Fabulous feast of music in Franschhoek

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The Charl du Plessis Trio.

FOR the past 14 years Christopher Duigan’s Music Revival has delighted classical music fans with performances by the best musicians in the country.  This year’s Marriott Classic Music Festival in Franschhoek continues that tradition of excellence.

During one weekend of music-making from October 21 to October 23, those in and around the scenic and historic town of Franschhoek will have the chance to indulge in an extraordinary series of concerts in the historic NG Church and the Café Bon Bon at La Petite Dauphine.

Says festival producer, Duigan: “Every year we strive to include a range of musical styles and genres in the concerts but always with the emphasis on happy working relationships; where the friendship off the stage leads to great enthusiasm, brought together by mutual love of music, onstage.”

The festival gets underway with Sonatas for Violin and Piano, featuring Patrick Goodwin (violin) and Reese Barkhuizen (piano), at 7.30 pm on Friday, October 21 at the NG Church, Franschhoek.

reese-barkhuizen

Reese Barkhuizen

Cape Town-based Goodwin and Barkhuizen will be performing Mozart’s Sonata in E minor, Beethoven’s final violin sonata op. 96 and Edvard Grieg’s Sonata no. 3 in C minor.

Goodwin is the concertmaster of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and is much in demand as a soloist and chamber musician. The duo has performed extensively in concert together.

The second concert is Andulucian Nights, featuring guitarists, James Grace and Saudiq Khan at 11.30 am on Saturday, October 22 at the NG Church, Franschhoek.

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James Grace and Saudiq Khan

The concert features arrangements of flamenco-inspired classics by Isaac Albeniz, Joaquin Turina and Joaquin Rodrigo, and a contemporary mix of popular Spanish music by Paco de Lucia, Al di Meola and the Gypsy Kings.

In an ongoing exploration of Beethoven’s sonatas at the Franschhoek Music Festivals, Duigan plays three Beethoven sonatas in the NG Church at 12 pm on Sunday, October 23.

The three sonatas represent what is often referred to as the ‘early, middle and late’ periods of the composer’s compositional style and life – they are the Sonatas in F op.10 no. 2, the popular ‘Moonlight’ op. 27 no. 2 in C-sharp minor and op. 109 in E.

Music by Schumann from his Noveletten op. 21 and Brahms Intermezzi Op 118 complete the selection.

Tickets for the NG Church concerts are R100 and can be booked at http://www.webtickets.co.za or bought the door.  

christopher-duigan

Christopher Duigan

Duigan will also be performing a Candlelight Soiree in the Café Bon Bon at La Petite Dauphine at 6.30 pm for 7 pm on Saturday, October 22.

Music fans can enjoy twenty short popular piano solos, including the Rondo all Turca, Clair de lune, Rustle of Spring, Minute Waltz, Liebestraume, and Greig’s Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, in this intimate evening.

Tickets are R550, which includes a three-course meal. To book phone Café Bon Bon at 021 876 3936.

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Charl du Plessis

Closing this year’s festival will be a programme of Baroque Swing performed by the Charl du Plessis Trio at 12.30 pm for 1 pm on Sunday, October 23. The Bon Bon Finale will take place in the Café Bon Bon at La Petite Dauphine.

Steinway artist Charl du Plessis (piano), Werner Spies (bass) and Peter Auret (drums) will be playing Du Plessis’ signature arrangements of music by Bach, Vivaldi alongside jazz masterpieces by Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck and Chick Corea.

The trio, who are making their debut at the festival, has just released their first international album Baroqueswing Vol. II on the Swiss records label Claves and regularly tours to China, Holland and Switzerland.

Tickets for the Bon Bon Finale are R450, which includes a three-course meal. To book phone Café Bon Bon at 021 876 3936.

Speaking on behalf of all the participating musicians, Duigan said: “We look forward to seeing many old friends and also showing many new ones why we as artists enjoy the festival as much as the audience. Franschhoek is unique, and offers something special for everyone. And we enjoy bringing our own special magic to Franschhoek and being part of the extraordinary ambience the town has to offer for the duration of the weekend.”

