News From the Bottom of Africa

Posted By on January 17, 2006

Greetings to all from the beautiful South African city of Cape Town. This being my day off during our stay down here, I rather thought I would write up a report of sorts, detailing some of the adventurous activities I have enjoyed since my arrival. Kristina and I flew down on a night flight on the 8th of January and were met at the airport by our hosts, Mr. Steven Horwood and his fiancée, Miss Katherine Smith. The chaps from the AHQ arrived later that evening and we had our first rehearsal on the following morning. Our first concert was presented on the 11th at the Cape Town City Hall, which houses a beautiful, old style auditorium. The concert was quite a success and there was a reception following the event at which we had the opportunity to meet several professional horn players here in South Africa. Kristina joined us on “Casbah of Tetouan” which served as the finale to the program which included the Telemann Concerto for 4 Violins (horns), Dauprat Quatour Nr. 1, my Quartet 3, two pieces by Bach, and the West Side Story Suite.

On the 12th, we were driven all over The Cape, where we enjoyed spectacular scenery (views of False Bay and Hout Bay) and wonderful food and South African wine. Some of the activities included a visit to the quaint fishing village of Simonstown, the African penguin colony at Boulder, a hike up to the Cape of Good Hope. We also encountered a family of baboons along the road and a puff adder.

On the 13th we continued over the mountain pass to Hermanus, which is one of the best whale watching locations in the world. We had lunch at Spier Wine Farm/Cheetah Rehabilitation Center. That evening we were escorted onto the stage at the magnificent Arabella Country Club, where we performed the same program as on the 11th.

January 14th our tiny group proceeded inland to the Fairy Glen Game Reserve. It was here, at 5 o’clock in the afternoon that Kristina and I were joined in holy matrimony. Upon boarding a safari jeep, we drove higher into the hills, past a trio of lions, to a tiny stone chapel. The lads packed out their horns and opened the ceremony with an arrangement of the Bach Goldberg Variations (only the theme).Charlie, Geof, and David provided music for our ceremony.

Kristina and I spent our honeymoon at the famous Mount Nelson Hotel of Cape Town, reputedly the most luxurious hotel in all Africa. That evening my dear friends, David, Charles and Geof flew back to cold, dark and wet Germany, Kristina and I have been asked to present a couple of lectures at Cape Town University as part of its Summer School.During their residence in Cape Town, Kerry and Kristina delivered lectures and performances at the UCT Summer School, as guests of horn professor Sean Kierman. We shall be performing a piece on natural horns as well as the Haydn Double Concerto and my own Duos. The aim of our visit here has been to inspire interest in the horn and the upcoming IHS Symposium at the end of July. I will be writing rather a lot on this topic shortly, so please stay tuned!

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