The 48th Western Cape Youth Classical Festival is hosted by the Artscape and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and features the talents of young classically trained performers.
This is one of the best opportunities for young singers and solo instrumentalists to perform with the Orchestra on a professional stage, under the conductorship of Brandon Phillips. The soloists’ ages range from as young as nine years of age to 23 years, with all eyes undoubtedly on 20-year-old Nigerian cellist, Nwuko Sunday Kelechi who began playing the cello at the age of 13.
His love for classical music led him to further his studies at the University of Stellenbosch. In 2014 he won the Music Quest Competition in Nigeria and was also awarded the first prize winner of the Elna Elphick Cello Competition in 2018. Sunday is also a member of the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. He was recently saluted with a resounding standing ovation at Artscape’s lunch hour concert where he was the soloist with the CPO.
The other protégé to look out for is nine-year-young Oboe player, Eléna Monvoisin from Bellville who started piano lessons at the age of 4. She also plays the violin and the oboe. She attained highest honours in her Unisa, Trinity, ABRSM exams for all three instruments as well as for music theory. Elena won awards for piano at the Tygerberg Eisteddfod in 2017, Best Violinist (10-years and under) at the Cape Town Eisteddfod in 2018 as well as Best Junior Double Reed player for oboe at the Stellenbosch Eisteddfod in 2018.
The WCYCF is widely advertised early in the year at various local universities, music schools and libraries as well as to private music teachers. The main criteria are that the entrants must be bona fide music students; that they perform at a very high standard, and are resident or studying in the Western Cape. The emphasis of the event being that it is a celebration of young classical musicians, and not a competition. The appeal of the works presented, as well as good variety in the overall programme content, play an important part in the final selection of these musicians. Much of the biggest repertoire and most exciting to listen to and perform is in the concerto field (instrument with orchestra) and opera field (voice and orchestra).
Venue: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St, Foreshore