Franschhoek Chamber Music Festival set to light up the winelands with melodious masterpieces

The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra performing in Cape Town on June 4, 2019. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency/ANA

The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra performing in Cape Town on June 4, 2019. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency/ANA

Published Jan 13, 2024

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Cape Town - Classic music lovers can look forward to the highly anticipated third Franschhoek Chamber Music Festival with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) in the winelands valley from February 15 to 18, promising four days of enchanting performances and musical brilliance.

This year's festival boasts an impressive array of performing artists.

The festival's 10 concerts showcase the extraordinary musicians of CPO and several guest artists, among them the Berlin-based Bushakevitz siblings, Avigail (on violin) and Ammiel (piano).

Music lovers, be prepared to be whisked away on a musical journey of elegant sound and soulful melodies of live instrumental music.

Chamber music masterpieces will cover all the musical genres, from baroque to contemporary.

The CEO and artistic director of the CPO, Louis Heyneman, said: “This has always been a perfect opportunity to take great music to a wider and appreciative audience, helping to fulfil our mandate to enhance the quality of life for all communities.”

This year, the flagship of the CPO's youth development programme, the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, has a larger part to play – many of its musicians will perform in a concert this year, expanding on their role in previous years where young musicians performed around the hospitality tent.

Curator Peter Martens, who is also principal cello of the CPO, has assembled a diverse programme which includes solo performances such as a Bach Partita with Avigail Bushakevitz and works by South African giants such as Peter Louis van Dijk and female composers such as Fanny Mendelssohn.

Dr Peter Martens
Avigail Bushakevitz. Picture: Supplied
Ammiel Bushakevitz. Picture: Supplied

For the founders of the festival, Nic and Ferda Barrow, the festival's evolution is evidence that Franschhoek is the perfect place to host a chamber music festival.

“We have seen audiences grow from the first to the second, and we appreciate the positive comments made by so many domestic and international visitors that this festival is one of the best people have attended,” said Nic Barrow.

Ferda added: “What's more, the whole village benefits from hotels and bed and breakfast establishments to restaurants, shops and wine estates and outlets.”

This year's art exhibition is devoted exclusively to Belgian-born South African artist Jan Vermeiren, who also designed the visual image for the Franschhoek Chamber Music Festival.

Vermeiren is renowned for his oils and murals, lithography and etching, blending Africa’s ancient cultures with modern elements, fostering a deeper understanding of African identity.

Tickets for the Franschhoek Chamber Music Festival star from R260 on Quicket.

Full programme can be found on the festival website.

For more information, contact Alisha Erasmus, the festival organiser, at 066 166 7178.

Weekend Argus