Winter is upon Oudtshoorn, and with it comes the warm comforts of Klein Karoo Klassique. This festival of classical music is presented in Oudtshoorn for the 13th time from Friday 5 to Tuesday 9 August, with the support of the Rupert Music Foundation.
“We had to wait a long time to present a full-fledged Klein Karoo Klassique again and for the Women's Day long weekend festival-goers can look forward to a selection of the country's leading classical musicians and also exceptional emerging talent,” says Hugo Theart, Artistic Director of Klein Karoo Klassique.
Theart explains that festival goers can not only look forward to thirteen outstanding concerts, but the festival also includes a visual arts program, book talks and sales, wine tasting events and other tasting experiences. The Civic Center forms the core of the festival, with most of the activities that will take place here. Of course, festivalgoers can also pick and choose from outstanding dining experiences and Karoo hospitality at a variety of restaurants and eateries in the town; and there are also several other Little Karoo experiences and attractions to fit in during such a visit.
Klein Karoo Klassique is opened on Friday 5 August at 19:00 with Klassique Gala Concert, a recital by members of the Cape Town Opera in the Civic Centre with the exceptional soprano Janelle Visagie and the brilliant pianist José Dias. Saturday 6 August sees Handri Loots (flute) and Mareli Stolp (piano) play music for flute and piano, among which Poerpasledam, Arnold van Wyk’s only composition for these two instruments. The performers stay behind for a discussion with the audience after their recital. At 14:30 The Gqeberha Trio, David Bester (violin), Jan-Hendrik Harley (viola) and Mariechen Meyer (double bass) plays music that illustrates the similarities between string instruments and the human voice amongst others, with the Playford Suite and Schubert’s Erlkönig, followed by a music discussion. Cellist Peter Martens and acclaimed Southern Cape pianist Megan-Geoffrey Prins return to Oudtshoorn for their recital Cello and Piano at 19:00, with music from Schumann, Beethoven, and Popper. The day’s music programme finishes at 20:30 with a Jazz Concert, compiled by Ramon Alexander.
A Trio of Trios starts off Sunday 7 August’s programme at 10:00 with Suzanne Martens on violin, Karin Gaertner on viola and Peter Martens on cello, bringing trios from Beethoven, Dohnányi and Stephenson to life. Members of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra perform in A Celebration of Youth at 14:00, with music from Mozart, Beethoven, and Schumann. A special Gala Concert, Baroque to the future, ends the day at 19:00 with the South African National Youth Orchestra, soprano Hlengiwe Mkhwananzi and Erik Dippenaar on harpsichord. A wide repertoire of baroque music is performed from, among others, Handel, Purcell, De Lalande and Rameau, followed by a music discussion.
On Monday morning 8 August at 10:00, cellist Anmari van der Westhuizen, and pianist Nicolene Gibbons share the stage in Cello Splendour, followed by a music discussion. Two Oudtshoorn pianists, John Theodore, and Sulayman Human, who debuted as piano duo at Klassique in 2015, return to the stage at 14:00 in Suite Treats Variety with music from Bach, Strauss, Schubert, and Rachmaninov, arranged for two pianos, followed by the festival’s final music discussion. At 18:00 members of the Cape Town Baroque Orchestra, Ingo Müller (baroque oboe) and Erik Dippenaar (harpsichord & Director) are joined on stage by sopranos Lynelle Kenned and Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi in Handel at Home for a programme of chamber music for instruments and voices. This recital takes place at De Opstal Country Lodge and includes a light dinner.
On Tuesday 9 August the keys come alive one last time with organ music by Dippenaar in The Splendours of the Baroque Organ at 09:30 in NG Kerk Park, followed by the ever-popular Steinway pianist Charl du Plessis, bringing Klassique to a close at 12:00 with music from Chopin, Bach, Brahms, Beethoven and others in Songs for my Mother.
A special ticket package for 11 of the 12 classical music recitals is available at R1 300, or single tickets can be bought for recitals. Friends of the KKNK qualify for 5% discount. Tickets are available at Webtickets (www.webtickets.co.za), at Pick n Pay stores countrywide, or at the KKNK office.
Klein Karoo Klassique is made possible through the support of Rupert Music Foundation and contributions by the ATKV and the Barrow Trust.
For more information, visit Klein Karoo Klassique’s website at www.klassique.co.za or call 044 203 8600. Visit www.kknk.co.za to become a Friend of the KKNK. Would you like to tick one more item off your to do list for this year’s Klein Karoo Klassique in Oudtshoorn? Then visit www.klassique.co.za for the direct link to ensure your accommodation for the festival is booked in advance and completed through LekkeSlaap.