2015 Johannesburg International Mozart Festival – A Masquerade Affair

The 7th annual Johannesburg International Mozart Festival (JIMF) will be a celebration to remember. In keeping with past years, the theme for this year is Masquerade. The Festival will run from the 24 January to 8 February 2015 and will host a variety of concerts, workshops, master-classes and collaborations which explore the phenomenon of masks and disguises as well as artistic and human identities.

Kicking off the 2015 Festival are two pre-festival Viennese New Year Concerts. Owing to the overall theme of the Festival, the concerts are entitled “Maskenfest” and will take place on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 January at the Linder Auditorium; featuring music by the Strauss family, Kreisler, Lehar, Waldteufel and others. The soloists will be Magdalene Minnaar (soprano), Kathy Neuland (alto), with Richard Cock as conductor of the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra (JFO). All people attending these concerts are encouraged to bring and wear a mask.  Prizes will be offered for the best mask.

On Tuesday 27 January, there will be a Symphony Concert at the Linder Auditorium conducted by Ekkehard Klemm with performers Magdalene Minnaar (soprano), Kathy Neuland (alto), Nicholas Nicolaidis (tenor), Ferdinand Liebenberg (bass) and Magda de Vries along with the Chanticleer Singers and the Chamber Choir. They will perform the Mozart Requiem and Klatzow Mass. A second Symphony Concert will take place in the same venue on Friday 6 February featuring Sir James Galway and Lady Jeanne Galway playing the flute, accompanied by the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and the South African National Youth Orchestra.

Internationally acclaimed opera singer and recitalist, Professor Josef Protschka of the Cologne Musikhochschule, will be leading a week-long Vocal Masterclass in conjunction with the University of Pretoria, which will culminate in a final Recital on 7 February at Northwards House. One participant could be selected through this programme to attend a fully-sponsored year of vocal and academic study with Prof Protschka at the Music College in Cologne.

A Masterclass for Choirmasters will be presented by the Principal of the Musikhochschule, Dresden, Professor Ekkehard Klemm at the University of Pretoria on 28 January. The classes will be conducted to coach six young choirmasters in selected movements of Mozart’s Requiem in D minor K 626.

The 2015 Composer-in-Residence Peter Klatzow and Mika Conradie will be curating an interdisciplinary collaboration between photographer Lebohang Kganye and three South African composers; Matthew Dennis, Antoni Schonken and Diale Mabitsela on 31 January. The showcase titled “Listening to the Image” will premiere three new works by the composers based on a selection of pieces by Kganye and developed through a series of workshops, which will be followed by a roundtable discussion at the Goethe Institut.

Klatzow’s world premiere performance “Masks,” will be performed during the first Chamber Music Concert at Northwards House on 1 February. The showcase will include works by Robert Schumann, with performances by Cèline Moinet (oboe) and Florian Uhlig (piano).

Northwards House will also play host to the second Chamber Music Concert – performed by Karlsruher Konzert-Duo: Reinhard Armleder (cello) and Dagmar Hartmann (piano) on 5 February.

Paul Hanmer, improviser extraordinaire is back to set the tone by incorporating live music with silent movies, “Der Mann Mit Der Eisernann Maske” (The Man Behind the Iron Mask) and Phantom of the Opera in ‘Cinema Improvisando’, on 29 and 30 January, at The Bioscope.

Sue Cock will present the Exploration Concert entitled “Mozart Unmasked” at Wits Art Museum on 4 February where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “String Quartet in C major K 465” will be explored.

The Final Concert will take place at the Linder Auditorium on 8 February, and sees Florian Uhlig (piano), Magda de Vries (marimba), and members of the JFO, presenting the following works: Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fantasy in C minor for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra Op. 80 and a world premiere of Peter Klatzow’s   work, commissioned by the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival and SAMRO, entitled “All People Become Spirit People When They Die”.  The concert also features Anthea Moys’ Performance Artwork “Misconduct” with dancers from Move into Dance Mophatong.

In addition to attendance at the performance events, musical enthusiasts are encouraged to take part in the annual Orchestra from Scratch. Open to anyone who can play a musical instrument (minimum of Grade 3), participation should be arranged by contacting the JIMF office on (011) 447 9264.

Full details of the programme for the 7th Johannesburg International Mozart Festival (JIMF) are available on the Festival’s website: www.join-mozart-festival.org. Venues for this year’s Festival include the Goethe Institut, Linder Auditorium, Northwards House, Scott Gym, St. Francis Church in Parkview, The Bioscope, The Edge at St Mary’s School in Waverley, Parktown High School for Girls, the University of Pretoria and Wits Art Museum (WAM). Tickets (from R55 to R450) are available from Computicket or the JIMF Office, with special prices for senior citizens and students on selected concerts. Please contact (011) 447 9264 or visit www.join-mozart-festival.org for more information, and “like” the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival page on Facebook or follow the Twitter account (@JoInMozartFest) for regular updates on Festival happenings.




About the JIMF

Originally organised in 2006 in commemoration of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 250th birthday anniversary, the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival has developed into a highly successful and well-loved annual classical music event, with popular conductor Richard Cock at the helm as Music Director, together with concert pianist Florian Uhlig as Artistic Director. The Festival encompasses the interdisciplinary and the innovative through several programmes. The 2015 Festival is dedicated to exciting encounters with other forms of art such as dance, film, literature and visual art; reflecting how music – in all its genres, styles and backgrounds – can enter into a meaningful dialogue and stretch perceptions beyond the classical canon. This spirit is also articulated by the Festival’s ever growing emphasis on educational initiatives for South Africa’s young talents.

Author: PR Officer

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