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Sunday, June 9, 2013


The Eastern Cape is in for a musical treat as the National Youth Orchestra will perform Sasol Concerts in Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown during the National Arts Festival.

The 2013 National Youth Orchestra will be conducted by internationally renowned GĂ©rard Korsten and concerts will be held at the Feather Market Centre in Port Elizabeth and as part of the National Arts Festival at the Guy Butler Theatre in Grahamstown. On the programme are Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7 and Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis, and also the premiere of a SAMRO-commissioned piece by South African composer Robert Fokkens.

Orchestra courses are held throughout the year, but the Sasol-sponsored winter course is a highlight with 150 participants and a wide selection of top musicians from across the globe. The international faculty provides world-class teaching and mentoring for individual instruments, as well as tuition in subjects as diverse as instrument repair, composition, arts administration and ensemble playing.

“Sasol has been supporting the South African National Youth Orchestra Foundation’s initiatives since 1979. We are committed to the development of the arts and culture in South Africa and believe in our young talent. The Sasol course attracts top-quality musicians from across the country and the public performances delight audiences year after year,” said Richard Hughes, Sasol’s Sponsorship Manager.

Selected entirely on merit, top-notch participants in the National Youth Orchestra programmes come from across South Africa. Participants are selected to form part of one of two orchestras: the National Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Concert Orchestra.

Three-quarters of South African orchestral musicians in the symphony orchestras today have played in the National Youth Orchestra, and many of the alumni are now professionals in top orchestras around the world. The National Youth Orchestra was founded almost half a century ago, and in its history it has hosted annual orchestra courses, concerts, international and national tours as well as workshops for young musicians. It has become one of South Africa’s most successful music institutions.

Sakhile Humbane, a flautist from Durban, said that he has had the privilege of being part of the National Youth Orchestra for the past two years. “I've learnt a tremendous amount about orchestral and wind ensemble playing that I would never have received from anywhere else in South Africa, not to mention the amazing friends I've had the opportunity to make. Nationals are awesome.”

Another orchestra member Kobus Dippenaar, a bassoonist from Potchefstroom said, “This is the most wonderful experience I have had thus far in my life. Fantastic music, wonderful friends and the opportunity to see new places.”

In Grahamstown, the National Youth Orchestra  will perform in the Guy Butler Theatre on June 29 at 11h00 and the Concert Orchestra will perform at the Sports Hall, Kingswood College, on June 28 at 15h00. Booking is at Computicket.