Four-day festival in Franschhoek

Peter Martens is the festival’s music curator.

Franschhoek will host the town’s first four-day chamber music festival from Thursday February 24, in collaboration with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and the Rupert Music Foundation.

The festival’s anchor is the ten official chamber music concerts performed by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) musicians.

Several additional performances and exhibitions (music and the visual arts), special meals, and MCC tastings have already been planned and booked.

The festival will offer visitors and concert-goers a collection of chamber music and unique Franschhoek experiences.

“Everyone is delighted that musicians from the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra will perform several masterpieces in a chamber concert style,” says Nic Barrow, chairman of the FCMF.

“Given what the town has to offer, the chamber music festival is long overdue, especially now that so many music lovers and connoisseurs are desperate to experience an intimate occasion of excellence. And there is no better place than this town to combine chamber music with haute cuisine, world-class MCC, and fine art,” says Mr Barrow.

The official concerts will be performed in the Dutch Reformed Church (where an elevated stage was built, and the acoustics is superior) and the Chamber Music Hall of the old wine cellar of the La Motte Estate.

Impromptu and smaller concerts and performances will take place in the cellars of Le Lude, various estates, restaurants, and guest houses.

Louis Heyneman, the CEO of the CPO, says he expects the Franschhoek Festival to be exceptional, specifically because chamber music is an intimate and incomparable experience.

For people with limited time, every concert will be a memorable experience on any given day.

The initial offering of the ten formal concerts was planned and conveniently spaced to allow attendees to attend all, leaving concert-goers with plenty of time for explorations in between.

The art doyenne Ilse Schermers Griesel is the festival’s visual art curator and the festival artist is Jan Vermeiren, who designed the festival’s official visual image.

An exhibition of his latest creations will be combined with the work of other recent South African artists in many mediums.

The wine curator of the festival, the well-known wine writer Emile Joubert, says various tastings for select MCC and other wine cultivars will be presented daily.

Visit www.fcmf.co.za for more information and for the full festival programme.