A unique collaboration between Paris-based Alma Chamber Orchestra and KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (KZNPO) will use the power of music to help unite citizens of Africa, in a concert that will raise funds for victims of xenophobic attacks.
This performance is the second of three in the concert series, and takes place on Thursday 23 April 2015 at Durban’s City Hall, which is home to one of South Africa’s leading orchestras, the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (KZNPO). Presented by The Ichikowitz Family Foundation and The Alma Nostra Foundation in Paris, the concert will feature the collaboration between KZNPO and 49-piece Alma Chamber Orchestra, as well as performances by solo violinist Anne Gravoin, Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire and conductor Lionel Bringuier.
The Durban programme pays homage to those suffering during the recent spate of xenophobic attacks across the country, and will include works that bring the message of a common humanity across to the masses.
As part of the nation’s outreach initiatives, The Ichikowitz Family Foundation have pledged to donate proceeds from the Durban concert in support of relief aid for victims of xenophobia.
Chairman of the Ichikowitz Family Foundation, Ivor Ichikowitz says: “The liberation struggle in South Africa would not have been possible without the sacrifices of all our neighbours. The resolution of the highly complex differences that we had in South Africa came about due to dialogue and because of people finding each other. Music is one of many ways that our Foundation is helping to create conversations and we are very privileged to bring together these amazing performers to convey a message of peace and unity on such a historic occasion.”
“We are moved by the commitment of the Ichikowitz Family Foundation and the Alma Nostra Foundation on this project, and believe that now is the time to find ways ways to remind people of the idea of oneness. What better way to deliver a powerful message than through music, which is an equally powerful medium,” adds CEO of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bongani Tembe.
To continue with the community outreach programme, on Friday 24 April 2015, members of The Alma Chamber Orchestra will host masterclasses with young musicians from Umlazi and surrounds at Umlazi Secondary School. This is aimed at facilitating collaborative education, inspiring and engaging with a new generation of musical talent. Umlazi Secondary School, one of the oldest schools in the township, is one of the few community schools that introduced music as a subject more than 10 years ago.
In addition, special workshops, run by the Artistic Director and world-renowned solo violinist Anne Gravoin will also be conducted for the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra’s National Cadetship Programme. The workshops will present diverse musical excerpts – from symphonic masterpieces to intimate chamber works. Through the workshop the KZNPO aims to address the limited representation of and increasing demand for local artists in the pool of present and future full-time musicians in our country’s orchestras by equipping very talented young musicians with the tools to meet requirements of a professional orchestra career.
The Alma Chamber Orchestra’s tour to South Africa, in the spirit of unity, has also launched the European Union’s Europefest 2015 programme where European Embassies have gathered their cultural events together during the month of May under one umbrella. Their vision is to celebrate cultural diversity.
The final ‘World Tour for Unity’ concert in Soweto on Saturday 25 April will see the Alma Chamber Orchestra share a stage with internationally-renowned, Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble at the Regina Mundi Church at 15h00.