Star-studded beginning to JMS season

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The Johannesburg Musical Society has prepared a star-studded menu for the delectation of classical music lovers in 2016.

Johannesburg Musical Society
Johannesburg Musical Society

2016 will provide 5 stunning pianists of world-wide repute, a brilliant young cellist, a virtuoso violinist, a piano trio – and a brass ensemble that will provide entertainment for the entire family In addition, a much-loved cello-piano ensemble returns to end the season’s concerts in November.

Peter Donohoe
Peter Donohoe

The year’s first concert – presented in collaboration with Johannesburg’s International Mozart Festival – features the eminent British pianist Peter Donohoe. A prize winner at the 1982 Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow, he has gone on to build a remarkable career and gather accolades from all over the world. Peter Donohoe will be playing a programme of Scriabin, Debussy, Mozart and Schubert – and to fit in with the ‘Alla Turka’ theme of the Mozart Festival, he has chosen to play Mozart’s ever-popular Sonata in A, known as the ‘Turkish’ sonata.

Olga Kern, pianist, photographed by Chris Lee at Steinway Hall, 12/9/13.
Olga Kern, pianist, photographed by Chris Lee at Steinway Hall, 12/9/13.

Peter Donohoe’s recital takes place on Saturday 6 February, and he is followed by yet another stunning pianist just 2 weeks later, on Saturday 20 February. Olga Kern, the Russian pianist, is known not only for her brilliant pianism and her passionate music-making, but she lights up the stage with her glamorous presence and her charismatic connection with her audiences. She will be playing Scarlatti, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Liszt – and Beethoven’s wonderful ‘Waldstein’ sonata.

On Sunday March 6, the Linder auditorium will reverberate with the stirring sounds of the Harmonic Brass Munich (trombone, French horn, trumpets and tuba). These players are known for their entertaining abilities as well as for their superb playing. Each is a master of his instrument, and they combine to produce glorious sound. Their people-friendly and colourful performances have earned them fans in both Europe and America.

Harmonic Brass Munich
Harmonic Brass Munich

April (Sunday 17) features Alexander Ramm, a brilliant young cellist now climbing the ladder of international success, and May (Saturday 14) sees a return of Singapore-born pianist, Melvyn Tan. His playing has captivated people throughout the world, from London’s Festival Hall to Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and New York’s Lincoln Center. Melvyn Tan will be playing all the Chopin Preludes, as well as Beethoven’s Sonata Opus 119 and Schumann’s lovely Papillons.

Hungarian violinist Kristof Barati, who performs on Saturday 18 June, is possessed of a dazzling technique and gorgeous tone, He has performed with some of the world’s great conductors, including Kurt Masur, Yuri Bashmet and Zoltan Kocsis.

After the July break, the Society will host a young pianist whose career is fast gaining altitude. Venetian Alessandro Taverna (Saturday 13 August) has already performed with the Hallé Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic and the London Philharmonic. His programme includes Chopin’s Four Ballades and Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz.

Trio Elegiaque (Saturday 17 September) is led by master violinist Sergey Malov, winner of several prestigious international violin competitions. It also includes well-known American pianist Bryan Wallick and cellist Eric Martens.

The season enters the final stretch with one of Europe’s most celebrated pianists, Konstantin Scherbakov, who will perform an all-Beethoven concert with a difference on Saturday 15 October, and on Saturday 12 November the ever-popular French duo of cellist Jérôme Pernoo and Jérôme Ducros will play the final concert of the year – the very festive Percy Baneshik Memorial Concert which includes a cocktail party for the entire audience.

All concerts take place in the Linder Auditorium on the Wits Education Campus which is located at 23 St Andrews Road, Parktown. All Saturday concerts start at 20.00, while Sunday concerts begin at 17.00.

Booking for all these concerts can be made through Computicket. Tickets can also be bought at the Linder box office from one hour before the start of each performance, but please note that there is NO credit card facility at the box office.

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