The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Yasuo Shinozaki played their final symphony concert for 2016 after a year of, I think, only three public concerts – one in June, one in October and this one. Very sad record for a “world class African in city”.
Yasuo Shinozaki is well known in Japan and Europe for his direct style of conducting. The audience last night certainly enjoyed themselves as he conducted the JPO in Antonin Dvorak’s Carnival Overture, Op 92, Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No 1 in G minor, Op 26 and Brahms’ Symphony No 4 in E minor, Op 98.
The highly accomplished soloist for the Bruch concerto was Kyoko Takezawa. She plays an Antonio Stradivarius violin known as “Viotti” (1704). Antonio Stradivari (Latinised Stradivarius) was born in Cremona, Italy in 1644. He was a luthier and crafter of stringed instruments. It is estimated that he made more than 1100 instruments out of which some 450 violins exists. I loved her playing. She is a mature and interesting musician.
This was a lovely concert and the hall was full despite the weather. The Japanese Ambassador to South Africa, His Excellency Shigeyuki Hiroki, and a strong contingent of Embassy and JTI officials were also present. The soloist did well, and so did the orchestra. The audience enjoyed it greatly.
I am really hoping the JPO will have the funding to do better, MUCH better, in terms of the number of concerts they play next year.
The concert took place at the Linder Auditorium, Parktown, and will be repeated tonight (10 November 2016) at 20:00. The restaurant is functional again, and tea and wine is available at interval. Wine and soft drinks are available afterwards.