The DECODA ensemble is the affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall in New York City. A quick visit to their website will reveal that this is not just another excellent performing ensemble, but a group with a far more profound mission and vision.

DECODA creates and advocates for meaningful musical experiences that are available to anyone, anywhere, regardless of circumstance. Through innovative programming and thoughtful engagement strategies, DECODA explores creativity, community and identity through performances, workshops and seminars geared towards connecting people through music.

One only needs to read about DECODA’s Music for Transformation, a new criminal justice initiative which connects with emerging trends in rehabilitation and anti-recidivism for adults to appreciate the scope and effectiveness of their work.

DECODA has partnered with the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival in creating DISA (DECODA institute South Africa), a residency at the Department of Music at Stellenbosch University from 24 to 28 June. Students signed up for DISA are looking to expand their capacity to engage through music, not least of all at a special community concert at the Luhlaza High School in Khayelitsha on 28 June at 12h00.

The DECODA Ensemble will also present a special concert as part of the Endler Concert Series on Saturday 24 June at 20h00 in the Endler Hall, Stellenbosch. This concert will feature works by Mendelssohn, Ligeti, Ravel, Gould, Prokofiev and following the interval Brahms’ Serenade No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11.

DECODA musicians remaining on in Stellenbosch as faculty members of the SICMF include, James Austin Smith (oboe). Meena Bhasin (viola), Bradley Bailiett (bassoon) and Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir (cello). SICMF audiences have become accustomed to world-class musicians with impressive CVs – The DECODA musicians more than fit the bill! Oboist, James Austin Smith, will be familiar to SICMF audiences, notably for his sublime performance of Richard Strauss’s fiendishly difficult oboe concerto in 2014. As was the case in 2014, The SICMF Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by maestro Daniel Raiskin.

Tickets for the SICMF are available now through Computicket and will be available at the door. For more information about the Festival or to secure your Festival/Day pass for the entire Festival please visit

For more information contact Fiona Grayer at or 021 808 2358.


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