First Harare Chamber Music Festival beckons

HARARE - The first edition of the three-day Harare Chamber Music Festival (HCMF) will take place at The Venue in Avondale from September 1 to 3.

HCMF, the brainchild of Zimbabwean musician, teacher and educationist, Colbert Mpofu, is attracting the interest of classical music enthusiasts and those looking forward to sampling the genre for the first time.

Chamber Music is an intimate style of music which began as music written and performed by and for small groups of people, to be enjoyed at special occasions in private homes and also presented for royalty in palaces and chambers.  It was a popular form of entertainment shared and enjoyed by ordinary people and by the wealthy and the royal.

The African and Asian chamber music traditions assumed a religious and spiritual role.  Whilst Chamber Music still takes place today performed by amateur musicians for their families and friends in private settings, most people enjoy it in concert form, and the upcoming festival provides the perfect opportunity.

An accomplished double bassist and musician, Mpofu has long dreamed of sharing the pleasures of chamber music with Zimbabweans in a festival dedicated to the genre.  The Festival will become an annual event at the beginning of September, with outreach and other events in the interim.

Highly distinguished musicians from home, Mozambique, South Africa and Europe will perform during the first edition of the festival that will focus on the Western chamber music tradition.  They include Zimbabwe’s own accomplished and internationally renowned pianist Jeanette Micklem, Mozambican soprano Stella Medonça and alto Sonia Mocumbi, cellist Theo Bross from Germany and violist Jeanne-Louise Moolman from South Africa, both of whom performed recently at the Bulawayo Music Festival; South African pianist Elna van der Merwe; preeminent violinist and conductor Andrew Sherwood from the United Kingdom, who grew up in Zimbabwe; and from France, flautist Marie Braun and violinist Markus Held.

Founding Trustees comprise Mpofu (founder and director), Dr Solomon Gurumatunhu, a specialist surgeon and Praxedes Dzangare, an advertising and media practitioner.

Artistic consultants are musicians Rumbidzai Chipendo (Zimbabwe), Jonny Fernandes (Cape Verde) and Erik Dippenaar (Cape Town), and a team of other volunteers are involved in festival organisation and publicity.

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