Festivalgoers at the 14th Klein Karoo Klassique in Oudtshoorn can prepare to be captivated by more than a celebration of classical music.
This year’s festival programme, hosted in the Klein Karoo from Thursday 3 to Sunday 6 August, includes a range of experiences intertwined with music by South Africa’s foremost classical musicians, not only creating opportunities to get to know musicians, but it also includes book talks, art exhibitions, a historical walking tour and a variety of delectable food and wine experiences.
Klassique is presented in the centre of Oudtshoorn, with most festivities taking place in the Civic Centre and upstairs at the Banqueting Hall. Six music recitals are followed by discussions, where festivalgoers can engage in thought-provoking discussions with musicians, as they share insights into the nuances of the music.
The first three music discussions are led by legendary South African artist Coenie de Villiers as facilitator. First up is Louisa Theart (flute) and Nina Schumann (piano) following their recital Aquila Duo: Echoes of Arcadia (Friday 4 Aug 10:30). Friday afternoon, Theart shares the stage with Dylan Tabisher (marimba & vibraphone) in Mizar Duo (4 Aug 14:00) followed by a discussion. On Saturday, pianist Megan-Geoffrey Prins, cellist Peter Martens and violinist Suzanne Martens share the stage for Harmony of Serenity: Arvo Pärt’s Musical Meditations (5 Aug 10:30) followed by a discussion.
From Saturday afternoon the ever-popular Lynelle Kenned steps in as facilitator. Following Sublime Sextets (5 Aug 14:00) she is joined by Suzanne Martens (violin), Matthew Stead (violin), Petrus Coetzee (viola), Jana Smit (viola), Peter Martens (cello), Rosamund Ender (cello), Fèroll-Jon Davids (clarinet), Shannon Thebus (French horn) & Schumann (piano) to discuss their music. The two recitals on Sunday 6 August are both followed by a music discussion. These include Take Four Piano Quartet (10:30) with Zanta Hofmeyr (violin), Susan Mouton (cello), Elna van der Merwe (piano) and Jeanne-Louise Moolman (viola) and the last music discussion of the festival after Handel’s Roman Cantatas (14:00) with Kenned (soprano), Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi (soprano), Ralitza Macheva (baroque violin), Rosamund Ender (baroque cello & viola da gamba), Dale de Windt (chamber organ) and Erik Dippenaar (harpsichord & Director).
There are three opportunities for festivalgoers to immerse themselves in the world of literature, through captivating book talks, made possible by NB Publishers. Esteemed author Tom Dreyer talks about his debut volume of work Nou in infrarooi (4 Aug 12:30), Wisani Mushwana shares insights into his first novel A Soft Landing (5 Aug 12:30) and Nicole Jaekel Strauss concludes the programme with an overview of her novel, Deelfontein. Book journalist Elna van der Merwe is the facilitator. These and other books are also available for sale at the Boekeparadys, where festivalgoers can choose between a range of books and souvenirs, as well as a few bargains.
An array of Klein Karoo visual artists showcases their art, as part of the festival’s curated exhibition Earth has Music for those who Listen. Curated by local artist Janet Dixon, this exhibition celebrates the intricate relationship between nature and music from a Klein Karoo perspective. Through a diverse range of artistic styles, the exhibition strives to elucidate the harmony, the dynamism and regeneration as a thread through both music and nature. Artworks from both established and emerging artists from the Klein Karoo are including, amongst others Liza Grobler, Hermann Niebuhr, François Tiran, Ina Marx, Lisl Barry, and other local artists. All artworks on show in the Banqueting Hall will be on sale and festivalgoers can join Dixon for Walkabouts on Friday and Saturday afternoon at 16:00.
Thorny Creek Brewery, a local craft brewery, presents a Craft Beer & Cheese Pairing daily at 12:30 where products of this boutique beer brewery in the heart of the Klein Karoo can be tasted, paired with an artisanal cheese. They also present an introduction to Brewer’s Spent Grain as a functional ingredient in a culinary journey, a fascinating intersection of brewing and sustainability, at the same time.
No festival experience is complete without culinary delights, and the festival’s restaurant operated by Nostalgie Restaurant offers delicious breakfasts, delectable lunches, and sumptuous dinners. An array of wine and locally roasted coffee will also be on offer.
This year, for the first time at Klassique, Historical Walking Tours are presented by Roydin Engelbrecht from RJ Tours. This comfortable walking tour visits important architectural buildings in Oudtshoorn. One example is the Dutch Reformed Moederkerk, where construction began in 1860 and concluded in 1879.
Klein Karoo Klassique is presented by the KKNK, made possible by the Rupert Music Foundation and ATKV, with additional support from Le Lude, Rosenhof Country House, and the Oudtshoorn Municipality. The festival’s accommodation sponsors are Hlangana Lodge, Kleinplaas Holiday Resort, Protea Hotel Riempie Estate, Queen’s Hotel by Bon Hotels, Ravenscliff Manor, Turnberry Boutique Hotel and Wildehondekloof Game Reserve.
The complete festival programme is available at klassique.co.za. Tickets are available at Webtickets, Pick n Pay, or the KKNK office. Available tickets are also on sale at the door before each recital. An exclusive Klassique Package offers access to nine recitals at a total discount of 30%. Klassique Package ticketholders also receive a 30% discount on their festival accommodation in the Queen’s Hotel, subject to availability. For more accommodation options in and around Oudtshoorn, visit Klassique’s accommodation partner LekkeSlaap.
Three book talks are presented, with authors Tom Dreyer, Wisani Mushwana and Nicole Jaekel Strauss.