Avigail Bushakevitz has just this past week won the 2012 SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition, providing her with a hefty sum for international music studies. She is already registered as a student at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York. She was the soloist for the fifth concert of the third season of the JPO.
On the podium was regular guest conductor, Bernhard Gueller, and the concert opened with Debussy’s Petite Suite orchestrated by Henri Busser. This is lovely and accessible music. Heavier was the Saint-Saens Violin Concerto No 3 in B minor, Op 61. Ms Bushakevitz played magnificently. Having heard her several times in recent months, I can assure readers that her playing is excellent and that her repertoire is varied in both style and range. The concert ended with Mendelssohn’s much loved Italian symphony.
The third season of 2012 will stand out in my memory as being the season in which Joshua Bell appeared, and next week Johannesburg audiences will be able to hear this world-famous violinist, often referred to as “the poet of the violin”, playing the Brahms Violin Concerto in D Major, Opus 77. Both evenings are apparently sold out, so if you have not secured your ticket you are unlikely to hear him this time round. The last time I heard Joshua Bell play was on 11 April 2001 at the Joburg Theatre (or the Civic Theatre as it was then known), with the event being seared into my consciousness because it was after he played that Richard Cock announced that the Ellis Park Stampede, South Africa’s worst sporting tragedy, had taken place. Joshua Bell’s performance was stupendous, however. Berhard Gueller will again be on the podium.
The orchestra for the third season comprises the following: Miroslav Chakaryan, Elbe Roberts, Dorota Swart, Melale Mantu, Juanita du Plessis, Nelly Shmukler, Mary Tennant, Lizelle le Roux, Ginger Neff, Elena Zlatkova, Bongane Pandeka, Pascali Mokadi, Samson Diamond, Daline Wilson, Olga Maraba, Milena Toma, Bernard Madumo, Kabelo Motlhomi, Willem van der Walt, Marla Branco, Dineo Matsepe, Mlungisi Zulu, Vladimir Ivanov, Esther Spies, Andrea Erasmus, Martie Botha, Kate Moore, Annemie du Plessis, Jean-Louise Nel, Bafana Mthembu, Susan Mouton, Peta Ann Holdcroft, Sonja Bass, Wessel Beukes, Daliwonga Tshangela, Toni Ivanova, Christi-Louise Swanepoel, Regomoditswe Thothela, Zanelle Britz, Cecilia Kriegler, Ventura Rosenthal, Merryl Monard, Melane Hofmeyr-Burger, Handri Loots, Gary Roberts, Lesley Stansell, Peter Jaspan, Andrew Moroosi, Phillip Coetzee, Morne van Heerden, Leagh Rankin, Penelope Ives, Brahm Henkins, Kgothatso Kekana, Shannon Armer, Christopher Bishop, Peter Griffiths, Jaco van Staden, Donald Bower, Michael Magner, Bernt Baumann, Alexander Urban, Berwyn Roberts, Nathan Thomas, Alexander Hitzeroth, George Fombe, Rudolf van Dyk, Matthew Downey, Joshua Kim, Gerben Grooten, Diane Coutts.
The Linder Auditorium is situated at the Education campus of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), 27 St Andrews Road, Parktown. Telephone for the venue is 011 717 3223 and telephone for the JPO is 011 789 2733. GPS co-ordinates: 26° 10′ 54.6456″ S, 28° 2′ 29.8932″ E. Website: http://www.jpo.co.za. There is plenty of parking in front of the venue, with more to the sides and behind the auditorium. Facilities for physically disabled patrons are available. The Olives and Plates Cafe is open before the concert, during interval and the bar is open after the concert.