Dear Friends of Orchestral Music,

The second last month of the year has arrived and it feels like only yesterday that we greeted 2014 with the usual excitement. With the end of October the spring series of symphony concerts has also arrived and the opening concert was a wonderful affair – the CPO continuing the very splendid playing that we have been fortunate to experience throughout all their concerts.

There is also much that has been happening with the Friends. Firstly the Gala Concert that we are hosting on 4 December 2014 to honour the centenary of symphonic music in Cape Town and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra is fast approaching and you are encouraged to book your tickets early to avoid disappointment. Capetonians are notoriously people who leave it to the last minute to book and very often this can lead to seats, or preferred seats, not being available. The evening promises to be a splendid affair. Apart from the fact that we will have the fabulous Benjamin Schmid as soloist – he appears in a book on the 30 best violinists in the world that has just appeared – Maestro Martin Panteleev will be on the podium. The programme is also very exciting: Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave), Paganini’s 1st Violin Concerto and Rimsky‐Korsakov’s Scheherazade. However the Friends have, as its centenary gift to the CPO, commissioned a Concert Overture entitled “Congratulations” from one of South Africa’s foremost composers, Peter Klatzow which will be performed as the opening work. I have heard a midi version thereof and it is a bubbly, celebratory piece which is very easily accessible. We are very excited that apart from everything else, the concert will also have a world premiere performance on the programme!

The concert will also see the launch of the book “A Century of Symphony .. The story of Cape Town’s orchestras” that will also be on sale during interval and at the post‐concert reception. Speaking of which: all Friends who are attending the concert are invited to the post‐concert reception. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS AN EVENT FOR MEMBERS OF THE FRIENDS ONLY and you should please have your membership cards ready. Access to this event will be very strictly controlled. For catering purposes I would also hugely appreciate it if you would be good enough to indicate your attendance to me at, or before 25 November 2014.

The Friends are also asking all its members and others to sponsor a member of the orchestra playing at the Gala Concert. Sponsorships range from R1000 for one of the concert masters, R500 for a principal player and R100 for an ordinary player. People have responded very generously to this request but there are still a number of sponsorships available. If you would like to contribute please contact Shirley Parkfelt on (021) 876 2691 or to register your sponsorship. A list of all sponsors will be published in the souvenir programme that will be printed for the concert. It is all for a very good cause.

Also at the concert the Friends will announce a donation of R100 000 to the Orchestra as part of an initiative launched by Mr Ton Vosloo to secure 10 such donations in the orchestra’s centenary year. We are of course very grateful to each and every one of our members without whose continued support this would not have been possible. You are valued partners in this enterprise of ensuring the continuation of classical music in Cape Town and we appreciate it very much. In this regard I am also extremely pleased to announce that one of our members who lives in Würzburg, Germany, Dr Axel Horvath, has also pledged an amount of R100 000 to this initiative. We are very grateful to him for this magnificent gesture and also for another initiative that I will deal with below. We cherish such Friends!

Another exciting development has been the establishment in Germany, by one of the FOM’s long‐time and ardent supporters, Dr Axel Horvath to whom I referred above, of an organisation called “proCAPEriccio”. This organisation which has its own founding Constitution and has been registered with the appropriate tax authorities in Germany, has as its purpose the raising of funds for the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra via FOM from amongst its German members and supporters. All donations to “proCAPEriccio” will enjoy tax exemption from the German authorities. The tax exemption question is one that FOM is also actively pursuing here via the FOM Trust but I am afraid that it might take some time before that advantage is established for our members. But we are pushing as hard as we can and recent noises made by government in this regard appear to be quite promising and appear to indicate that we will in fact receive this tax relief. I should be very grateful if members of the Friends who have friends, family or contacts in Germany will let me have their contact details that I can pass on to Dr Horvath to invite them to join “proCAPEriccio”.

A very successful soirée was held at my home recently at which two compositions by South African composer David Earl were premiered, a Sonata for Viola and Piano and a Quintet for Cor Anglais and Strings. It was wonderful to have David himself at the piano. Members of Camerata Tinta Barocca performed up to their usual exceptional standard. The Friends are very grateful for the support that we also receive from them.

The next Friends soirée will be held at Old Mutual House on Sunday, 8 March 2015. Preliminary discussions regarding the programme are underway and it promises to be a spectacular evening. Please diarize the date. We would like to host more soirées but require venues where we can accommodate upwards of 60 people and which preferably has a piano. If you have any suggestions please let me know. I look upon the Friends as an interactive group so as much feedback as possible will be welcome. Your opinion is valuable to us!

Wishing you good music and good listening. Until next time!
Derek Auret

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” Aldous Huxley