Festival heads for spectacular finale

The trumpet section of the Festival Concert Orchestra (FCO).

Every year at the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival (SICMF), patrons and performers alike experience the thrill of classical music at its finest.

This year has been no different, with audiences rising to their feet (in some cases before the final cadence has even sounded) in rapturous applause for the performers and indeed, for the music itself.

With the final weekend now in sight, concert goers can look forward to two very different orchestral programmes.

The Festival Symphony Orchestra (FCO) will perform under the baton of Joost Smeets, a Dutch maestro whose international reputation precedes him, and who is currently serving at the SICMF for a second consecutive year.

The FCO will perform two concerts in the Endler Hall,both of which will feature the music of our time, H Andriessen’s Ricecare, and one of the most iconic symphonies of all time, Berlioz’s Symphony fantastique.

On Friday July 13, these works will frame Dohnanyi’s second violin concerto with Russian violin virtuoso, Boris Brovstyn, as soloist.

On Sunday July 15, the concerto will be replaced by Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, with Belgian cellist, David Cohen, as soloist.

The FCO will perform in the Endler Hall on SaturdayJuly 14.

South African born Xandi van Dijk will conduct a programme of works by Verdi, Matyila, Pärt, Bernstein, Tchaikovsky and van Dijk (Xandi’s father).

The work by Peter Louis van Dijk is the Musicians of Bremen based on the well-known fable describing a developing camaraderie between unlikely compatriots as they seek the city of freedom. Xola Ntshinga of SuperSport fame will be the celebrity narrator.

On Sunday July 15, while the FCO undertakes its final dress rehearsal in the Endler Hall, Xandi van Dijk, Xola Ntshinga and the 100-piece FCO will go over to Cloetesville, to perform a free concert at Rietenbosch Primary School, at noon.

The grand finale in the Endler hall takes place at 4.30pm.Tickets for the remaining concerts can be bought at Computicket.

For more information on the festival, visit www.sicmf.co.za or contact Fiona Grayer at 021 808 2358.