Promoted post: National Geographic/Nobel Prize Short Documentary, An Unfinished Symphony, featuring MIAGI

MIAGI is an acronym for ‘Music Is A Great Investment’. This innovative non-profit music incubator was established in 2001, by SA tenor Robert Brooks and his Finnish born, musician wife Ingrid Hedlund. Through its corporate and social investment programme, MIAGI implements new projects and supports existing music projects which are cash strapped and require funding. In addition to the annual festival presented by MIAGI, it facilitates, youth orchestras (jazz big band classical), music camps, workshops, master classes, mentoring programmes and sponsorships/scholarships which enable performers to perform in SA and internationally. With the global pandemic, MIAGI will play an essential role in keeping projects going and in seeking new partnerships. Watch an Unfinished Symphony documentary and be inspired.

An Unfinished Symphony [released May 2020] has been produced by National Geographic Documentary Films, in association with the Nobel Peace Prize and falls under the Nobel Shorts series of doccies –inspired by the legacy of Nelson Mandela. Academy Award winner Orlando von Einsiedel is the director of Unfinished Symphony. 

Unfinished Symphony features two musicians: Tsepo Pooe from Soweto and Lize Schaap from Pretoria. They come from very different backgrounds and have had very different opportunities.  Music unites them. Through stirring footage –poverty juxtaposed with concert hall and music images – we get a sense of the hope and despair in South Africa. Mandela’s legacy is perching on brittle ground. Music can bring people together and transcend difference but there are notes which may not line up in the process. The cinematography is beautiful. Director von Einsiedel has succeeded in making a tribute film to MIAGI but at the same time, he foregrounds uncomfortable issues in terms of privilege and access to music. MIAGI has been actively working to provide opportunities for young musical artists but it comes across that South Africa is an unfinished symphony. It needs a lot of work, investment and care.

Watching this documentary in the time of the pandemic, one is cognisant that the arts and music is going to play a critical role in rebuilding the nation. The performing arts sector has been decimated with the shuttering of theatres and concert halls and the uncertainty of when it will be feasible to open again. Until that is possible, MIAGI will not be able to perform for a big audience. Watch this video and consider donating to MIAGI and helping it realise its bottom line that ‘Music is a great Investment’ and assist MIAGI in its mission to contribute to building a cohesive society in South Africa.

An Unfinished Symphony- details

To watch: Click here

Duration of film: Twenty minutes

Tickets: No charge to watch

MIAGI website: