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BONGANI IN SALZBURG (article first published : 2002-08-6)

Bongani Tembe, chief executive and artistic director of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (KZNPO) has been invited to participate in The Salzburg Seminar – Alberto Vilar Project on Critical issues for the Classical Performing Arts. Tembe is widely regarded as one of Africa’s leading arts administrators and is the only representative from the continent of Africa to be attending the 2002 Alberto Vilar Project. The seminar will define some of the critical issues facing classical performing arts organisations in the new millennium.

The Salzburg Seminar will provide a forum for an exchange of ideas among administrators of major symphonic organizations that could lead to new approaches in the ways their organisations plan, function and grow, with a view to contributing to the long-term success of the classical performing art form.

Discussions will focus on new ways to address audience development; fundraising, resources and philanthropy; the impact of new technologies; co-commissioning and residency exchange opportunities; and leadership and management issues. Invitees will include 40 to 50 senior executives of leading symphonic orchestras in Europe, the United States, Russia, Japan and Australia.

The seminar will convene at Schloss Leopoldskron, in Salzburg from July 31. Salzburg is synonymous with the arts – it is the city of Mozart and the Salzburg Festival. Schloss Leopoldskron, an 18th century castle on the outskirts of Salzburg, became the home of the Salzburg Seminar in 1947.

It is the Seminar’s belief, concerned by 53 years of experience, that interesting interaction among peers from diverse backgrounds in a neutral forum will expand viewpoints, facilitate the establishment of worldwide professional networks and effect enlightened change in the future.

Bongani Tembe holds Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees from the Julliard School in New York and, since 1996, has led the Durban-based KZN Philharmonic to be Africa’s premier orchestra. He has championed the Orchestra’s World Symphony Series (WSS) which has attracted many of the world’s leading classical musicians including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Zubin Mehta, James Galway and Simon Estes to name but a few.

Bongani Tembe has also excelled on concert and opera stages and is South Africa’s first African professional opera singer. His commitment to Education and Development (E & D) has propelled the KZNPO’s dynamic approach to its responsibilities in E & D and has seen the growth of one of South Africa’s vibrant community-focused programmes.

Speaking before his departure to Salzburg, Tembe said, “I am looking forward to exchanging ideas with my counterparts from around the world and will come back to share my experiences with others in South Africa. During the Reinhardt years, Leopoldskron was an important gathering place for writers, composers, actors and designers from Europe and abroad, and there could hardly be a more fitting place for this group to come together to discuss the business of art and the art of business”.




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