The Johannesburg Musical Society is ready to take flight with a grand variety of performers lined up for its monthly concerts and recitals this year. The 2018 season opens on Saturday 3 February with the dazzling and much-decorated Lithuanian pianist, Muza Rebackyté. This first concert, which is presented in association with the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival, will feature Beethoven’s passionate Sonata in F Minor (the ‘Appassionata’) and Schumann’s delightfully whimsical Carnaval.
Muza Rebackyté was long considered one of Russia’s most cherished performers, but due to various restrictions, was relatively unknown in the West. Now, this winner of the Grand Prize at the Liszt-Bartók International Competition in Budapest, and the First Prize at the prestigious Concours International Les Grands Maîtres Français, is heard frequently at all the important festivals and concert halls of Europe, China, and South America.
The series continues on Saturday 10 March, when the eminent Signum Quartet, based in Cologne, Germany, will play Schubert’s lovely ‘Rosamunde’ Quartet and then – on Sunday March 25 cellist Peter Martens and pianist Bryan Wallick take the stage with Rachmaninov’s grandiose Sonata for Cello and Piano.
On Saturday 21 April a brilliant husband-and-wife team play a two-piano concert. Luis Magalhães and Nina Schumann, lauded for their exceptionally fine ensemble playing will play a powerful programme of works transcribed for 2 pianos – Bach’s mighty Goldberg Variations and Liszt’s exciting Sonata in B Minor.
Shelley Levy on clarinet and Pavel Timoefsky on piano then continue the series on Saturday 12 May. South African-born Levy is now resident in the UK, where she plays with well-known ensembles. Pavel Timoefsky is recognised as a fine pianist and also as a composer. Their wide-ranging programme includes works by Debussy, Chausson and also Brahms’s lovely Clarinet Sonata in F Minor.
June and August see two piano recitals. American Spencer Myer’s programme (Saturday 9 June) will include Chopin’s ever-popular Scherzi and Italian Alessandro Taverna returns to South Africa on Saturday 4 August. His programme is yet to be announced.
The final quarter of the year showcases violinist Alissa Margulies, who has been described as ‘a revelation’ (Saturday 1 September), a piano quintet formed by the very fine Odeion Quartet and young Israeli pianist Amit Yahav in a programme of Chopin and Dvoøák (Saturday 20 October) and the year ends with the grand finale – the Percy Baneshik Memorial concert, after which the entire audience is invited to a wine and snacks party. The featured artist for this concert (Saturday 10 November) is the brilliant young pianist Olga Scheps.
All the JMS concerts take place in the Linder Auditorium and can be booked through Computicket. Tickets can also be bought on the day, at the box office (although please note that there is no credit card facility at the Linder). Students 23 years and under (with a valid student card) and scholars gain entry for a mere R40.
JMS members who sign up for the full year of concerts pay a much-reduced rate for each concert and also get a free programme at each concert. For enquiries about membership, please contact Avril on 0121 728 5492 or Herman on 083 228 2917 or consult the website (www.jms.org.za ) for full concert details.