A celebration of Young Classical Musicians

present the

47th Annual Event

Saturday 1 September 2018 at 19h30
Artscape Theatre
Conducted by Brandon Phillips

A celebration of Young Classical Musicians

The Western Cape Youth Music Festival is a highlight on the classical music calendar presented by Artscape Theatre Centre and the Cape Town Philharmonic orchestra (CPO). This year celebrates its 47th year with 12 extraordinarily talented young classical musical instrumentalists and singers who successfully auditioned to have the opportunity of performing on a professional stage with the CPO. This prestigious concert is on 1 September, 2018 in the Artscape Theatre at 7.30pm.

The soloist’s ages range from 20 to 25 years. Seven are currently studying at the SA College of Music at UCT and four at the University of Stellenbosch. The one exception is eight year old Eléna Monvoisin who is home-schooled and plays the piano.

Also playing piano are Ian Bothma (22) and Shaheel Kooverjee (23). There are three cellists Lauren Wesley-Smith (21), Chris Njapha (21) and Nastassja Pretorius (21). Joshua Louis (21) plays the Violin and Uliana Alekseev (20) Viola. Cameron Williams (21) Clarinet and Lihle Mabhula (20) Flute. Two arias will be sung by Soprano Sinesipho Funo (23) and Tenor Keanan Lyle Mitchell (25)

TOP: Joshua Louis (21) Violin, Sinesipho Funo (23) Soprano, Ian Bothma (22) Piano, Cameron Williams (21) Clarinet.

MIDDLE: Lauren Wesley-Smith (21) Cello, Lihle Mabhula (20) Flute, Shaheed Kooverjee (23) Piano & Chris Njapha (21) Cello.

BOTTOM: Conductor Brandon Phillips & Eléna Monvoisin (8) Piano

Photographer: Bronwyn Lloyd

The appeal of the works presented, as well as good variety in the overall programme content, played an important part in the final selection of these musicians. Much of the biggest repertoire and most exciting to listen to and perform is in the concerto field (instrument with orchestra) and opera field (voice and orchestra). The composers chosen by the soloists include; David Popper, Louis Spohr, Murice Ravel, George Frideric Handel, Edward Elgar, Edvard Grieg, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Camille Saint-Saëns, Cecile Chaminade, Max Bruch, George Gershwin and Frédéric Chopin.

Brandon Phillips, resident conductor and principal bassoon of the CPO conducts the orchestra and spends time with each soloist preparing them for the concert. Concert Master is Patrick Goodwin.

Marlene le Roux, CEO of Artscape Theatre Centre remarks; ‘Once again we are astounded at the standard of these young soloists and welcome the return of two musicians who auditioned again this year. Shaheel Kooverjee performed in 2015, completed his BSc in Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of Cape Town. Throughout his UCT studies, he concurrently studied piano performance. He now has an Honours Degree and is an associate Software Engineer continuing to pursue his classical piano studies through the SA College of Music at UCT’.

‘Cameron Williams performed in 2016 and is in his third year of a Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance, with additional mathematics subjects, at the University of Stellenbosch. He is the principal clarinettist of the US Symphony Orchestra and Wind Band and studies both clarinet and saxophone. Together with many of the soloists this year who are completing their music degrees and have won several awards and scholarship, they also perform with their university, youth and other orchestras.’

‘We applaud the soloists, their teachers, music institutions and parents who nurture and support these young artists as this is a journey of many years. Stepping onto the Artscape stage in performance with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra is a significant milestone in their careers.’

‘Working with young musicians has always been part of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra’s mission, and the Artscape Youth Music Festival is a perfect match’, says Louis Heyneman, CEO of the CPO. ‘The orchestra and its predecessors have been a part of the festival, from the days when David Tidboald first established it in 1971. An integral part of orchestral life in Cape Town until not too many years before his death this year at the age of 92. We know he would have been proud of the young musicians who share the stage this year.’

The adjudicating panel were Alastair Cockburn (Artistic Co-ordinator), Daniel Neal (Librarian and adhoc Cellist for the CPO), Aviva Pelham (well-known Opera Star and Director), Ronnie Samaai (Music Educator and member of the CPO Board of Directors and Phillip Swales (former Music Subject Advisor of the Western Cape Education Department). Their knowledge, support and dedication to this project over years has seen the growth of many successful musicians, who today are performing on local and international stages. The Youth Music Festival being amongst their first.


Cameron Williams (21) Clarinet, Lihle Mabhuta (20) Flute, Ian Bothma (22) Piano, Joshua Louis (21) Violin, Uliana Alekseev (20) Viola, Sinesipho Funo (23) Soprano & Lauren Wesley – Smith (21) Cello.


Shaheel Kooverjee (23) Piano, Chris Njapho (21) Cello, Eléna Monvoisin (8) Piano, Conductor Brandon Phillips & Keanan Lyle Mitchell (25) Tenor.

Photographer: Bronwyn Lloyd

This event is always sold out so it is suggested to book early.

Tickets cost R80. Pensioners and students R40 with valid ID, Scholars 5-18 R40. Block bookings of 10 or more less 10%. Book through Artscape Dial-a-Seat 021 421 7695, Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers outlets, call 0861 915 8000 or book online www.computicket.com or https://bit.ly/2vmi6C9.

For more information contact Debbie Damons on 021 410 9915.

1 thought on “A celebration of Young Classical Musicians

  1. Berniece Friedmann

    Post looks great – thank you so much for using the material and promoting this prestigious annual event. It means a lot to these young soloists and greatly appreciated – thank you


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