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Cape Philharmonic Orchestra mourns the loss of double bassist Kyle Smith

Kyle Smith. Picture: Supplied

Kyle Smith. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 5, 2023


The theatre industry suffered a huge blow when news broke of the death of Cape Philharmonic Orchestra double bassist Kyle Smith.

The 25-year-old from Retreat died of natural causes in hospital at the weekend.

Smith was a soloist in last year’s “Classical Music Concert”, presented by the CPO and Artscape Theatre, when he performed the “Burlesque for Double Bass and Orchestra” by Allan Stephenson.

He was a student of CPO principal double bass Roxane Steffen and was doing his post-graduate performance diploma at UCT, where he graduated with a Diploma in Music Performance.

He was also selected to play as a member of the German Youth Orchestra.

The much-loved musician began his musical journey when he was 6 years old at the New Apostolic church, where he first played the recorder and then moved on to the violin, without formal lessons.

In 2014, he started playing the double bass at Beau Soleil Music Centre, with Dorothy Holder. After Grade 12, he was accepted to do a certificate programme at Stellenbosch University under the tutelage of Steffen in 2017 and 2018.

In 2019, he applied for his Diploma in Music Performance at UCT and graduated in 2022.

Kyle Smith. Picture: Supplied

He has played for many orchestral ensembles, in which he held principal bass positions, including the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

CPO CEO Louis Heyneman said: “Kyle was a talented and gifted musician, always willing to help, always with such a positive attitude. He will be missed as a musician and for his humanity.”

Bernhard Gueller, CPO principal guest conductor, said: “Kyle was always one who paid attention to what was required.

“I remember particularly when he stepped in as principal double bass at the SICMF (Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival) last year and not only led the section very well but communicated so well with his colleagues. His smile was infectious.”

Cape Philharmonic Orchestra Choir. Picture:Supplied

“Spring Symphonies”

Where: Cape Town City Hall

When: September 7 at 7.30pm ( and every Thursday in September)

The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra is hosting the “Spring Symphonies” season at City Hall.

With conductor Bernhard Gueller on the podium for three concerts and Robert Maxym on the podium for the final concert, the concerts display the depth and diversity of the country’s foremost oldest and symphony orchestra.

This Thursday, September 7, the Norwegian cellist Torleif Thedeén, will perform the “Cello Concerto No 1 by Shostakovich”. Gueller will direct the CPO in the prelude to “Kovantshchina” by Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 2, “Little Russian”.

Thedéen, who “truly loves” the Shostakovich concerto, says he has “always had a strong emotional bond to his music. In the slow movement there is so much beauty and pain at the same time, which makes it totally unique.”

Opening the concert season will be the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensemble performing movements from “Puzsta” by Belgian composer Jan van der Roost. Faan Malan will be on the podium.

The following Thursday, Australian-British pianist Jayson Gillham will make his debut with the CPO, after the Covid-19 pandemic prevented him from doing so in 2020.

He will perform the “21st Piano Concerto by Mozart”. The other works on the programme are “The Swan of Tuonela” by Sibelius and two by Mendelssohn: Notturno from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and the Symphony No 4 in A, “Italian”.

The concert will open with “Elegy for Orchestra” by John Corigliano and close with “Symphony No 4” in D minor by Robert Schumann. This will be the last led this season by Gueller.

Ticket prices range from R150 to R360 and can be purchased through Computicket.

Aldo Brincat in ‘The Moon Looks Delicious From Here’. Picture: Supplied

“The Moon Looks Delicious From Here”

Where: The Drama Factory

When: September 15, 16 and 17.

The Moon Looks Delicious From Here” is a 70-minute, one-man show which explores immigrant family dynamics and how heritage and identify are formed in a first-generation citizen.

Written and performed by Aldo Brincat, it is directed by Sjaka Septembir.

Brincat is that first-generation citizen, with a complex heritage. Born in the mid 1960’s Brincat and his family find their maturing years are set against the backdrop of a country in political upheaval.

The drama is driven by a loving father and son – each from different eras and motherlands.

Here Brincat plays an array of characters in and around this fragile young nuclear family; some foreign, some local – all of whom are finding or losing themselves in the ever-changing political landscape of their new homeland, South Africa.

Bookings can be made at or by calling 073 215 2290. Tickets cost between R130 – R150.