The Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra, an orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop, begins its first national tour of South Africa next month.
From December 15the group will visit various communities in our country, performing the masterful work of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 alongside accomplished soloists and local choirs.
For this performance, the orchestra has brought together an impressive line-up of musicians.
Marin Alsop is a classical music superstar and is the concert master of the orchestra, with violinist Pieter Schoeman being the concert master of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
The soloists are powerhouses too, including mezzo soprano Michelle Breedt, who has performed in concert halls internationally, and baritone Msimelelo Mbali whose accomplishments extend to Europe where he will perform in the 2022/ 23 of the English National Opera.
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Local choirs featured on the tour will include the Gauteng Choristers, Tshwane University of Technology Choir, Mzansi Choir and New Apostolic Church Choir.
The tour takes the band to three cities: Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town between December 15 and 21. Be sure to catch their performance at Cape Town City Hall on December 21.
“Through our diverse and inclusive programs, the Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra is committed to transforming lives and bringing people together through the power of music,” said Bongani Tembe, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Orchestra. Mzansi National Philharmonic.
He goes on to say that “bringing together excellent South African musicians under the direction of a legendary conductor, like Marin Alsop, is a great honour”.
Tembe promises that the audience will experience the work as highly artistic, full of vitality and commitment, which he says represents the characteristics of the orchestra.
Conductor Marin Alsop is also looking forward to conducting the orchestra for the tour.
“I’ve had the privilege of performing all over the world, but taking part in a three-city tour in South Africa is a first for me – and I couldn’t be more excited,” she explains.
“I love what the Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra is doing, not only in their country but also further afield. Music and the arts have a unique power to uplift society, and I appreciate how this orchestra is committed to not only achieving the highest artistic goals, but also takes its responsibility to the community seriously.
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Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, popularly known as the “Choral Symphony”, is often considered Beethoven’s greatest work, and the orchestra will perform it in a way never before seen. Its themes of tolerance, unity and joy join the values of Nelson Mandela and the concept of Ubuntu.
Pieter Schoeman says he “couldn’t ask for a better homecoming than Beethoven’s 9th Symphony – it promises to be the kind of concert we’ll be talking about for many years to come.
The Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra was launched earlier this year as part of an initiative by the South African National Department of Sports, Arts and Culture. The idea is to broaden the country’s orchestral experience for both musicians and audiences.
The initiative includes funding for regional and youth orchestras, which is being finalized as the winners will be announced before the end of the year. It also aims to support young musicians studying locally and internationally.
Judge Leona Theron, chair of the orchestra’s board of directors, said: “After months of planning, we are delighted that the inaugural national tour of the Mzansi Philharmonic Orchestra has finally arrived. We are delighted to welcome our friends to share the stage with us as we enter a new era.
As we raise this new banner together, I have no doubt that we will experience a level of excellence, artistry and inclusivity that we have only glimpsed before.
Tickets for the concerts on the tour are available here.
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