Virtual Spring Symphony Season 2020 – Concert 2

This concert will be available for viewing as follows:

Wednesday 18 (19h30) – Friday 20 (19h30) November


Debussy: Petite Suite, L. 65, Arr.  Büsser
Mozart: Piano Concerto no. 23 in A, K. 448
Prokovief: Symphony no. 1 “Classical”, op. 25

Duration: 54 minutes

The first piece by Claude Debussy’s Petit Suite, had its world premiere in 1907 in Paris. This impressionist work has become one of Debussy’s most popular and frequently heard pieces, which he composed soon after completing his studies. Petite Suite was originally composed for four-hands, however transcriptions for solo piano followed soon after.

The next piece – Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major is a typical example of Mozart’s craft, and of the classical period’s best work. The piano concertos of Mozart are the greatest examples of the blending of practical musicianship with sheer musical genius, and this one is no exception. Right through to his final years, his concertos were considered as coming from the pen of a genius. As with many of his piano concertos, Piano Concerto No 23 is an uplifting work, nearly always trying to look on the bright side!

The final work for this concert is Prokofiev’s Symphony No 1 in D Major, and is widely known as the Classical Symphony. It premiered in Petrograd in 1918, conducted by Prokofiev himself and has become one of his most popular creations. It is considered to be one of the first neoclassical compositions.

Prokofiev wrote the symphony on holiday in the country, using it as an exercise in composing away from the piano.

Conductor: Brandon Phillips

Winner of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra’s Inaugural Len van Zyl Conductor’s Competition in 2010, Brandon Phillips began his music career in the New Apostolic Church where he learned various instruments and also choral training. He studied bassoon and viola at the University of Cape Town, receiving his Diploma for orchestral studies and B Mus Honours in solo bassoon in 2005. Phillips currently is also principal bassoon of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.

As a result of the Len Van Zyl competition, Phillips studied conducting in the United States at the Northwestern University in Chicago under Maestro Victor Yampolsky in 2010.  While in the US, Phillips was a conducting intern with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.  In 2014, he conducted the Miagi Orchestra in Berlin and Amsterdam to critical acclaim.

Phillips is regularly invited as an adjudicator and conductor for various competitions such as the ATKV, Artscape National Youth, Unisa Winds and the Schock Singing competitions.

Phillips was appointed resident conductor of the CPO in 2015, and is supported by RMB Starlight Classics. He shares the stage with Richard Cock in the RMB Starlight Classics each year in Cape Town and Johannesburg.   He is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and resident conductor the Cape Philharmonic Orchstra.

Soloist – Megan-Geoffrey Prins (Piano)

Megan-Geoffrey Prins, from Riversdale, South Africa, has performed as soloist and collaborative artist in North America, Europe, Africa, and Hong Kong. Recently named the 2019 Standard Bank Young Artist in Music, Prins has featured in various local and international piano competitions, including the Honens International Piano Competition, the Hong Kong International Piano Competition, the UNISA National and International Piano Competitions, and the Midwest International Piano Competition. Prins made his concerto debut at the age of 11. He has appeared as soloist with orchestras in Germany, the USA, Botswana, and South Africa. His recent performances of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3 were praised by German and South African critics for “technical precision,” “artistic expressivity,” and “transcendent” interpretation.

Prins studied a Masters in Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degree under Antonio Pompa-Baldi at the Cleveland Institute of Music where he was awarded the Sadie Zellen Piano Prize, the Arthur Loesser Memorial Prize, and the Maurice and Judith Kaplow Prize for Uncommon Creativity. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. Local achievements include first prizes at the UNISA 120th Anniversary Competition, the inaugural Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival Competition, the 5th UNISA National Piano Competition, the 2016 Muziq Instrumental Competition, and the 2017 SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition.

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