Dear Friends of Orchestral Music,

Let me first of all again wish everyone a very Happy New Year and hope that 2016 has, thus far, treated you well. I am sure that it is going to be a good year and especially from a music point of view, we can look forward to some wonderful concerts and recitals.

The Friends of Orchestral Music kicked off its 2016 activities with a recital by the acclaimed American pianist Gustavo Romero at my home on Sunday, 10 January. The recital was fully subscribed in the week after it was first announced in the December 2015 newsletter and the 70 guests were treated to a superb programme consisting of Alban Berg’s Piano Sonata Op. 1 and Schubert’s Drei Klavierstücke, D.946 and his last Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat, D. 960. Gustavo Romero gave a wonderful performance of these three works and received a rousing reception from the audience. It was also very pleasant to spend some time with the guests after the performance when snacks and drinks were served.

2016 Soirées

Old Mutual House: Saturday, 14 May 2016

The next event that we are busy organising is the annual late-summer soirée at Old Mutual House that will take place on Saturday, 14 May 2016 at 5pm – please note the change from the previously announced date of 6 March. The programme is a very exciting one – with a number of special elements – and will consist of works by Rachmaninoff and Mendelssohn. I will be announcing the works to be performed in a next newsletter. Please bear in mind that this very popular event is usually fully subscribed soon after it is announced so if you want to avoid disappointment I would suggest that you book your seats as soon as possible – we can accommodate no more than 130 guests. Tickets are R450 (which includes a light finger supper and drinks) and R400 for up-to-date members of the Friends. Booking is open as of the circulation of this newsletter and you should please be in touch either with myself ( or 082-5576566) or Ruth Allen ( or 021-794 2435) to reserve your seats. I should note that we are trying to move away from the “cash-at-the-door” way of doing things and would thus appreciate it if you could do an EFT for the number of tickets that you require and email the proof of payment to the Friends’ Treasurer at after which your reservations will be confirmed. The banking details are: Account Name: Friends of Orchestral Music; Standard Bank, Rondebosch; Branch: 025009; Account No: 071 03 1146. Please use your name and “3 April” (e.g.” xxxx/3 April”) as a reference. The correct reference is very important and your seats will be confirmed upon receipt of proof of payment.

Baroque concerts, Easter 2016

The Friends have been asked to cooperate with Camerata Tinta Barocca and others to present a concert of baroque music during the week of Easter 2016 with Andrew Lucas, who has been Master of the Music at St Albans Cathedral in the UK since 1998. As an organist he made over 25 CDs with St Paul’s Cathedral Choir and two solo recordings. He has played concerts throughout the UK, Europe and the USA. He was Artistic Director of the St Albans International Organ Festival from 1999 to 2007, directing four festivals (2001 to 2007) and the artistic consultant for the restoration of the Harrison & Harrison organ in the cathedral, completed in 2009. One of the UK’s best organists, he will be performing in a number of concerts which will include Johann Sebastiaan Bach’s Easter Oratorio. We are delighted to participate in this and we are assisting with his travel. Details of these exciting events will follow.

I hope that we will host further soirées later in the year and that we can have as an objective the opportunity to present a chamber music concert once approximately every two months. We are looking for suitable venues and would appreciate hearing from members of the Friends who might be willing to make their homes available to accommodate between 70 to 100 guests and have a grand, baby grand or boudoir grand piano in good condition. The Friends will naturally take care of the incidental expenses involved in such a soirée including the cost of drinks and snacks and the rental of glassware and crockery.

FOM membership

I would like to thank all members who have already renewed their membership for 2016 and I again enclose a membership application/renewal form for the benefit of those who still have to do so. Members should please allow at least 5 working days for their new applications for/renewals of membership to be processed and Dial-a-Seat to be advised. Please note that discounts in respect of season tickets and soirées will only be extended to those members who have already renewed their annual membership when next they book their tickets. Please also note that in respect of Symphony Concert Season Tickets, discounts will only, as I explained in a previous newsletter, be granted to members who book through Artscape Dial-a-Seat (021-421 7695). Booking for the next symphony season opens on 1 February 2016 and only members who have renewed their membership by that date will receive the appropriate discounts (SINGLE AND STUDENT membership entitles the holder to an additional discount of 10% on ONE season ticket; FAMILY MEMBERSHIP entitles the holders to additional discount on TWO season tickets and CORPORATE MEMBERSHIP entitles the holder to additional discount on EIGHT season tickets). We will of course supplement the FOM membership list provided to Dial-a-Seat as memberships are renewed and they will also be instructed in connection with the number of discounts applicable. Unfortunately, FOM cannot allow any exceptions to this rule.

Membership cards will be disposed of as indicated on the membership renewal form so please indicate your preference. We are introducing a new membership card this year which will be able to be renewed for multiple years and will explain how it functions in a letter accompanying the card. Please also ensure that your contact details are up to date, especially as far as telephone numbers and email addresses are concerned.

Annual General Meeting

The FOM Annual General Meeting is to be held before the end of March and an announcement of the exact date will be made in the next newsletter. The AGM this year will be an important event and a number of matters that will have a crucial impact on the affairs of FOM will require the attention and approval of members. These include the registration of FOM for tax purposes, the future of the FOM Trust, the position regarding possible tax exemption and consequent changes to the FOM Constitution.
These matters have been occupying the Committee since the last AGM and we are now in a position to report to members on progress in this regard and to seek approval for the changes that will be required. I raise the matter of the AGM already at this stage since the attendance at the AGM in 2015 was dismal and I would like to think that members will attend in significant numbers this year. FOM is an organisation that consists of all its members and all should therefore play an active part in its affairs.

I shall be writing again next month and will then be in a position to let you have further details of the soirées and other events. In the meantime, I trust that you will enjoy the music that is on offer in the various concerts that make up the 10th International Summer Music Festival that commences on 4 February 2016!

All good wishes,

Derek Auret
Chairman: Friends of Orchestral Music (Cape Town)