Part of the attraction of the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival is the repertoire performed at the evening concerts by the all-star line-up of artists from around the world. Many pieces of new music seldom see the light of day beyond their premieres because audiences of so-called classical music are by and large conservative in their tastes. Artistic Director, Nina Schumann, assesses the ‘wish lists’ of musical works submitted by the performing artists themselves months in advance of the SICMF and puts together a programme of special repertoire, painstakingly balancing old and new music to create programmes of interesting and attractive masterpieces.
This year the standard repertoire greats include Mendelssohn’s much-loved Octet for Strings, Handel/Halvorsen’s Passacaglia for violin and viola (this version however will feature the extraordinary talents of Gareth Lubbe not only as viola player but overtone singer as well), Tchaikovsky’s poignant Piano Trio in A minor featuring the husband and wife duo of Alissa Margulis (violin) and Alexander Buzlov (cello) with Luis Magalhães at the piano, Brahms’ sublime Quintet for Strings Op 111 and Saint-Saëns majestic Third Symphony featuring Zorada Temmingh at the organ.
New works featured alongside these stalwarts of classical music include the world premiere of a specially commissioned work by Antoni Schonken and Arthur Feder paying tribute to Johnny Clegg, Howard Hanson’s “Concerto da camera” for string quintet and piano featuring Nina Schumann as soloist, and works by Fernando Altube, Bruce Adolphe, Hans Roosenschoon and Matthijs van Dijk. For those who enjoy the occasional cross-over, don’t miss the special SICMF arrangement of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck featuring four solo cellists backed by a large ensemble of festival musicians!
Festival Director, Peter Martens (cellist), says, “Throughout history, a plethora of music has been composed. Artistic Directors of festivals and concert series around the world now not only have a duty to programme that which has stood the test of time, but to sift through today’s composers’ most recent offerings and select the compositions that contain the magic that will enable them to endure from hereon. A hundred years from now, the musical works we perform at the SICMF today will not be judged to have been old or new, they will simply be rated as excellent pieces of music still being performed.”
The SICMF takes place between 5 and 14 July and tickets are selling at Computicket. See the full programme and roster of artists at www.sicmf.co.za. For further information please contact Fiona Grayer on 021 808 2358.