“I realized that my job is to awaken possibility in others.”

Cape Town to host award-winning Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra

Articles — May 8, 2023

In review after review, critics praise the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (BPYO) for upending expectations, citing a musical maturity that belies the performers’ tender ages.

Undeniably true, however, it could be said that rather than excelling in spite of, the BPYO excels because of the youth of its members. The young musicians bring a vitality, enthusiasm and delight in discovery that only those experiencing something for the first time can produce. Perhaps resembling the powerful impact of first love.

‘Their sound is more consistently fresh and energetic than what you usually hear from a long-standing professional ensemble… They’re as responsive, confident, technically skilled and emotionally expressive an orchestra as they come,’ Arts Fuse music critic Jonathan Blumhofer wrote.

The Chicago Tribune hailed the group’s inaugural recording of Mahler’s ‘Symphony No. 6’ on Brattle Media as one of 2017’s top 10 classical releases. New York Arts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Lloyd Schwartz called it ‘one of the most thrilling Mahler performances I’ve ever heard.’

This June, the 120-member orchestra of talented musicians ranging in age from 12 to 21 will embark on a multi-city tour of South Africa, including Pretoria, Soweto, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Makhanda.

Led by celebrated co-founder and conductor Benjamin Zander, the BPYO will be performing two gigantic works in the orchestral repertoire: Strauss’s ‘Ein Heldenleben’ and the rarely heard, massive work, Mahler’s ‘Resurrection Symphony’ with Gauteng Choristers Sidwell Mhlongo, Andiswa Makana and Bongiwe Nakani Mcetywa.

The Cape Town performances will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, 20 and 21 June 2023. Mahler will be performed on Tuesday at 7pm at Cape Town City Hall and Beethoven/Strauss will be performed on Wednesday at 7pm at Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre.

Additionally, in fulfilment of the BPYO’s motto of ‘shaping future leaders through music’, this tour will feature numerous opportunities to collaborate with local young musicians and ensembles around the country.

On Monday, 19 June, a joyous session of music-making will take place in Cape Town.

With over 200 South African and American musicians playing together from the BPYO and Settlers High School Orchestra, Bellville High School Symphonic Wind Band, DF Malan High School Wind Band, Fairbairn College, Westerford High School Symphony Orchestra, San Souci, Rustenburg Girls High School and Rondebosch Boys High School.

Click here to buy tickets and for more information.


Click here to view the BPYO South Africa Tour 2023 Collection.

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