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The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra continues its trend of identifying the brightest emerging stars in the next season. Three of the five concerts in the season which runs on consecutive Thursdays at the Cape Town City Hall from October 31 to November 28 will feature young musicians in their twenties.
In the first concert on October 31, the Chinese pianist Antonio Chen Guang, 25, who was the winner of the 1st Olga Kern International Piano Competition in 2016, will perform the 3rd Piano Concerto by Prokofiev. Chen Guang combines extraordinary technical capacity with a profound and mature musical sensibility and an exceptional on-stage charisma. He has also won a number of other prestigious awards such as the Scriabin and the Rome prizes, garnered praise from luminaries such as Paul Badura-Scoda (he is “a pianist of outstanding talent”) and Vladimir Ashkenazy (“excellent and very intense”), and is already carving a career on some of the finest platforms in Europe and America with leading orchestras. Conrad van Alphen will conduct the CPO in the overture, The Hebrides, by Mendelssohn and “Winter Dreams”, Tchaikovsky’s 1st Symphony.
In the concert on November 7, the CPO is delighted to present another top Tchaikovsky laureate. Silver medallist in the 2019 Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, Russian pianist Dmitry Shishkin, 27, will perform the Chopin Piano Concerto No 1. Already the winner of many other major prizes – Gold at the 73rd Geneva International Music Competition last year and at the Top of the World Competition in Tromsø in 2017 – he has also been a finalist at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. Shishkin has been critically acclaimed by the international press for his creative approach to music, his individuality and his brilliant piano skills. Van Alphen will direct the CPO in the Carnival Overture by Dvorak and the Concerto for Orchestra by Bartok.
On November 14, the audience will be privileged to hear the Brahms masterpiece, Ein Deutsches Requiem, with soloists Arline Jaftha and Conroy Scott and the Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town directed by Richard Haigh. For Bernhard Gueller, the CPO’s principal guest conductor who will be on the podium, the Requiem is very special “since it goes contrary to normal requiems and is entirely about consolation, emphasized by the most sublime and moving music.”
The Requiem was premiered in its first form in 1867 in Vienna and after additions and revisions, it was performed in Leipzig two years later. Originally, it apparently started as a cantata of mourning to mark the death of Robert Schumann but eventually became a full requiem of seven movements.
On November 21, British organist to Queen Elizabeth Luke Bond will perform the Organ Concerto by Francis Poulenc on the City Hall’s Grand Organ. Also on the programme will be the Classical Symphony by Prokofiev and the Symphony No 5 by Tchaikovsky. Gueller will again be on the podium. In Gueller’s words, the Tchaikovsky symphony, one of his absolute favourites of the Romantic period, “has some of the most dramatic music. It is one of the most excessive roller-coaster rides in Romantic literature.”
The final concert in the season on November 28 will feature the last of the rising stars, the multi-award-winning Russian violinist Yury Revich, 28, who will perform the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.
Yury Revich made his debut at Carnegie Hall with pianist Daniil Trifonov and has since performed in some of the world’s foremost venues. He plays on a 1709 Stradivarius, generously loaned to him by the Goh Family Foundation. Gueller will also conduct About Nothing by Peter-Louis van Dijk and the second, sweeping, symphony by Sibelius.
The CPO is also presenting its annual tribute to Huberte Rupert on Friday, November 29, in the Endler Hall in Stellenbosch at 20:00. The young South African violinist, Michael Duffett, is returning home from Boston to perform the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto , Schalk van der Merwe, the winner of the 4th Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition, will make his symphony concert debut with the CPO, conducting the overture, The Hebrides, also by Mendelssohn, and the Symphony No. 3 by Brahms.
Dress rehearsals are open at 11 for most Cape Town City Hall concerts but at this stage there is no open dress rehearsal for the Brahms Requiem. Pre-concert talks take place at the City Hall 19:15 on concert nights, open to concertgoers.
More information on cpo.org.za / email@example.com . 021 410 9809