This past weekend The Artscape hosted the 47th annual Youth Music Festival, starting in 1971 with a vision from David Tidboald whereby young instrumental soloists and singers would be given the opportunity of performing annually with a professional orchestra.
The soloists were all under the age of 25 with the youngest performer being 8 year old Eléna Monvoisin, she played the piano as though she is made for the stage with such elegance and precision. She also plays the violin and oboe.
All the youngster were hand picked after having auditioned, the criteria included being classically trained, perform at a very high standard and resident or studying in the Western Cape. 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.
Accompanied by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra these young musicians took the opportunity with both hands, their fingers and mouths working magic, I was particularly impressed in the hard work and dedication that was put into each piece.
Although it was not a competition I had my favourites:
Lauren Wesley-Smith (21), playing the cello since the age of 10. She has played in a number of orchestras, including sharing Principle for the Kwazulu-Natal Youth Orchestra, Co-Principle for the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra, Principal for UP 4 Strings, Principal for the South African National Youth Orchestra and is currently sharing Principal for the Stellenbosch University Symphony Orchestra.
Sinesipho Funo (23), she started singing in a school choir, participating in SASCE competitions. In 2016, as a chorus member of Cape Town Opera, Sinesipho travelled to Argentina where they performed.
Chris Njapha (21), started playing cello at the age of 17. Since then he has been completely drawn to its sound and is currently studying music at the University of Stellenbosch with Babette Roosenschoon.
Eléna Monvoisin (8), she won best violinist 10 years and under at the Cape Town Eisteddford in 2018 among other accolades.
Lihle Mabhula (20), she has played in the Eastern Cape Youth Orchestral Experience (Wind Band) for two years while in high school and for her Grade 6 Trinity exam received a medal for having attained the joint highest position in the Eastern Cape.
As mentioned before all of the young musicians were amazing and I know they will make the most of this stepping stone, read more from my previous blog post https://shaunjengel.wordpress.com/2018/08/27/a-celebration-of-young-classical-musicians/
You can also see the Artscape website: www.artscape.co.za