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FRIENDS OF MUSIC CALENDAR (article first published : 2007-01-28)

The Friends of Music have an impressive line-up of prestigious performers for their regular recitals in 2007. In January 9, there was a recital by John Ntsepe, currently completing his MMus at the University of Pretoria. He has been on the UNISA Roll of honour twice and has been awarded several prizes; including the Raubenheimer Scholarship 2005. He was also named the Sasol Young Musician of the Month by the Classic Feel Magazine in 2006.

February (two concerts) February 13: Vladimir Milosevic. One of Serbia’s most acclaimed young pianists who has been taught by, amongst others, Lazar Berman, Vladimir made his first New York Debut at the Carnegie Recital Hall in 2005 as the 1st prize winner of the International Piano competition in Vicenza. His programme includes works by Bach, Schubert, Chopin, Beethoven and Schumann. Another concert on February 27 features Ji-Hyun Park. The Korean soprano was first prize winner of the 5th UNISA Vodacom International Singing Competition. She has studied at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan and she has received international acclaim for her many operatic roles. Her programme includes works by Wolf, Debussy, Strauss, Rachmaninov and Rodrigo.

March (two concerts) March 6: Konstantin Soukhovetski. This flamboyant Russian pianist is the 2006 recipient of the Julliard William Petschek Piano recital award. He made his debut recital at the Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center in April 2006. He will perform works by Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Scriabin and Glass. There will be a further concert on March 13 with Avigail Bushakovitz (violin) and Ammiel Bushakovitz (piano). These talented siblings are both winners of numerous prizes. In 2006, Avigail won five prizes including first prize at the UNISA South African Scholarship Competition, the Lubner Competition and the Pick ’n Pay Travel Award. They will present works by Bach, Mozart, Paganini and Tchaikovsky.

April 24: Anzel Gerber. This outstanding South African cellist who has performed in recitals in London, Vienna, Moscow and Oviédo is furthering her doctoral studies in music performance at the Goldsmiths University of London. Accompanied by Manolis Neophytou, she will play works by Schubert, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov.

May 29: Dror Biran (piano) and Sergei Ostrovsky (violin). Both members of the acclaimed Aviv String Quartet, this internationally acclaimed pianist and violinist from Israel team up again to present a programme of works by Beethoven, Ravel and Brahms.

June 19: Kearsney College Choir. Once again Friends of Music presents this exuberant, young International Award winning Choir under the direction of Angela Stevens.

July 31: Gustavo Romero & Sontonga Quartet: The acclaimed Sontonga Quartet returns to thrill KZN music lovers. Described as “a technically brilliant pianist” (Washington Post), American Gustavo Romero has performed in over 20 countries.

August 14: Ensemble Hans Gál featuring South Africans Mark Nixon (piano) and Shelly Levy (clarinet) with Hungarian violinist Katalin Kertész. The beautiful dialogue between these award winning players will greatly enhance the experience of this recital. Their programme will include works by Debussy, Khachaturian and Bartók.

September (two concerts) September 4: Trio: Pieter Schoeman (violin), Anmari van der Westhuizen (violoncello) and Albie van Schalkwyk (piano). Pieter, who has performed throughout the World, is Concertmaster of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In recognition of Anmari’s talent, a Sonata for Solo Cello and a Cello Concerto has been dedicated to her. Albie is a well-known chamber musician and accompanist in South Africa. They will perform Brahms piano trios. A further concert on September 25 features Ewa Poblocka. International artist of the highest repute, Polish pianist Ewa has performed in several countries in Europe and abroad. She has broadcasted widely and recorded for DGG, Victor JVC & Pony Canyon amongst others. She will perform works by Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Chopin and Szymanovski.

October 16: Pieter Jacobs. A Fulbright scholarship enabled this talented pianist to study in the United States leading to further concert tours abroad. He will play works by Mozart and Prokofiev.

November 6: Jan Pálenicek (violoncello) and Jitka Cechova (piano). Jan, a graduate of the Prague Conservatory, has had a series of musical triumphs and Jitka has won several laureateships. Works by Schumann, Brahms, Bloch, Saint-Saëns, Granados, Nin and Martinu make up his programme.

December 4: Rising Stars. Young talented musicians showcase their talent, in association with the SA Music Teachers’ Association.

All recitals and concerts take place at the Durban Jewish Centre, Old Fort Road, Durban. There is safe parking. Book at Computicket.

From January 28 to February 14: Friends of Music is involved in the Seeking Refuge project which includes recitals, exhibits and lectures. (See separate articles). Seeking Refuge focuses on German Jewish immigration to Durban in the 1930’s and refugees from all parts of Africa to Durban.




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