Cape Philharmonic Orchestra

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Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO)
Cape Philharmonic Orchestra.jpg
Founded 1914
Location Cape Town, Western Cape SA

The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) is an orchestra based in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.


Cape Philharmonic Orchestra

For 100 years,[dated info] the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) has been among the foremost orchestras in Africa.[1][better source needed] Its first international tour to the United Kingdom took place in the inaugural year of 1914 followed by others to the UK[when?], Taiwan to celebrate its 75th anniversary,[when?] the International Festival of Music in the Canary Islands in 2000, and the United States in 2011, when it was warmly received by American audiences.[citation needed]

The CPO is versatile, performing not only symphony concerts at the highest level with internationally acclaimed conductors like Richard Bonynge and soloists such as Sarah Chang and Joshua Bell, but a host of others[who?] as well. Apart from symphony concerts, the CPO plays pops,[examples needed] rock[examples needed] and family concerts, and performs for the Cape Town Opera. A tour with Cape Town Opera in the United Kingdom is planned[dated info] for July 2014. This all adds up to 140 performances per year.[citation needed]

The orchestra's heritage is sound.[according to whom?] From the early days[specify] when conductors of world stature[who?] chose to make the CPO their home,[weasel words] the orchestra has flourished artistically. Internationally fêted musicians such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jascha Heifetz, Noël Coward, Nigel Kennedy, Midori, Shlomo Mintz, and Metropolitan sopranos Elsa van den Heever and Pretty Yende have performed with the CPO[when?]. In the early days,[specify] British conductors such as Sir Thomas Beecham and Sir Charles Mackerras visited, as did Carlo Zecchi.[citation needed] Its system of permanent conductors changed in the 1960s when a series of guest conductors came to bring fresh ideas,[not specific enough to verify] while a principal or principal guest conductor took responsibility for artistic stability. The orchestra is acknowledged for the standard of its playing,[by whom?] and for the enthusiasm and energy with which these musicians perform[by whom?] no matter the genre. While classical symphonic music is their chosen repertoire, they play crossover and African musician[further explanation needed] with equal facility and passion.[citation needed]

Financially supported by the local authority[who?] from the start, the CPO was cut loose in 1987 and since then has supported itself through ticket sales and corporate sales, with the local lottery as a some-time benefactor.[citation needed] A financially sustainable model is geared to job creation and skills transfer.[further explanation needed][citation needed]

The orchestra also contributes handsomely in making Cape Town part of a global culture.[weasel words] Its name is on many CDs and DVDs for the international market. Repertoire includes Mahler and Wagner songs for RCA Red Seal, the Schnittke oratorio Nagasaki and two symphonies (Nos. 0 and 9) on the BIS label, a double CD of orchestral masterpieces on the Dux label, the Barber and Korngold violin concerti with Alexander Gilman, which won a Diapason d'Or, which were chosen for the Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic in-flight entertainment, and most recently four Spohr Clarinet concerti with its own principal clarinet, Maria du Toit, on the Brilliant Classics label.[citation needed] The last eight years have seen a popular summer music festival which has brought in outstanding artists,[who?] including in 2014 the Russian "Paganini of the Trumpet", Sergei Nakariakov.[citation needed]

Met and South African soprano Pretty Yende and Sir Richard Bonynge after acclaimed concert performances of Lucia di Lammermoor in 2013.

CPO youth training programmes[edit]

The orchestra runs an outreach and community programme that includes four youth orchestras and grassroots training projects in various townships which are home to disadvantaged children.[citation needed] This programme, Masidlale (from the Xhosa word "let us play") produces a widening community reach to parents and family members who support it the children in public and private concerts.

Young musicians are mentored by established musicians, and these young musicians continue the programme by teaching even younger ones to play string instruments. This is done with a view to making the CPO truly representative at the highest level,[further explanation needed] and with quality as a criterion. Its success through this coaching and mentoring programme is evidenced by the fact that some of the youth orchestra musicians have passed auditions to play as substitute musicians with the CPO.[citation needed]

The CPO also hosts the Len van Zyl Conducting Competition.[further explanation needed][citation needed]

Sarah Chang visited the CPO's Masidlale projects
Brandon Phillips, conductor of the CPYO, at a family concert
The Masidlale students in concert
Noluvuyo Nteta runs the Masidlale project in Gugulethu

Principal Guest Conductor[edit]

Martin Panteleev, principal guest conductor

Appointed principal guest conductor in 2012, German-based Bulgarian-born Martin Panteleev has worked with over 30 different orchestras from the English Chamber Orchestra and Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra to the Berliner Symphoniker and the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra.[citation needed] He has appeared in concert halls such as Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw and the Berliner Philharmonie; festivals include the Rheingau Musikfestival, MDR Musiksommer and Schleswig-Holstein.[citation needed]

Born into a family of musicians, Martin Panteleev took his first violin lessons at the age of four.[importance?] He studied at the Lyubomir Pipkov National School of Music in his home town of Sofia, then at the Bulgarian State Academy of Music, and at the age of nine years he played his first concerts[importance?] in Italy, Greece, Brazil and Russia.[citation needed]

As associate conductor of the Philharmonia of the Nations Orchestra founded by Leonard Bernstein and Justus Frantz, he performed more than 1,000 concerts[examples needed] from 1999 in Europe, Asia and the USA.[citation needed] Since 2011, he has been chief conductor of the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra. Martin Panteleev is also a prolific[according to whom?] composer, having written three symphonies for big symphony orchestra, a cantata for choir, orchestra and soloists Planet Steps, a percussion concerto and several[specify] more. His compositions have been performed in Germany, China, South Africa, Bulgaria and Macedonia.[citation needed] He holds a Distinguished Award from the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture, one from the Brahms chamber music competition, a Béla Bartók Prize, a composition prize at the Earth and People International Competition in Sofia 1995.[citation needed]


External links[edit]

See also[edit]