South African National Parks (SANParks) in partnership with Total South Africa and First National Bank (FNB) hosted the 2nd annual Golden Gate Classics this weekend (30 November – 2 December) at Golden Gate Highlands National Park, with the soothing sounds of nature making for a perfect paring with rhythmic smooth jazz and classical music that serenaded guests in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains.

Friday evening was headlined by the SAMA award-winning pianist and composer Nduduzo Makhathini, accompanied by the soulful and lyrical jazz vocalist, Lindiwe Maxolo.

Saturday night boasted a classical concert and a melodious line-up of classical musical talent. The artists comprised of one of some of South Africa’s most vocally versatile classical performers Aubrey Lodewyk and Germany based soprano, Caroline Nkwe. They were accompanied by the Gauteng Opera and a 40 piece symphony orchestra conducted by experienced musical director Kutlwano Masote.

SANParks Managing Executive of Tourism Development and Marketing Hapiloe Sello, stated, “This year our aim was to surpass the success of 2017 and we are proud to have achieved that. The Golden Gate Classics is a musical event like no other in South Africa. There are several jazz and classical music events in the country but none can boast the majestic outcrops of the Brandwag as backdrop."

"This was a magical and very exclusive weekend of musical indulgence. With the high turnout this year and greater demand for tickets we are setting the bar in entertaining music lovers whilst exposing them to what our beautiful park has to offer.”

The event saw some 250 guests from around the country converge on Golden Gate Highlands National Park to revel in a weekend of food, music and nature. Other activities that guests could participate in included abseiling, canoeing, horse riding, nature walks, swimming, and hiking, while some guests seized the opportunity to indulge their cultural appetite and toured the Basotho Cultural Village for a glimpse into the traditional life of 18th century Basotho people.

“As the event grows in stature we know that the 2019 SANParks Golden Gate Classics will be the best yet”, concluded Sello.