Preview: Buskaid celebrates its 25th anniversary with an epic concert, with Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble, July 17, 2022

Buskaid 25th anniversary celebratory concert

When: Sunday, July 17, 2022
Where: Linder Auditorium, Wits,Johannesburg, at 3pm
Featuring: Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble
Tickets: R300 (concessions R175) from Quicket
Direct booking link:
Other info: No children under the age of 6 years. No refunds  
Info: Buskaid office on 011 442 9676


The internationally acclaimed Buskaid, is celebrating its milestone quarter of a century birthday, with a spectacular 25th anniversary concert at the Linder Auditorium, Johannesburg, on Sunday, July 17, 2022, at 3pm. Buskaid, a charitable music trust, was established in 1992, by British viola player, Rosemary Nalden. She had heard a BBC radio interview about the challenges faced by string players in Soweto and raised money, along with colleagues, with a busking fundraising campaign in stations in the London underground. She subsequently moved to Soweto and developed Buskaid as an amazing organisation. The Buskaid Soweto String Project (BSSP) was established in 1997. Buskaid is made of several components – including a music school, the BSSP and other projects. The 25th anniversary celebratory concert features the World Première of Scarlatti in Soweto, “a quirky, jazzy piece” by the renowned British USA-based composer, Julian Grant, written especially for Buskaid; a suite of music by the French baroque composer Lully; romantic 19th and 20th century music; new pop songs and Kwela. Buskaid’s virtuoso young violinist Mzwandile Twala will be performing Dvorák’s Romance for Violin and Orchestra. Info as supplied:

Buskaid 25th Anniversary, July 17, 2022

On July 17, 2022, the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble will perform once again at the Linder Auditorium where it will celebrate 25 years of extraordinary music-making in this venue.

Rosemary Nalden, founder of Buskaid, reminisces:

25 years ago I stepped on to the stage of the Linder Auditorium for the first time to perform in Buskaid’s inaugural concert, with 15 school-age children from Diepkloof, Soweto. Little did I imagine on that day, that 25 years later, I would find myself on the very same stage, celebrating some of the most extraordinary achievements imaginable – from the London Proms at the Royal Albert Hall to a World Cup fan park in Damascus; from the Cité de la Musique in Paris to a Māori Pā in New Zealand; from the Bamboo Cathedral in Colombia to a Dutch barge in Holland. The list is endless, but our annual appearance at the Linder is, for all of us, extra special, as we get to play to our loyal, enthusiastic and supportive Joburg audience. Our innovative programme will highlight the diverse talents of these extraordinary young Buskaid musicians – a few of whom actually played in that first concert!”

Buskaid 25th anniversary celebratory concert- programme

This internationally acclaimed string ensemble will perform the World Première of Scarlatti in Soweto, a quirky, jazzy piece by the renowned British USA-based composer, Julian Grant, written especially for Buskaid. Also included in the billing is a suite of stunning music by the French baroque composer Lully.

Buskaid’s brilliant young violinist Mzwandile Twala will be performing Dvořák’s magical “Romance for Violin and Orchestra.” Twala (born in 2000) was one of the youngest children to start learning the violin at Buskaid. In 2018, he gained his DipABRSM with Distinction. He enjoys playing chamber music and experimenting with jazz improvisation; he is currently freelancing with both the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Phoenix Orchestra.

The performance will end with a selection of pieces by Northern European composers as well as a few new pop songs and a good helping of energetic Kwela, which will have the audience smiling and dancing.

Lunch before the concert

Start your perfectly-orchestrated afternoon with lunch at 27 Degrees, (restaurant adjacent to the Linder Auditorium). Open for lunch from 12:00, 27 Degrees offers a winter-warmer soup, a mini-carvery, curry bar, pasta bar and Salad Valley. Tea, coffee, chocolates and crisps also on sale and a full local bar with a limited selection of pick-up-and-go items available.


Buskaid is a charitable trust registered both in the UK and SA. It was founded in 1992 by British viola player Rosemary Nalden in response to a BBC radio interview highlighting the plight of a group of young string players in Diepkloof, Soweto. Nalden enlisted the support of 120 of her professional colleagues who took part in a simultaneous ‘busk’ in March 1992 at sixteen British rail stations. In two hours they raised £6000 for the benefit of the young township musicians. Since then several hundred distinguished musicians have participated in a further four ‘busks’. Funding now comes from South African corporate sponsorship, various South African and UK Trusts, individual donations, CD/DVD sales and performances by the Buskaid musicians.  

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Twitter: @buskaidSA

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