About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

26 April 2015

The Alma Chamber Orchestra with The Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble

When compared to many European cathedrals, the Regina Mundi church in Soweto is neither imposing, nor ornate - in fact it looks like a warehouse in some respects. But, it has a storied past as a refuge for anti-apartheid activists, a seat of TRC hearings and commemorates some of the iconic events in an amazing stained glass window panel. It is an apt location for a concert on peace - especially in the times of xenophobic violence.

The main sponsor of the South African leg is the Ichikowitz Family Foundation; and its founder Ivor Ichikowitz gave a passionate speech on the need for peace drawing upon the numerous conflicts around the world. All ironic, given that Mr Ichikowitz makes his money from the Paramount Group - a noted manufacturer in the defense industry.

The French orchestra, fronted by concertmaster Anne Gravoin, has had a short tour in South Africa, playing at Linder Auditorium and in Durban in the past week; and this was the last performance - a free concert together with Buskaid.

The programme consisted of a number of movements from Vivaldi (Concerto for four violins, concerto for trumpet), Elgar (romance for bassoon), Mozart (horn concerto) and Bellini (concerto for oboe). The Buskaid joined the orchestra to play Khachaturian's Masquerade Waltz and the South African national anthem, before Buskaid finished the concert off with their traditional selection of kwela, which had quite a few members of the audience singing and dancing along.

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