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Musicians from the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra will be performing two programmes of chamber music at the first ever online National Arts Festival this July. We will follow soon with extended programme notes as part of our series of Inside the Concert with Albert Combrink.

After three months of its loyal audiences only watching the musicians of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra in Covid-19 video clips and clips on social media, the CPO is back in business – and its delighted to be there performing in six works in the Virtual National Arts Festival.

Due to Covid-19 constraints which limit the number of people in one place at one time, the works were carefully chosen to include almost every member of the CPO, all of whom have been raring to perform.   Included in the line up are the CPO’s two guest concertmasters Suzanne Martens and Farida Bacharova, as well as visiting Russian-German violinist Alissa Margulis who has been locked down here since March, and pianist Francois du Toit.

For the musicians it was a wonderful experience and, the excitement and being with their colleagues and performing with them was palpable.

“We are so pleased to be part of this groundbreaking arts festival,” says CEO of the CPO Louis Heyneman, “a collaboration that we have had over many years when it was held in Makhanda.  Both teams – NAF and CPO – worked extremely hard and well to create what we think will be a fabulous festival, one we are delighted to anchor.”

The CPO concerts are available online through www.nationalartsfestival.co.za

Wednesday, July 1:

Mendelssohn Octet with guest violinist Alissa Margulis and guest concertmaster Farida Bacharova

Schubert Trout Quintet with pianist Francois du Toit, guest concertmaster Suzanne Martens Azra Isaacs (viola), Dane Coetzee (cello) and Roxane Steffen (double bass)

Thursday,  July 2 and Sunday, July 5:

Mozart Divertimento K 136

Elgar Serenade for strings

Dvorak Serenade for winds and strings

Daily tickets are available at R80 which allows watching up to 5 times before 19 July.  Full Festival passes for these concerts as well as much more are R600. Details from www.nationalartsfestival.co.za