New Music Indaba 2006: Reimagining Mozart
- 29 June - 7 July
- National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
michael [at] michaelblake [dot] co [dot] za
fionatozer [at] newmusicsa [dot] org [dot] za
The New Music Indaba focuses on the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birthday this year. Instead of throwing up the usual programmes of Amadeus standards, the Indaba invited a bunch of South African composers to set about Re-imagining Mozart. The results are as diverse as one could imagine, with composers from the worlds of classical, jazz, electronic, choral, traditional and experimental music trying to find out what Mozart means in 2006. Our nine concerts of Re-imagining Mozart thread through the Indaba, each featuring both new Mozart-based works and Mozart's great chamber music. Cult composers such as John Cage and Arvo Pärt also provide their takes on the birthday boy.
Two other anniversaries — the Shostakovich centenary and 150 years of the death of Schumann — are marked in several ways with lunchtime concerts, Winter School events, and two concerts by the distinguished UK-based Fitzwilliam String Quartet, who were coached by Shostakovich in the 1970's, and who are back in Grahamstown after their mesmerising performances of a few years back.
As always, the cutting edge of the Indaba is razor-sharp with experimental rock/cross-over by Steamboat Switzerland, violin virtuosity by Japanese Yasutaka Hemmi and Irish music by Trio Rothko. The indefatigable Belgian pianist Daan Vandewalle contributes American composer Alvin Curran's epic four-and-a-half hour piano cycle Inner Cities and South African Benjamin Fourie gives a rare performance of Messiaen's complete Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus. South African ensembles complete the line-up: the sparkling JPO Winds with pianist Jill Richards, the popular Kerimov Trio, a newly-formed improvising ensemble AmaDuo, and South African choirs — the S. A. Singers, Joy Of Africa, the Vumaningoma Choristers and SDASA Chorale — remind us that we are above all a singing nation.
The New Music Indaba wishes to thank the following organizations for their kind assistance:
- Pro Helvetia
- Helge Ax:son Johnson Foundation
- The Arts Council-Anchomhairie Ealaion (Eire)
- Association of Irish Composers
- Canada Council
- Japan Foundation
- Department of Arts and Culture
- Distell Foundation for the Performing Arts
- SAMRO Endowment for the National Arts