The second Cape Town Baroque Festival (CTBF) is yet again set to be a highlight on the city’s music calendar. With local and international soloists and ensembles performing, the CTBF will offer audiences a varied programme of top quality baroque music.

Camerata Tinta Barocca (CTB), Cape Town’s baroque music ensemble, launched this annual festival in 2017, and this year’s edition builds on that tradition of providing an exciting programme of exquisite baroque music.

The festival runs from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 September. Over the weekend, the CTBF will present eight events. For the first time, the festival also collaborates with the popular Cape Town Concert Series in a programme of baroque chamber music.

All the concerts will feature works by 17th– and 18th-century composers, and will be presented at various venues in Cape Town.

CTB Artistic Director and harpsichordist, Erik Dippenaar, says, “This year, in keeping with the festival’s aim, we bring together early music players from across South Africa. In addition, we have invited two international specialists: South African-born Carin van Heerden (baroque oboe and recorder) and Raphael Pouget (natural trumpet), both from Austria. Carin is an international leader in her field, head of the Institute for Early Music and Performance Practice at the Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz, Austria, and co-founder of the L’Orfeo Barockorchester.”

According to Dippenaar, a special feature of the 2018 festival is to focus on the development of young talent in the field of early music. “Van Heerden will plough back her knowledge and expertise by teaching master classes to young recorder players, and in our opening concert we feature young mezzo-soprano Lusibalwethu Sesanti, a student at Stellenbosch University.”

The CTBF opens on Friday 21 September at 20:00 with “Glorious Baroque”, a concert featuring Vivaldi’s popular Gloria (RV 589). Sopranos Lynelle Kenned en Elsabé Richter, as well as mezzo-soprano Lusibalwethu Sesanti will be the soloists. The VOX Cape Town choir will be accompanied by CTB under the direction of Dippenaar.

Van Heerden will be the soloist in Telemann’s Recorder Concerto in F in this opening concert, which will be held at the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in De Waterkant.

Carin van Heerden

Van Heerden will present master classes to young upcoming local recorder players on Saturday 22 September, from 11:00 until 14:00, at St Andrew’s.

As at the 2017 festival, heritage architect John Rennie will again present his popular walking tour – this time of the historic UCT Hiddingh Campus in Orange Street. During the two-hour long walking tour, held on Saturday 22 September at 13:30, participants will see historically significant buildings on that campus and hear the stories behind them.

On Saturday 22 September at 16:00, a unique concert featuring music of the iconic musician and entertainer David Bowie, dubbed the “Chameleon of Rock” and a master of reinvention, will be held at Alexander Bar in Strand Street.

Stellenbosch-based composer Jan-Hendrik Harley has arranged Bowie’s music and reimagined them as baroque compositions. Harley (violin, guitar) will direct the Ensemble Je Ne Comprends Pas, consisting of Joshua Frank (recorder, guitar), Mariechen Meyer (double bass) and John Pringle (percussion).

This concert will be repeated on Sunday 23 September at 21:00.

On Saturday 22 September at 20:00, CBTF collaborates with the Cape Town Concert Series for a performance by members of CTB and the Durban-based Baroque 2000, as well as Van Heerden. This concert, to be held in the Baxter Concert Hall in Rondebosch, will consist of a programme of chamber music from the 18th century composers Schaffrath, Vivaldi, Hook and Telemann.

Organ music can be heard on Sunday 23 September at 12:30, when Mario Nell and Winand Grundling present an all-Mozart duo recital programme on the organ of St Andrew’s.

LUTESONG – Uwe Grosser and Lente Louw


The Lutesong duo – Lente Louw (mezzo-soprano) and Uwe Grosser (lute, theorbo, baroque guitar) – performs with Nick de Jager (tenor) and Vera Vukovic (lute, theorbo) in a programme titled “Mixed Doubles – 17th-century pop songs for two voices and plucked strings” on Sunday 23 September at 16:00. The concert, at the South African Slave Church Museum in Long Street, features works by Marìn, Mudarra, Kapsperger and Caccini.

“We are proud to bring Cape Town audiences our second baroque festival. This programme is varied and provides music lovers with a variety of works that suit all tastes. This festival enables a creative exchange that is very valuable and necessary in the field of early music,” says Dippenaar.