Like many other performance spaces in the world, the Endler Concert Series, as part of the Music Department at Stellenbosch University, had to suspend its weekly concerts due to the Covid-19 outbreak, and the measures put in place to contain the virus.
Artists and various role-players in the sector are looking to online platforms as an interim measure that could offer artists some financial recourse in the face of months of lost work that evaporated due to the global pandemic, as well as to find a way to maintain contact with audiences in this time of social distancing and little contact.
The Endler Concert Series has taken the initiative to revise the 2020 concert planning and gather resources to be able to present an online concert every two weeks, from Sunday August 23 to the end of the year, featuring students, alumni, lecturers and local artists.
“The vision is to keep the Endler concert hall alive, until we return to face-to-face events, so that audiences can safely enjoy professionally produced concerts from their homes,” says Fiona Grayer, artistic manager.
“I am so pleased this online series strongly supports local content and in fact, seven out of the eight concerts feature works by South African composers. In addition to this, we are commissioning two Cape Town composers, Hugo Veldsman and Matthijs van Dijk, to create new works that will live beyond this crisis.”
Concerts will be free, but if people wish to show support, donations will be possible via a SnapScan with these contributions from the audience going towards recuperating the costs of recording and producing the concerts.
For the SU Jazz Band concert in September, donations will go directly to a charity – the Stellenbosch Work Centre for Adult Persons with Disabilities, who annually partner with the SU Jazz Band to raise much-needed funds for the centre.
The SU Jazz Band concert is generously supported by SAMRO and ConcertsSA.
“We take great pride in our curation of these concerts which present a wide variety of music, including rarely performed works by Nadia Boulanger and Rebecca Clarke. It is a new world for the music industry – events can be produced from anywhere and broadcast to a global audience.
“Our primary concern is the health and safety of our audiences, musicians, and students. It has become very clear that large groups of people will not be able to safely gather for the remainder of the calendar year due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Ms Grayer.
“Currently, we are exploring options for concerts of our departmental ensembles in smaller gatherings when possible but for now we hope our audience will join us in the virtual concert hall.”
For more information about where to watch, when to watch, who will be performing, what will be performed, visit www.endler.sun.ac.za or follow @sukonservatorium on Instagram, or like their Facebook page.