Classical Movements Presents

Directed by Benjamin Zander
South Africa Tour

Johannesburg | Pretoria |  Soweto | Cape Town | Makhanda
June 15 – 24, 2023


PROGRAM I – Orchestra

Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life)                                       Richard Strauss (1864-19490)

Symphony No. 5 in C minor                                               Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)


PROGRAM II – Orchestra, Chorus, and Soloists

 The Symphony No. 2 in C minor (Resurrection Symphony)        Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)

      Gauteng Choristers, directed by Sidwell Mhlongo
      Andiswa Makana, Soprano
      Bongiwe Nakani Mcetywa, Mezzo Soprano


PRETORIA | Thursday, 15 June | 19h00 
University of Pretoria Symphony Orchestras and Scho of the Arts proudly host at Aula Theatre

Performing Program I

SOWETO | Saturday, 17 June | 18h00
Regina Mundi RC Church
AfrikaRiz Choir will open this concert

Performing Program II

JOHANNESBURG | Sunday, 18 June | 15h00
Linder Auditorium

Performing Program II

Co-presented by Classical Movements and the Johannesburg Musical Society

CAPE TOWN | Tuesday, 20 June | 19h00
Cape Town City Hall

Performing Program II

CAPE TOWN | Wednesday, 21 June | 19h00
Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre

Performing Program I

MAKHANDA | Friday, 23 June | 19h00
National Arts Festival, Guy Butler Theatre

Program I

MAKHANDA | Saturday, 24 June | 11h00
National Arts Festival, Children’s Concert at the Fountain Foyer

Performing A mixed program  



The Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (BPYO) was formed in 2012 under the auspices of the Boston Philharmonic. Conducted by Benjamin Zander, the BPYO’s motto is “Shaping Future Leaders Through Music.” The BPYO’s 120 enthusiastic and talented young musicians range in age from 12 to 21, affording younger members of the orchestra the chance to collaborate with older students who are beginning their professional careers. In turn, collegiate members of the group are offered the opportunity to nurture and coach the future generations.

The BPYO offers a unique opportunity for young instrumentalists who want to study great orchestral repertoire in a musically dynamic and intellectually challenging community. BPYO members are asked not only to master their parts in order to gain a deep understanding of the musical score (including through regular sectional rehearsals led by top professionals from the Boston musical community), but also to engage in dialogue with Mr. Zander through weekly “white sheets”, sheets of paper where they are encouraged to share their thoughts on all aspects of the music and the rehearsal process. These conversations lead to stimulating discussions on personal leadership and often initiate ongoing individual conversations with Mr. Zander through email, phone calls, and conversations at rehearsals, creating a unique mentoring relationship between Mr. Zander and each musician.

In its inaugural 2012-13 season, the BPYO performed two concerts to sold-out audiences in Boston’s Symphony Hall and undertook a wildly successful five-city tour of The Netherlands, culminating in a performance of Mahler’s Second Symphony in Amsterdam’s acclaimed Concertgebouw. Six months later, in December 2013, the BPYO performed at Carnegie Hall, receiving high praise in The New York Times for their “brilliantly played, fervently felt account.” Subsequent tours included: an 18-day tour featuring concerts in the Czech Republic, Germany, and Switzerland, including performances in the Prague Rudolfinum, the Philharmonie of Berlin, and the KKL of Luzern in 2015: six concerts in Spain in 2016; performances and outreach activities in Peru, Uruguay, and Argentina in 2017; eight concerts in Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, and The Netherlands, including performances in the Prague Rudolfinum, Budapest National Concert Hall, Vienna Musikverein, and Amsterdam Concertgebouw in 2018; an eight-city tour to Brazil, and a six-city tour to Greece in 2022. The orchestra plans to tour South Africa in June of 2023. In 2019 they were named “Best Classical Music Ensemble” by Boston Magazine. Each international engagement has been met with top critical approval and has led to the formation of life-long bonds between the orchestra and the musical cultures of the various host countries.

The BPYO has released three highly acclaimed commercial recordings: Shostakovich Symphony No. 5, recorded live at Carnegie Hall in 2013, and Mahler Symphonies No. 6 and No. 9, recorded live at Symphony Hall in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

The BPYO’s many musical and personal growth opportunities cultivate exceptionally skilled musicians, who become respected and acclaimed leaders in music and in their communities. WBUR classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz, formerly of The Boston Phoenix, once said, “I wish more professional orchestras played as thrillingly as this.”

