reception.

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