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ICMF BREAKS GROUND (article first published : 2001-06-21)

Imagine the widely acclaimed English Chamber Orchestra, Xhosa-woman overtone singing, Schubert lieder, African drum-singing and the ever popular Ladysmith Black Mambazo performing with a classical orchestra. All this and more is what music lovers can expect during the first International Classical Music Festival of South Africa (ICMF) to be held in Gauteng from August 11 to 21.

This groundbreaking musical feast, in partnership with Classic FM, brings together for the first time internationally renowned musicians and the best of South African talent in no fewer than 10 superb concerts over 12 days. Among the star-studded performer line-up will be high profile Durban singers Linda Bukhosini and Bongani Tembe.

The Festival's artistic director is South African born baritone Robert Brooks. Now based in Vienna, he believes that in addition to its aims of promoting an international cultural exchange to the benefit of the South African arts community, the ICMF will also “promote the blending of Western and African musical traditions, promising a very exciting contemporary art form"

The ICMF has received wide endorsement from, amongst others, government, the National Arts Council, the European Union, the British Council and arts bodies as well as the private sector, both locally and internationally, and boasts a wide range of artistic partners.

The internationally acclaimed English Chamber Orchestra under the baton of their principal conductor, Ralf Gothoni (Finland), will be joined by other European conductors and soloists on their maiden visit to South Africa. This orchestra will perform with the KZN Philharmonic later this year.

The inaugural Festival will focus on Gauteng this year but intends to reach wider areas of the sub-continent from 2001 onward. More information on www.icmf.co.za




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