Musical buffet of the year

Musical buffet of the year
BULAWAYO – It’s winter in Zimbabwe, but during four scintillating days in mid June, summer briefly visited our land in the form of the Bulawayo Music Festival. It was a sizzling hot musical experience that left a trail

of exciting memories. This year’s programme was the biggest ever with 17 classical concerts, a thrilling array of classical musicians and an alternative traditional music menu that had over 150 performers that left the audience excited from their artistic, frenzied, passionate and emotionally charged performances and that the people are still talking about what they did, what they said and their effect on them.

Organisers of the event, Performing Arts Bulawayo led by their tireless chairperson, Michael Bullivant, described this edition as the most ambitious and yet embracing diverse musical art forms. Three great classical composers – Wolfgang Amdeus Mozart, Robert Schumann and Dmitri Shostakovich – had their distinctive musical contributions celebrated in style with specific concerts dedicated to them. Performers included the husband and wife team of Benjamin Nabarro and Ania Safonova (both violinists), the endearing Matthew Sharp on cello, pianists Jeanette Micklem, Leslie Howard and Michael Brownlee Walker, Lorna Kelly and Cherith Keen on soprano and Catherine Stirling.

The alternative traditional music programme, Isigodlo Arts, was an eclectic show of super talent, youthful zest and energy. It was a massive dance and music party that attracted mostly children and the youth from the environs of Bulawayo and surrounding areas. Event coordinator, Amanda Van der Merwe described Isigodlo as a huge success. “It was an opportunity to encourage artists to develop and showcase their creative talents in various innovative methods. For us the show was a huge success.” The show was indeed a fusion of jazz, reggae, gospel, and traditional music as well as non-musical attractions raging from fashion shows, literary readings, acrobatic dancing, poetry performances and art exhibitions.

The Bulawayo Music was indeed a successful combination of classical music and an eclectic mix of Afro-Euro musical and dance genres. With a multi-racial audience moving in and around the Zimbabwe Academy of Music and part of the Zimbabwe International Traditional Fair grounds, the festival goers were enthralled. The festival contributed in building togetherness within the Bulawayo community, build hope and spread the spirit of solidarity, especially in these difficult times.

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