Harare's second Chamber Music Festival kicks off on August 31, promising musical delights for classical music lovers, as well as masterclasses and workshops for budding young Zimbabwean musicians.
The venue for the evening concerts, Hoyle Field in Chisipite adjacent to the United States ambassador's residence, is generously provided by the US embassy. The visiting musicians this year are prominent South African pianist Elna van der Merwe, who also featured in last year's festival, young Chinese clarinettist Junnan Sun, resident in South Africa who has been taking the music world by storm, and well-known musical couple Peter and Suzanne Martens, cellist and violinist respectively, also from South Africa, who have performed several times in Zimbabwe at the Bulawayo Music Festival and at the Harare International Festival of the Arts.
Outreach is the primary focus of this year's festival. The evening concerts will host young musicians who will come and learn from the demonstration performances by these world class musicians, and these are open to the public, with tickets by donation available from Dandaro and Alo Alo Restaurant from August 20. The Salzburg Festival is providing assistance for the festival's outreach programme.
In the day-time, the musicians will be taken to Chitungwiza, where they will work with young musicians, operatic soloists and combined choirs. They will also travel out to Peterhouse Girls School near Marondera, where Musicamp -- the decades old, week-long annual gathering for young musicians -- is taking place from August 26 to September 2, to provide some tuition, workshops and masterclasses for young classical musicians attending this year. The visiting musicians will also pay a private visit to the Children's Cancer Ward at Parirenyatwa Hospital, play for the children and share the joy of music with them.