Mozart to be celebrated

This year, executive director of the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival (JIMF), Richard Cock, is taking inspiration from the musical genius himself, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who once imagined the entire world feeling the power of harmony.

The ninth annual Mozart Festival, set to take place between 21 January and 5 February, will be themed ‘That’s all, folk(s)!’ with explosions of beautiful folk music celebrated in various Johannesburg venues throughout the festival.

“It’s going to be an exciting look at how folk and indigenous music and western art music have interacted and influenced each other across the centuries,” said Cock.

Featuring everything from a brand-new opera titled A Sea Point Story, by Bongani Ndodana-Breen, to a recital by local songbird Magdalene Minnaar, as well as a South African adaptation of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf – Pieter and the Horrible Hyena – the festival will offer an assortment of must-see musical events.

Of course, there are also the regular JIMF highlights on the programme including Cinema Improvisando at the Bioscope in the Maboneng precinct, featuring Paul Hamner on keyboard, as well as the delightful Viennese New Year Concert and Orchestra from Scratch which embraces members of the public.

On 4 February, the Johannesburg Musical Society will collaborate with the Mozart Festival as they start their year with a piano recital by Joanna MacGregor.

One of the special features of this gem of a festival is the composer-in-residence. Now in his early 40s, Neo Muyanga is no stranger to South African music fans. Born in Soweto in 1974, his musical talent took him from local community choirs to Trieste, the home of the madrigal tradition, in Italy. Armed with his fascination and understanding of a vast array of musical styles, he has composed chamber operas, music plays and ensembles.

The festival takes place at a range of Johannesburg venues, including the Linder Auditorium, the Wits Theatre, Maboneng, The Edge at St Mary’s School in Waverley and Scott Gym on Wits University’s Education Campus.

Taking music awareness to newer and greater musical heights is what JIMF aims to accomplish this year.

Details: 0861 915 8000;

Read: The magic of music


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Geshika Vorster

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