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Monday, October 10, 2022


The Board of Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra (Mzansi NPO), has appointed an Artistic Planning Committee, formed with the purpose of engaging with and advising the Orchestra on a number of matters, including the following:

-the allocation of the artistic budget of the Orchestra, in particular, the funding to regional and youth orchestras;

-the provision of high-level input into the planning processes of the Orchestra;

-advising on the selection criteria for musicians who play for Mzansi NPO;

-advising on the selection of cadets and fellows and other the Mzansi NPO artistic-related matters.

Justice Leona Theron, Chairperson, Mzansi NPO said: “The future of orchestral music in South Africa looks bright. I'm delighted that artists and arts managers of such high calibre have agreed to assist Mzansi NPO in a crucial area of our work which relates to artistic programming, planning and the distribution of funding to regional and youth orchestras and other entities.”

The Artistic Planning Committee comprises distinguished artists and arts managers, including Nina Schumann, Samson Diamond and Karéndra Devroop. Schumann holds a piano professorship at the University of Stellenbosch, passing on her artistic knowledge and producing students of the highest caliber. In addition, her services to the South African musical community include co-founding an independent record label, Two Pianists Records, and the founding of the renowned Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival in 2004, which has quickly become the best-known chamber music festival on the African continent. Two Pianists Records assumed the role of Yamaha International Artists in 2014.

Diamond is the leader of the award-winning Odeion String Quartet since 2013, resident at the University of the Free State. He is a lecturer at the Odeion School of Music and concertmaster of the Free State Symphony Orchestra (FSSO). Diamond has enjoyed an association with the London based, Chineke! Orchestra since its inception in 2015. Chineke! is Europe’s first black and ethnic minority orchestra, and Diamond has had the honour of performing as their concertmaster for various international tours.

On his part, Devroop is the Director of the University of South Africa’s Music Foundation. He is also South Africa’s leading saxophonist, having performed with most of South Africa’s top jazz and classical talent, and collaborated with an impressive list of artists from all over the world. He has several live and studio recordings to his credit. In addition to his small ensemble and big band work, he has performed as soloist with the Lamont Symphony (Colorado), Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Sanremo Symphony Orchestra, Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, Ochestra del Teatro Traetta and Unisa Symphony Orchestra.

Devroop said: “I'm honoured to serve on the Mzansi NPO Artistic Planning Committee as I believe the Orchestra will continuously assist and add value to the benefit of the entire orchestral industry in South Africa. I'm also glad to be working so closely with Mr. Bongani Tembe on this committee as I have immense respect for the massive contribution he has made to music and the arts in South Africa over many decades.”

Launched in July, 2022, Mzansi NPO’s role is to identify, develop and nurture young and talented South African orchestral musicians and to help outline a career path for them in order to transform the orchestral industry, and create innovative community engagement events and programmes aimed at connecting classical music to a broader audience. An important objective of the orchestra is to use music and concerts to bring together South Africans of all races and ages with the aim of promoting nation building.