national Arts Festival Banner

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


(The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra. Pic by Val Adamson)

An impressive line up of phenomenal eclectic music – from Ladysmith Black Mambazo to Beatenberg; Platform Jazz to Nibs van der Spuy; and the KZN Philharmonic to Seb Goldswain – is on the programme for the second Michaelhouse Music Festival over the weekend of April 22 to 24.

Following an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response in 2015, the weekend programme has been thoughtfully-curated to offer a smorgasbord of world-class music to cater for a myriad music lovers who can enjoy the best of South African pop, choral, acoustic, jazz and classical music in the tranquil setting of Balgowan.

The packed programme will coincide with the School's Old Boys' Day celebrations: an occasion which traditionally attracts visitors from around the globe to spend the weekend in the beautiful Balgowan valley.

A major coup for a festival is the event's opening act: a-cappella giants, multi-Grammy Award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who will be jetting in from a tour of North America, the Caribbean and Australasia to entertain the audience in the Midlands.

Greg Theron, Rector of Michaelhouse said: “We are absolutely delighted to have the harmonious talents of one of South Africa’s best known and loved music acts not only performing but opening the festival for us. I believe the array of music we have over the three days offers something for everyone. For the young or old, or hip and happening to classical or jazz lover, we have it!”

The second day kicks off with not only a wonderful line up of music, but also a full set of winter sports fixtures against old rival, Maritzburg College.

Opening the music festival on Saturday are Abri Venter, William Silk and Audrey Mbuyazi with a Musical Extravaganza; a show highlighting music from musicals, films and much-loved songs in the Music School.

Hannes Ebersohn and David Orr perform works by Bach, Franck and Hurford with their organ recital in the Chapel. All the way from Newcastle, the Newcastle Brass Band will get the feet tapping as the razzmatazz sounds of the Marching Band performs ahead of the first team’s kick off. As the sun sets, catch the delectable Platform Jazz in the main theatre. Phenomenally talented guitar virtuoso Seb Goldswain takes to the stage and audiences can look forward to the hugely popular pop group, Beatenberg: the Cape Town-based band who have had huge success with the chart-topping tracks of Pluto, Beauty like a Tightened Bow, Rafael and Chelsea Blakemore, the trio will be performing in the Indoor Centre.

Slowing things down for a Sunday, the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra String Quartet and Wind Quintet get things off to a leisurely start in the morning in the theatre foyer. A concert of works by Italian Baroque composer, Vivaldi, features KZN Midlands Youth Choir, the KZN Philharmonic Ensemble, and soloists Leandros Stravrou (guitar) and Nic Forster (violin) in a programme which features Vivaldi’s Guitar Concerto, Violin Concerto and Gloria in the chapel.

Also in the chapel is Autumn Voices, a heavenly overload of choral voices as the KZN Midlands Youth Choir accompanies the Michaelhouse Chapel, Clifton Nottingham Road and Newcastle’s Ferrum High School. Also in the chapel is The Dance with Lara Kirsten and Morné Van Heerden - a piano and clarinet concert performing an eclectically vibrant and sensual feast of music from Hungary, Argentina and Poland.

The KZN Philharmonic under the baton of Maestro Richard Cock, alongside Michaelhouse’s William Silk, will perform a feast of global sounds in Round the World in 80 Minutes.

Wrapping it all up, the internationally-renowned duo of Guy Buttery and Nibs van der Spuy are the cherry on top of an incredible weekend of music in the Midlands.

The Michaelhouse Music Festival is well on its way to establishing itself as a Red Letter Day in every lover of music's calendar and can be enjoyed from April 22 to 24.

For more information email or visit the event’s Facebook page.