The SICMF is known for its innovative programming, combining staple fare (Mozart, Brahms, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky) with new works. This year the SICMF will present works by the following living composers: Paul Coletti (Scotland), Bernd Franke (Germany), Jeffrey Wayne Holmes & Kevin Puts (U.S.A.), Osvaldo Golijov (Argentina), Hendrik Andriessen (Holland) and Peter Louis van Dijk (South Africa).

Franke’s musical upbringing encompasses folk, popular, and classical styles. His formal musical education was under Siegfried Thiele at the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Musikhochschule in Leipzig, where he now teaches (alongside duties at the Institute of Musicology at Leipzig University). A Leonard Bernstein Fellowship from Tanglewood Music Centre also enabled him to study with Bernstein, Lukas Foss and Oliver Knussen. He is the recipient of numerous prizes, including the Composition Prize of the 1987 Boswil International Seminar in Switzerland, and Boston’s Kucyna International Composition Prize. Since the 1990s, he has had a close professional relationship Hans Werner Henze; the influences of Lutosƚawski, Varése and Ives are also apparent in his attempt to create music that doesn’t labour under the yoke of tradition, but that remains intelligible to the listener. Fynbos was commissioned for performance at the 2016 O/Modernt Festival in Stockholm by Hugo Ticciati. Franke was initially inspired by a Japanese poem: ‘The pine tree lives for a thousand years, / The morning-glory but for a single day; / Yet both have fulfilled their destiny.’ Another influence that can be heard in the piece itself is the traditional Xhosa song Qongqothwane, known in the West as ‘The Click Song’ and made famous by Miriam Makeba (‘Igqirha lendlela nguqongqothwane’, or ‘The Diviner follows the road as a dung beetle’). But, of course, the key inspiration is that which supplied the work’s title: the fynbos floral kingdom of the Western and Eastern Cape, the smallest of the six floral kingdoms, and the most diverse.

The work, published by Edition Peters in Germany and first performed in Stockholm will be performed here by Gareth Lubbe (South African born world renowned overtone singer for whom this part was specifically written), Joost Smeets (conductor), Nicolas Dautricourt (solo violin), Peter Martens (solo cello), Suzanne Martens, Zoë Lightley, Tessa Campbell, Joshua Louis, Zoe Coetzee (violin 1), Jeffrey Armstrong, Catherine Stiff, Christian Brand, Pieter Joubert, Frances Whitehead (violin 2), Anna Maria Wünsch, Juan-Miguel Hernandez, Anika Keuck, Remi Ludick (viola), Elzbieta Rychwalska, Pearl Jung, Estelle Kemp, Lauren Wesley-Smith (cello), Uxia Martinez Botana and Frances Levenderis (bass).

This performance will take place in the Endler Hall on Saturday 7 July at 20:00 SAST and “Fynbos” will be flanked by Morton Gould’s Benny’s Gig and Grieg’s String Quartet in G minor, Op. 27.

Tickets for the SICMF evening faculty concerts (6 to 15 July) have more often than not sold out in years past. Buy tickets early from Computicket to avoid disappointment. For more info contact Fiona Grayer at 021 808 2358.


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