Review philharmonic: Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra’s Summer Cyber Symphony series, Concert 1- March 25 to 29, 2021

What: Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra’s new Summer Cyber Symphony series – concert 1- March 25 to 29, 2021. The online season wraps up on April 15, 2021 Viewing platform: Quicket Concert 1- March 25 to 29, 2021: Mozart Oboe Concerto, featuring Lisa White (CPO principal oboe), The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives and Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony, No. 41.   Jeremy Silver conducts Subscriptions: R400 for the series and R120 for a single ticket. Direct booking link: Information: Info, programme notes. booking instructions are on the CPO web Note: The concerts are being filmed on stage but there is no in-person attendance at the venues  

On Thursday evening, March 25, I watched/listened to the 1st concert in Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra’s new Summer Cyber Symphony series. I was overwhelmed. The concert is available for viewing until March 29, 2021 at 8pm.

Here we have our wonderful Philharmonic, playing in an empty City Hall. All the musicians wear masks –except the wind instrumentalists. The auditorium is empty. We see that. We see the Perspex dividers between the musicians, to keep them safe as possible. Conductor Jeremy Silver gives an intro regarding The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives and there is Lisa White, the soloist (oboe), reflecting on playing Mozart Oboe Concerto. I loved the intimacy of his concert – and the way Jeremy Silver and Lisa White, talk to the person, watching at home. There is no in-person attendance and the concerts are being filmed with the at- home audience in mind. The online presence of the audience is palpably felt in that we are addressed directly. This will part of the format for the entire concert season which will go up until April 15, 2021. It is easy to remember – dates- Thursday evenings until April 15. Actually, the start time has been made earlier, by request from patrons, so one can watch from 11am on Thursdays. Ticket may be purchased in singles- as they say in Cape lingo- or as a season ticket. For R400, you get the entire season – four concerts – or pay R120 for one concert. The season is not geo-locked. In US Dollars, that works out to just over 26 dollars [March 29, 2021]. Tell all SA expats to sign up. As I say, I was overwhelmed. Stirring music, virtuosi on stage. The Philharmonic has embraced the digital stage- bringing us an intimate and powerful online concert. Diarise Thursdays- from 11am.

Lisa White – oboe- speaks at the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra’s new Summer Cyber Symphony series – concert 1- about the Mozart Oboe Concerto– and what it means to her. Screenshot.