For the past 50 years, Benjamin Zander has occupied a unique place as a master teacher, deeply insightful and probing interpreter, and as a profound source of inspiration for audiences, students, professional musicians, corporate leaders, politicians, and more. He has persistently engaged well-informed musical and public intellectuals in a quest for insight and understanding into the western musical canon and the underlying spiritual, social, and political issues that inspired its creation.

Zander founded the Boston Philharmonic in 1978 and has appeared as guest conductor with orchestras around the world. His performances have inspired thousands of musicians, renewed their sense of idealism, and shed fresh, insightful, and sometimes provocative light on the interpretation of the central symphonic repertoire of the 19th and 20th centuries. Critics and the public have been united in their praise of Zander’s interpretations of the central repertory.

For 25 years, Zander has enjoyed a unique relationship with the Philharmonia Orchestra, recording a series of Beethoven and Mahler symphonies. High Fidelity named the recording of Mahler’s 6th as ‘the best classical recording’ of 2002; the 3rd was awarded ‘Critic’s Choice’ by the German Record Critics’ Award Association; the Mahler 9th, Mahler 2nd, and Bruckner 5th recordings were nominated for Grammy awards.

In 2012, Zander founded the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (BPYO), which draws young musicians from the entire northeastern US to its weekly rehearsals and high-profile performances in Boston. This tuition-free orchestra tours regularly, and has performed in Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, and the Berlin Philharmonie, among others. In the summer of 2017 the BPYO toured South America and will tour in Europe in 2018.

From 1965-2012, Zander was on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC), where he taught Musical Interpretation, and conducted the Youth Philharmonic and Conservatory orchestras. He was the founding Artistic Director of the NEC’s joint program with The Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts. Zander led the NEC Youth Philharmonic on fifteen international tours and made several documentaries for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). His interpretation class, “Interpretations of Music: Lessons for Life,” is being presented this season in partnership with the Boston Public Library once a month at the Central Library in Copley Square. They are free and open to the public, as well as made available online where they are viewed by tens of thousands of people around the world.

Zander enjoys an international career as a leadership speaker, with several keynote speeches at the World Economic Forum in Davos and at TED. The best-selling book, The Art of Possibility, co-authored with leading psychotherapist Rosamund Zander, has been translated into eighteen languages.


Andiswa Makana

Bongiwe Nakani Mcetywa
mezzo soprano

Sidwell Mhlongo
Gauteng Choristers Conductor

The Gauteng Choristers, a choir based in the Gauteng region, has developed into one of the cornerstones of choral and classical music of our time.

Formed in 1998, they have won numerous awards over the years, including being crowned national champions for the Old Mutual/Telkom National Choir Festival in 2006 and 2001 (Standard Category), second in 2004 (Large Category) and 2000 and third in 2007 and 1999.

They also made history in 2007, when they toured Europe performing ‘Porgy ‘n Bess’, becoming the first South African choir to perform an opera in Europe.

During 2006, besides winning all the major national music competitions in South Africa, the Gauteng Choristers took part in the Opera Extravaganza that took place at the Linder Auditorium in Johannesburg. The choir not only enjoyed a successful concert but also recorded a CD and DVD called 8 Years of Musical Excellence.

The Gauteng Choristers takes the development of young choristers very seriously. Many of the choristers are studying music at institutions such as the University of Cape Town, Hartford University (USA), Pretoria Technikon and others are undergoing professional instruction under the auspices of the Black Tie Ensemble.

About Classical Movements
The premier concert tour company for the world’s great orchestras and choirs, Classical Movements creates meaningful cultural experiences through music in 145 countries. An industry leader for Three Decades, Classical Movements organizes more than 60 tours every year, producing some 200 concerts every season. Producer of two international choral festivals—Ihlombe! in South Africa and Serenade! in Washington, D.C.—and the Prague Summer Nights: Young Artists Music Festival, in addition, Classical Movements’ Eric Daniel Helms New Music Program has commissioned over 70 works from Grammy, Oscar and Pulitzer Prize-winning composers. Winner of Americans for the Arts’ BCA10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts Award, since its founding in 1992, as a truly global company, Classical Movements remains committed to facilitating cultural diplomacy across the world—promoting peace through the medium of music.