Dear Music Lovers

We hope you are keeping well and warm as we reach mid winter.

We are all settling into the new world of technology, and our first ever Zoom AGM last week went pretty smoothly, and we thank all those who participated or sent through proxy forms.  Apologies to those who had any difficulties logging on – with all new technology comes inevitable gremlins.

These challenges have also been faced by the National Arts Festival – which is now fully up and running after some ‘teething’ difficulties over the first couple of days. Never before in South Africa has such an online festival taken place – with an incredible array of talks and webinars, concerts, theatre, dance and more. For all the details go to  Highlights for us particularly include the Cape Town Philharmonic, being featured in 2 concerts of chamber music especially recorded for the festival, as well as the Verdi Requiem which was performed in November 2018 with conductor Perry So.  For your diary their schedule is the:
From tomorrow – Wednesday 1st July:
Mendelssohn Octet
with guest violinist Alissa Margulis and guest concertmaster Farida Bacharova
Schubert Trout Quintet
with pianist Francois du Toit, guest concertmaster Suzanne Martens, Azra Isaacs (viola), Dane Coetzee (cello) and Roxane Steffen (double bass)

Thursday,  July 2:
Mozart Divertimento K 136
Elgar Serenade for strings
Dvorak Serenade for winds and strings

Sunday, July 5: Verdi Messa da Requiem, conducted by Perry So.  This concert was a Duet Endowment Trust gala presented by the CPO and Cape Town Opera in 2018.

Principal Cellist of the CPO – Peter Martens is also featured at the festival performing the Bach Cello Suites over separate days which was recorded for the Festival from the beautiful cellar of La Motte wine estate.  All events are available to watch until 16th July – so there is plenty of time still to ‘attend’. A daily pass can be bought for R80 or you can buy a full festival pass for R600.  There are also short events on the ‘fringe’ which are advertised with separate ticket prices attached.

In addition to the festival there is another concert for you to enjoy online – the third in a series of streamed classical recitals in iconic venues around the Cape.  Concerts Connect presents the TwoPianists Duo of Nina Schumann and Luis Magalhaes who will perform a programme of Mozart, Chopin and Barber on Sunday 5th July from 3.30pm at Quoin Rock.  The concert is also available to watch for 3 days and tickets are on sale at Quicket.

Closer to home Fine Music Radio continues to bring you 24 hours of classical and jazz on 101.3fm as well as DSTV channel 838 and streaming via their website  They have collaborated with the CPO to revisit some of the best symphony concerts from the archives recorded over the last few years. Concert Date at 8 – repackaged with informative introductions by Rodney Trudgeon and John Woodland begins this Thursday 2nd July at 8pm.  Thanks to your support the Friends of Orchestral Music will be sponsoring this first broadcast (aswell as 3 more in the series) which not only brings the CPO once more into your homes, but also supports our only classical music radio platform – Fine Music Radio – who also need our help during these tough times. Gerlinda Moser, ever generous, has also offered donated towards a number of the broadcasts.  If you would like to know more about donating to FMR for this new series celebrating the CPO please do contact me.

Lastly as I was about to sign off this newsletter the very sad news came to me of the passing of cellist Marian Lewin – without a doubt one of South Africa’s most beloved musicians.  Marian was one of South Africa’s finest cellists, friend to all and passionate music lover who has touched the lives of just about every classical musician and she will be sorely missed. We send our regards and thoughts to her husband Harold and their family, and attach below a notice from him.

We hope all FOM supporters keep well and safe and we look forward to being in touch again very soon. Please do contact me with any queries and please keep all our Cape Town musicians in your thoughts.

Kind regards
Louise Howlett
for Friends of Orchestral Music

Our beloved Marian – Goody, Mama Cello, Wife, Mother, Grandmother Teacher, Colleague, slipped away today.

Peacefully, graciously, quietly and with dignity and with no suffering, as she wanted.

After a wonderful life of 80 years, 55 years of Marriage and 75 years of playing her precious Cello, she was ready to go.

She expressly wished to have no funeral, burial or gravestones and wanted to be cremated. She did not want mourning, but wished to be remembered by her music, which was her life.

She left her loving family, adoring pupils and colleagues and dear friends with not a single enemy.

She touched and sometimes changed many lives from the stagehands to world famous soloists, her smile heartened everyone.

In her memory, if you wish play some of her music and perhaps make a donation to your favourite charity, she would have liked that.

Her worth was  beyond Rubies – Harold Kimmel