UCT Musical Moments Infect the City

UCT musicians infect the city with moments of magic: from classical piano at the Cape Town Station,, to extravagantly attired opera and flirtatious flashmobs, Capetonians in and around the city centre are in for some aural indulgence in early March.

Drawing on his work as a 2011 Donald Gordon Creative Arts Fellow, Justin Krawitz will present Cape Tone – a short program of piano works by two composers from the Cape region: Arnold van Wyk and Hendrik Hofmeyr.  In a sense, these composers represent opposite poles of composition in South Africa: Van Wyk (1916-1983) is widely considered the father of South African classical music, while Hofmeyr (b.1957) is among the younger generation of composers and is active on the contemporary musical scene. The performance, will begin with Van Wyk’s cycle Tristia, and will culminate with the world première of Hofmeyr’s new Piano Sonata, written expressly for Krawitz on commission by the South African Music Rights Organisation. Perhaps the emost fascinating part of this presentation is the choice of location – Krawitz brings this music into the Cape Town Station and begins another conversation altogethher. Presented by the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts, the performance will take place for 30 minutes, on Wednesday 7 March and Friday 9 March, both from 2pm.

Excerpts from Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, inspired by director Matthew Wild’s 2011 production, have been re-imagined as a promenade event in a series of sites across the CBD. With musical direction by Kamal Khan, this tale of urban moral corruption finds fresh resonances for Stravinsky’s neoclassical score, as his witty take on 18th century London collides with contemporary Cape Town.

An encounter with William Hogarth’s paintings in 1947 inspired Stravinsky to commission the libretto for his first English-language opera. Collaborators W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman concocted a brilliant variation on Hogarth’s moral narrative: after mysteriously inheriting a fortune, Tom Rakewell leaves his sweetheart Anne Trulove, and begins a hard-partying “progress” through the brothels and mansions of London, which costs him his fortune, his true love and ultimately his sanity. This opulent, overblown, outlandishly costumed libretto will swell alongside the rose blooms of the Company Gardens, a lone aria resonating along the full-length of Parliament Avenue. Presented by The Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts, the performances by the UCT Opera School will begin at the Rose Garden in the Company’s Garden, and will last 60 minutes, on Tuesday 6 March and Thursday 8 March,  both at 6.50pm.

Under the musical direction of John Woodland, the UCT Choir has the distinction of being a most diverse musical group, exposing its singers and audiences to a rich variety of a cappella works from early classical to contemporary genres, both sacred and secular. In the mould of the traditional flashmob, they take this repertoire to the streets, squares and station, creating moments of syncopated awe. Presented by The Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts, in the Cape Town Station Concourse and St George’s Mall, performances begin on Wednesday 7 March at 1.45pm, Friday 9 March at 1.45pm, and Saturday 10 March at 10am.