Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra Performs a Special Women’s Month Concert in Johannesburg


Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra is championing female talent in classical music with a series of concerts running in August. The orchestra’s second national tour for 2023 kicks off in Johannesburg on 10 August before heading to Cape Town, and then Gqeberha. 

Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra
Marin Alsop

Celebrating female talent in classical music

Internationally acclaimed conductor Marin Alsop is visiting South Africa to conduct Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra alongside soloist soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha. Alsop is the first woman conductor to serve as the head of a major orchestra in the US, UK, South America and Austria. 

‘Following our successful tour last year, I’m very excited to return to South Africa, a country rich in culture and heritage. It is a joy to work with musicians who are committed to excellence and to perform for enthusiastic audiences from diverse backgrounds. This is a country which demonstrates music’s unique power to bring people together, and I love the way Mzansi Philharmonic embodies this quality,’ comments Alsop.

Joining for the concert is soloist soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha, an award-winning Limpopo-born singer who is the current BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist and performed in some of the world’s finest opera houses. Masabane Cecilia started singing at an early age and her performances have been described as ‘richly coloured, vivid and glorious’.

‘Our audiences will be delighted to hear that Marin Alsop will return for this year’s tour, following her sensational appearances last year. We are thrilled that the highly accomplished South African dramatic soprano, Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha, will be our soloist for 2023; Cecilia has a special talent coupled with a warm heart and personality,’ says Bongani Tembe, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra
Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha

A national tour, with one-night-only concerts 

The Women’s Month tour dates follow the acclaimed orchestra’s three-city inaugural tour which played to sold-out houses in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town in December 2022. 

This year’s itinerary will see Mzansi Philharmonic performing in Johannesburg on Thursday, August 10 at the Linder Auditorium; in Cape Town on Saturday, August 12 at the Cape Town City Hall at 19h30pm and in Gqeberha on Monday, August 14 at the Feather Market Centre at 18h30pm.

The repertoire performed in all three cities includes an operatic first half featuring beautiful and dramatic arias, an intermission, and a closing with Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 5. 

Mzansi Philharmonic was launched in 2022, as part of an initiative of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture to broaden the orchestral experience of the country, transform the orchestral sector and brand South Africa positively around the world. The Orchestra consists of up to 110 non-permanent musicians who are drawn from regional orchestras, universities and freelance musicians. 

Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra

‘We are excited to celebrate Women’s Month in South Africa with this national tour. The Mzansi Philharmonic is rapidly earning a reputation for its diversity on every level: our programmes feature artists and musicians who are representative of our rainbow nation, showing music’s unique ability to bring people together across gender, age, race and class,’ said the Mzansi Philharmonic’s Chairperson, Justice Leona Theron.

When: Thursday, 10 August from 7:30pm
Where: Linder Auditorium, 27 St Andrews Road, Parktown, Johannesburg
Cost: From R200pp, book via Quicket

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