Western Cape Youth Classical Festival at Artscape

By MapMyWay
20 August 2019

Western Cape Youth Classical Festival, Artscape
48th Western Cape Youth Classical Festival (WCYCF) at Artscape 31 August

The 48th Western Cape Youth Classical Festival (WCYCF) hosted by Artscape and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) on Saturday, August 31 at 7.30pm, will again feature 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.

Lead Up to the Western Cape Youth Classical Festival

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, played 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).

Says Marlene Le Roux, CEO of Artscape Theatre Centre: “Once again we are astounded at the standard of these young soloists and welcome them back to the Artscape Theatre Stage with open arms. We applaud the soloists, their teachers, music institutions and parents who nurture and support these young artists, as this is a journey that spans many years and many hours of hard work and dedication to perfect their art. Stepping onto the Artscape stage to perform with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra is a momentous milestone in their careers and all of us at Artscape cannot be prouder to be part of that journey.”

Louis Heyneman, CEO of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra says: “This opportunity to perform with a professional symphony orchestra is granted to only the best young musicians today. We are delighted to again be part of this festival, which furthers our aims to develop brilliant young performers. The orchestra has been part of the festival since David Tidboald established it in 1971. We are proud that our resident conductor, Brandon Phillips, took over the baton a few years ago.”

This year’s adjudicators are Alastair Cockburn, Aviva Pelham and Daniel Neal.

WHERE: Artscape Theatre Centre, DF Malan Stret, Foreshore, Cape Town 8001

TICKETS: only R80. Book through Artscape Dial-a-Seat 021 421 7695, Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers outlets on 0861 915 8000 or book online  Please note: this event is always sold out, so it is suggested to book early.


Lisa Van Wyk  19   Flute
Christopher Njapha  21  Cello
Corban Beukes  11  Violin
Lara Havenga  21  Trumpet
Keon Mȕller  15  Saxophone
Eléna Monvoisin   9  Oboe
Simon Wu  19  Piano
Madison Le Roux  12  Piano
Nwuko Sunday Kelechi  20  Cello
Jana-Mari Van Dyk  22  Mezzo Soprano
Haydn Henning  22  Bass
Josie McClure  20  Alto Saxophone
Jevano Swartz  23  Flute
Mike Wang   12  Piano

INFO: contact Debbie Damons on 021 410 9915.