Classical music lovers who may have missed the performance by Buskaid in March must be happy to know that on July 17, the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble will perform once again at the Linder Auditorium as part of their 25 years of extraordinary music-making celebration.
Rosemary Nalden, founder of Buskaid, reminisces: “Twenty five 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 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 Mori P 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.”
This internationally acclaimed string ensemble will perform the World Première of Scarlatti in Soweto, a quirky, jazzy piece by the renowned British, US-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 Dvoák’s magical Romance for Violin and Orchestra. Mzwandile (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 Joburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Phoenix Orchestra.
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. Rosemary enlisted the support of 120 of her professional colleagues who took part in a simultaneous ‘busk’ in March 1992 at 16 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.
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.

Performance details:
17 July at 3pm, Linder Auditorium, Wits.
Tickets: R300 (concessions R175).
No children under the age of six years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *