A weekend of classic jewels for Franschhoek

One can hardly imagine a more relaxing and inspiring way to spend a weekend than one filled with music in the Capewinelands in the late Spring. The Franschhoek Classic Music Festival taking place from 29 to 31 October will bring together excellent musicians and a variety of classics and world music to Franschhoek for a joyous weekend of recitals and chamber music initiated by well-known pianist Christopher Duigan.

The artists participating in this years festival are the celebrated US pianist Bryan Wallick, the well-known Stellenbosch-based cello and piano duo Peter Martens and Luis Magalhães, German guitar virtuoso Ulrich Busch, London-based saxophonist and clarinettist Joanne Rozario, soprano Lente Louw, Bulgarian-born accordionist Stanislav Angelov and baritone Federico Freschi.

The events take place in beautiful surroundings, and in some cases include meals in historic and exclusive settings. The programme comprises the following:

· Friday 29 October 19:30 (NG Church, tickets R90): A recital by Stellenbosch-based cello and piano duo Peter Martens and Luis Magalhães to launch their new CD of the complete sonatas for cello and piano by Beethoven. They perform the Sonatas for Cello and Piano in A major Op 69, in C major Op 102 no 1 and the rarely performed Sonata for Horn (or Cello) Op 17.

· Saturday 30 October 11:00 (NG Church, tickets R90): US pianist Bryan Wallick, the 1997 gold medalist at the Vladimir Horowitz International Piano Competition in Kiev, gives a piano recital on the new grand piano in the NG Church. The programme includes music by Schumann, Debussy and Liszt , among others Liszts transcriptions of Schubert songs (Gretchen, Ave Maria, Erlkönig) and the bravura Horowitz/Liszt Rákóczi March.

· Saturday 30 October 13:00 & 17:00 (Screening Room at Le Quartier Français, tickets R130): Ulrich Busch, the German guitar virtuoso and winner of the Radio France Competition 1990 in Paris, gives a recital of popular guitar music from around the world. It includes folk music from Ireland and Japan, and guitar classics from Brazil, Spain and Argentina. Guests will enjoy wine and snacks on arrival at the intimate luxury venue and enjoy a special preview of the Franschhoek Artists exhibition in the IS ArtGallery.

· Saturday 30 October 19:30 for 20:00 (Café Bon Bon at La Petite Dauphine, tickets R350): London-based Joanne Rozario (saxophone) joins Christopher Duigan at the gala dinner concert. Playing selections from their recent CD Close Your Eyes and Listen, the programme of modern and traditional classics, crossover improvisations and up-beat world music-inspired music is blended with a four-course dinner. Included is the world première live performance of the ‘Six Drinking Songs’ by Richard Guinness, including the ‘Bar-Stool Tango’ (as heard on Fine Music Radio, Cape Town).

· Sunday 31 October 11:00 (NG Church, tickets R90): The sublime combination of soprano, clarinet and piano provides a rare treat on a Sunday morning. The exciting young Cape Town soprano Lente Louw, Joanne Rozario (clarinet) and Christopher Duigan (piano) collaborate in a much-anticipated performance of Schuberts Shepherd on the Rock. This concert also features the music of Robert Schumann as part of the worldwide celebrations of the 200th anniversary of his birth. Lente Louw performs some of her favourite Schumann songs including Frauenliebe und leben’, while Rozario plays selection of Schumanns Romances and Duigan plays the intimate Arabesque.

· Sunday 31 October 12:30 for 13:00 (Bread & Wine, tickets R270): Bulgarian-born accordionist Stanislav Angelov, now based in Cape Town and leader of the famed Cape Town Tango Ensemble, joins forces with pianist Christopher Duigan for a delightful programme exploring many popular styles for these two instruments: café music from France and Italy, jazz improvisations and tango rhythms from the tango halls of Argentina. Enjoy a relaxed three-course meal while listening to music exuding appeal, charm and passion.

· Sunday 31 October 15:30 (Café Bon Bon at La Petite Dauphine, tickets R100): The very popular baritone Federico Freschi performs in the Festival Finale concert after lunch under the oak trees (weather permitting) or in the 200 year-old barn against the backdrop of the Franschhoek valley mountains. This concert also features festival musicians Joanne Rozario (saxophone), Stanislav Angelov (accordion) and Christopher Duigan (piano) for an informal and free-wheeling music get-together. Book a table for lunch from 12 noon, or join the audience in time for the concert.

Christopher Duigan, who is based in KwaZulu-Natal, studied at the University of Natal and at UCT. He continued with postgraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with Brazilian virtuoso Arnaldo Cohen. Duigan has performed extensively with all the leading South African orchestras, including the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic, CapePhilharmonic and Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestras and has a repertoire of more than 25 concerti. As solo artist he has achieved a popular following through his innovative presentation and programming featuring a broad and eclectic taste in music.

He is one of an exclusive circle of past and current Steinway Artists (including names such as Arthur Rubenstein, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Vladimir Horowitz, Alicia de Larrocha,Alfred Brendel, Evgeny Kissin and Lang Lang). He is committed to promoting classical music locally and further afield.

Booking enquiries: NG Church Concerts – Franschhoek Wine Valley Tourism (Tel: 021 876 2861), Café Bon-Bon (Tel: 021 876 3936), IS Art (Tel: 021-876 8443) or Bread and Wine (Tel: 021 876 4004/3692). Tickets for the NG Church Concerts are also available at the door.

Visit www.franschhoekclassic.co.za for detailed information about the festival and www.franschhoek.org for accommodation information.

Ends

Issued on behalf of the Franschhoek Classic Music Festival by Extra Hands Public Relations

Media enquiries: Lia Labuschagne, 021 551 0042/082 893 4265 e-mail xtrahand

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