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Annual Johannesburg International Mozart Festival celebrates Mozart

Published: 11 December 2012

January is Mozart’s birthday and what could be more fitting than the annual Johannesburg International Mozart Festival (JIMF) to celebrate this occasion? The theme this year is Se Vuol Ballare - If You Would Dance after the eponymous famous aria from Mozart’s opera, The Marriage of Figaro.

In its fifth year now, this festival officially opens on Sunday, 27 January 2013 (Mozart’s birthday) and runs until Sunday, 10 February, but this year organisers have added a pre-concert on Saturday, 19 January – The Vienna New Year’s Concert. This concert ties in with the ‘dance theme’ featuring the SA Mzansi Ballet Dancers, Nozuko Teto (soprano), Siyabonga Maqungo (tenor), the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra and Richard Cock as the conductor.

The opening concert for the JIMF on Sunday, 27 January 2013 will feature the Zurich Chamber Orchestra with the South African National Youth Orchestra, performing the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, conducted by the renowned Sir Roger Norrington.

On Monday, 21 January, there will be a Children’s concert in Pimville, Soweto; as part of the outreach programme, and on Monday, 4 February, an educational concert will be held in Alexander Township.

On Saturday, 2 February, the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra will explore the 2013 JIMF dance theme with a performance of the Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, described by Wagner as the “apotheosis of the dance”. This performance will also feature Bongani Ndodana-Breen, 2013 JIMF Composer-in-Residence.

Other recitals will include Cornelia Herrmann on piano on Monday, 28 January, famous French pianist Eric Le Sage on Wednesday, 6 February and a song recital of Brahm’s Liebeslieder Waltzes at Northwards House on Thursday, 31 January. These concerts all take place at Northwards House.

Programme highlights also include a concert, with the screening of a film about composer Morton Lauridsen, with conductor Nicol Matt and about 60 singers, on Tuesday, 29 January at St Columbus Church. There will also be concerts by Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble, as well as the Chanticleer Singers.

On Friday, 1 February there is a Chamber Music Concert with James Grace on the guitar and the works are inspired by dance and in particular the Spanish dance form of Flamenco.

The festival will once again include a Masterclass at the University of Johannesburg on Thursday, 31 January; as well as a Sound Choreography Project weekend in collaboration with the Goethe Institute at King Kong, on Sunday, 10 February.

The popular Orchestra from Scratch will happen on Sunday, 3 February. For this event, the public not only participate as listeners, but actually perform themselves, therefore supporting the JIMF’s commitment to bringing classical music to as wide an audience as possible.

The Johannesburg International Mozart Festival provides a unique combination of classical performances on the highest international level with a keenly intelligent and creative approach to programming, and an enterprising portfolio of all-encompassing education and outreach projects for children, students and audiences of all corners of society. It is the Festival’s ambition and desire to invite people of all backgrounds and ages to join in and be united in the enjoyment and celebration of music.

Tickets for the fifth Johannesburg International Mozart Festivalw (JIMF) will be available from Computicket for the Linder Auditorium; for the Northwards House and Villa Arcadia concerts, phone (011) 447 9264; The Fringe book at Joburg Theatre on (011) 877 6832. Please contact (011) 447 9264 for more information and visit www.join-mozart-festival.org.

For more information, join the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival page on Facebook.
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