  • The Marriott Classic Music Festival in Franschhoek is sponsored by Marriott, The Income Specialists. The Festival is presented by Christopher Duigan’s Music Revival and supported by La Fontaine Guesthouse, La Petite Dauphine, Ian Burgess-Simpson Pianos and David Walters Ceramics Gallery.
  • For more information contact Music Revival at 083 417 4473 or log on to http://www.franschhoekclassic.co.za or http://www.musicrevival.co.za
patrick-goodwin

Patrick Goodwin

ABOUT THE MUSICIANS

Christopher Duigan

Widely regarded as one of South Africa’s leading concert pianists Christopher Duigan has performed extensively with all major South African orchestras, festivals and stages in a repertoire of more than 25 compositions for piano and orchestra.

In recital he has developed a popular following through his innovative presentation and programming.

Recent highlights include performances of Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban and Pietermaritzburg and a seven concert tour in Spain with saxophonist David Salleras and the GIOrquestra. This included three performances featuring Duigan’s original own compositions for saxophone and piano solo with orchestra.

Other major engagements this year include recitals for the South African Embassy celebrating Mandela Day in Mexico City in July, soloist in the Beethoven Concerto No 3 with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra on tour in KZN, and all-Chopin performances at Brooklyn Theatre – Pretoria, St Andrews Concert Series – Cape Town, Hilton Festival and Marriott Classic Music Festival in Franschhoek in October.

A CD of Chopin’s music will be released shortly.

Patrick Goodwin

Born in Windhoek, Namibia, violinist Patrick Goodwin studied violin with Farida Bacharova in Cape Town and Olga Kaler in Chicago. He holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees with distinction in violin performance from the University of Cape Town and DePaul University School of Music respectively.

As concertmaster of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Goodwin regularly appears as leader and orchestral soloist for operas, ballets and symphonic performances and has appeared as a featured soloist with various orchestras and in recital around South Africa.

He has previously been a faculty member at the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival and performs regularly in Cape Town as a member of the Bacharova Quartet, Juliet String Quartet and with many distinguished local and international artists.

Goodwin is currently a part-time lecturer in violin at the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town.

James Grace

KANNA Award winner for best male artist at the 2010 ABSA KKNK, and more recently KykNET Fiesta winner, James Grace is one of one South Africa’s leading concert artists.

In recent years he has appeared with the Cape Philharmonic, the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic, the Johannesburg Festival, the Johannesburg Philharmonic, the Gauteng Philharmonic and the Free State Symphony in concerti by Rodrigo, Villa – Lobos, Tirao, Stephenson, Giuliani and Vivaldi.

A regular performer at the major arts festivals and concert series, Grace’s schedule frequently takes him throughout Southern Africa, Europe and the U.A.E.

As an entrepreneur and concert organiser, he often hosts and performs with visiting artists which in 2015 James included UK-based Mexican guitarist Morgan Szymanksi, Cinzia Milani (Italy), Goran Krivokapic (Germany) and Chloe Murphy (London).

Grace is in the final stages of setting up the Stringwise Young Artist’s Trust, with the aim of assisting young artists from across the country produce their own albums and offer bursaries for overseas study.

Charl du Plessis Trio

The Charl du Plessis Trio is made up of Steinway artist Charl du Plessis (piano), Werner Spies (bass) and Peter Auret (drums) playing Du Plessis’ signature arrangements of music by Bach, Vivaldi alongside jazz masterpieces by Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck and Chick Corea.

This trio was created in 2006 to bridge the divide between classic and jazz music and has just released their first international album Baroqueswing Vol. II on the Swiss records label Claves.

This trio is seen as leading exponents of crossover music and regularly tours to China, Holland and Switzerland. They have released four previous recordings and a DVD for which they received a SAMA and a Ghoema award.

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