Dear Friends,

The New Year has started with a bang and we are almost into the second month of 2015. I trust that you have had a marvellous break over the season and that you are ready to take on that which is to follow with vigour.
The first symphony season has just started and the programme for it and the rest of the seasons later in the year are really something to look forward to. We at the FOM Committee have also been busy and are in the process of arranging a number of exciting events.

The first of these will be the annual late‐summer soirée at Old Mutual House in Bishopscourt which has been scheduled to take place on Sunday, 8 March 2015 at 17.30 for 18.00. The programme that we have chosen is a very relaxed and romantic one with works by Haydn, Schubert and Beethoven. The artists this year number among the best that Cape Town has to offer: Francois du Toit, Magdelene Minnaar, Peter Martens, Maria Tien‐Du Toit (who will be here from Holland for the concert), Patrick Goodwin, Paula Gabriel and hopefully Leon Bosch (until his recent retirement the principal double‐bass player of St Martin in the Fields under Sir Neville Marriner). Members of the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra will open the evening. The concert will be followed by a light supper and wine will, as usual, be part of the offering. The price for the soirée is R380 per person and R350 for members of the Friends. As you will know, the venue can only accommodate 120 guests and the concert is usually over‐subscribed so it is essential that you reserve your seats well in advance in order to avoid disappointment. You may do so by telephoning either Ruth Allen at (021) 794‐2435 or myself at (082) 557‐6566. I expect tickets to be sold out very quickly.

The rest of the year will be taken up by the following:

  • 31 March 2015: FOM Annual General Meeting to be held at Artscape
  • June 2015: A soirée with pianist Ammiel Bushakevitz playing Chopin and Schubert
  • August 2015: The annual FOM Quiz that will again be held at the Glen Country Club (Date to be advised)
  • 19 November 2015: The FOM Gala Concert at the City Hall
  • December 2015: A soirée with the world‐renowned pianist Gustavo Romero

It is likely that one or two more events will be added to this calendar and you will be informed as soon as they have been finalised. Details of the artists that will appear in the Gala Concert are not yet available. I can however inform you that if our plans for this event materialise – and I have every reason to believe that they will – Cape Town music lovers can expect to enjoy a musical experience similar to that provided at the 2014 Gala Concert. Please also note that although the concert is being advertised together with the normal CPO concerts, the ticket prices for the Gala event will not be the same as regular concerts and will not form part of the series booking. You will be advised of details of the Bushakevitz and Romero soirées in good time.

I should also like to draw your attention to the fact that Dr Axel Horvath, our very committed FOM member and Chairman of ProCAPEriccio – a support group for the CPO ‐ from Würzburg in Germany, will be celebrating a significant birthday on 12 February 2015 and he has decided to sponsor the concert on that evening in celebration of that event. The programme that he has chosen is a very exciting one and I trust that as many of the members of the Friends as possible will come to the City Hall to help him celebrate his birthday.

Having had a look at the renewals of membership for 2015, I am rather disappointed that so few members have yet done so. I would encourage you to do as soon as possible. Please bear in mind that the bookings for the autumn symphony season starts on 9 February 2015 and unless your name appears on the revised list of FOM members that is provided to Artscape Dial‐a‐Seat and Computicket, you will unfortunately not receive the additional 10% discount to which FOM members are entitled. The same consideration applies to the discount for tickets to the soirée on 8 March 2015. Members should please note that they can collect their new membership cards at the FOM table in the foyer of the City Hall on concert evenings. Alternatively you may request our Acting Secretary Karinina Ingwersen to mail the cards to you. She may be reached on (082) 373‐ 0952 or A gentle reminder that it is our goal to reach 1000 members by the end of the year and that we are counting on each and every member of FOM to help us achieve that objective! A membership application form is again attached for your convenience.

As you know the admission to the final dress rehearsal of the orchestra on Thursday mornings has for many years now been R30 and scholars R20. The Committee has decided that this should be increased to R50, while the price for scholars remains the same.

Members should also please not forget about the project to obtain an “acoustic shell” for use by the orchestra to improve the very poor acoustics at Artscape. As I indicated previously the funds that will be required to make this project a reality will probably be in the region of R1 million. I am sure that the membership of the Friends will generously contribute to this project. Contributions marked “Shell” can be made by EFT into the FOM account (Account Name: Friends of Orchestral Music; Standard Bank, Rondebosch; Branch: 025009; Account No: 071 03 1146) and the payment advice sent to Dave van Reenen at Cheques may posted to him at 23 Oxford Road, Wynberg 7800.

I am also very happy to announce that the Friends Committee has agreed to recommend to the FOM Trust that a bursary for a period of 3 years be granted to Noluvuyo Nteta. Noluvuyo is a Masidlale Strings Teaching Project violin teacher and a project manager at Hlengisa Secondary School where she teaches 25 individual violin students and has been accepted for study at Stellenbosch University for her Music Diploma. The Committee has agreed also to recommend to the Trust a grant for a period of 4 years to Jeffrey Armstrong who will be studying at the University of Birmingham and lessons with Professor Pieter Schoeman. Jeffrey is a member of the Bridge House String Ensemble, Bridge House Jazz Band, Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (CPYO), Hugo Lambrechts Symphony Orchestra (ad hoc), Hugo Lambrechts Senior String Orchestra, and South African National Youth Orchestra (SANYO). The Committee and I, and I am sure all the members of the Friends, take this opportunity of wishing Noluvuyo and Jeffrey every success with their studies.

Finally I should like to pay a special tribute to Dr Ellen Ancker for her generous donation of R4 800 and Mr Denis le Jeune for his monthly contribution of R500 to FOM. I am also delighted to announce two contributions of R5000 each to FOM by FOM Committee members Dave van Reenen and Norbert Furnon‐Roberts. The support of these FOM members in particular is much appreciated. We hope soon to have the tax exemption situation completed and that such members will then be able to receive tax exemption for their donations. We are working hard to finalise this matter rapidly.

Best wishes and enjoy your music!
Derek Auret

“Music is an outburst of the soul.” ― Frederick Delius