The MIAGI Youth Orchestra exudes a vibe of enthusiasm for its music that is rarely felt even at Berlin’s Konzerthaus. Since 2001, MIAGI – an abbreviation for “Music Is A Great Investment” – has pursued its goal of “bringing young people together and contributing to their positive social development.” The musicians are from all social strata of South Africa, and the MIAGI Youth Orchestra’s repertoire is purposefully broad: it includes everything from classical music to jazz and traditional African music as well as diverse kinds of South African music from the 1940s to the present day. Since 2008 MIAGI has also been running the Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music in Soweto, Johannesburg, where more than 300 young people are given a high-quality music education. A second MIAGI music centre in Khayelitsha Township, Cape Town is in its advanced planning stage. The 2018 concert is part of a month-long European tour, celebrating Nelson Mandela’s Centenary 2018 under the motto coined by MIAGI’s partner, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, ‘Be the Legacy’. The tour also takes the MIAGI Youth Orchestra to Young Euro Classic in Berlin and festivals in Schleswig-Holstein, Ludwigsburg and Villach, to Brussels and Amsterdam.
Duncan Ward is among the most sought-after conductors of the younger generation. At the suggestion of Sir Simon Rattle, the British conductor was admitted to the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic, the first conductor ever to join the Academy from 2012 to 2014. From 2015 to 2017 he was principal conductor of the British ensemble Sinfonia Viva as well as associate conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Recent highlights include engagements at the Orchestre de Paris, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the MDR Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Bamberg Symphonic Orchestra, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Residentie Orkest and the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana as well as his return to the Glyndebourne Festival, where he led Brett Dean’s opera Hamlet as part of the touring programme. During the 2017/18 season he conducted the Dresden Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de Belgique, the Trondheim Symphony and the double production of Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti and James MacMillan’s Clemency at the Netherlands Opera. He has worked repeatedly with the MIAGI Youth Orchestra, for the first time in Johannesburg in 2013, and has implemented many fascinating projects and tours with the organization over the course of the years.
Six men from East London, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Pretoria: that is the a-cappella sextet Just 6, founded in South Africa in 2011. The members of this ensemble are not only excellent singers, but also composers and arrangers. Their musical curiosity is great, especially when it comes to creating any kind of sound or noise with their voices – they call it “Afro vocal play”. Their repertoire ranges from their own compositions to African traditional songs by Amanda Black, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba to Bob Marley, Lion King and Michael Jackson. In 2014 Just 6 released their first album, Kuzolunga. On the African continent, Just 6 are an institution; there they have already shared the stage with the South African Loyiso Bala, the Nigerian singer Asa and the soul singer Concha Buika from Equatorial Guinea. After a guest performance in Switzerland in 2016, Just 6 are undertaking their first European tour this summer, performing not only at Berlin’s Konzerthaus, but also in Hamburg, Amsterdam and Brussels. Nkosi Hospas Baritone, Mtha Hospas First Tenor, Fezile Mavuso Second Tenor, Rashaka Mbevhana Second Tenor, Kwande Cakata Bass and Ntuthuko Malaza First Tenor
Presentation of the German-South African joint postage stamp
Classical music with a South African sound: works by Beethoven, Tsotetsi, Ward’s “Rainbow Beats” as well as traditional and South African world music by the A-Cappella Cnsemble Just 6.