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Launched in 2000 by violin teacher Kolwane Mantu who started teaching in violin in Soweto over 20 years ago, The Children’s Orchestra constitutes young children who have learnt how to play the violin. Their small instruments were donated by “The Peace Boat”, an international educational and networking NGO from Japan, who visit various ports around the world and organise cultural exchanges with local communities. The Youth Orchestra was recently performed with the National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands. They have performed in the Youth Day Celebrations in Soweto (June 2000) and have played for Dr Nelson Mandela to celebrate the launch of the Alumini Programme of the Nelson Mandela Scholarship. Recently they performed for Portnet and played for three nights at the Vista University in Soweto to a number of visiting African American Professors. The Orchestra’s membership currently stands at 35 and is still growing. {/slide}



Bana Ba Thari is the oldest African string quintet made up of Cello and two each of violla and violin. The group is drawn from the African Youth Ensemble, which was founded by music teacher and violinist Kolwane Mantu. Bana Ba Thari plays classical music as well as traditional South African music. The quintet has performed at some of the most prestigious events. Their more recent performances include the CNN African Journalist of the Year Award, the launch of Telkom School Choir Championship, the Soweto Caltex Nation Building Concert, the launch of Science and Technology 2010, Transnet’s Boss of the year Award and Spoornet Chairman’s Awards. The quintet participates in the Annual National Youth Orchestra. Bana Ba Thari have been the backing band for Gloria Bosman and Ringo Madlingozi and were part of the making of Helmut Lotti’s Out of Africa video. They are renowned for their professionalism and their regular client list includes Siemens, Munich Reinsurance Deloitte & Touche and Star Diamonds



It is a fact of life in South Africa that the opportunities for young singers who aspire towards attaining any heights in the field of opera no longer exist to the extent they once did. This reality is one that confronts virtually every young person who chooses to enter the world of the performing arts, in whatever metier. Artists have been forced to create their own work and to adopt a truly entrepreneurial spirit, much in the manner of the touring theatrical companies of old, and new opportunities are being created every day. It was in this spirit of entrepreneurship and with a determination to preserve the traditions of opera performance in this country, not to mention the creation of a pathway for gifted young singers to attain their goals, that South Africa’s diva, Mimi Coertse, and celebrated opera director and costume designer, Neels Hansen, decided to create the Black Tie Ensemble. The Ensemble has during the last two years developed into one of the most exciting classical music and singing projects in Gauteng. Proudly sponsored by Nedcor Investment Bank until 2002, with additional support given by BASA and Nedcor Foundation, the Black Tie Ensemble consists of a multicultural group of classically trained and talented young opera singers from diverse cultural groups in South Africa, and they aspire towards bringing opera and quality singing to a wider audience, mainly by way of performing at CORPORATE GATHERINGS and INDUSTRIAL EDUTAINMENT, to schools and to outlying areas. They have also performed at various Arts Festivals in South Africa and Namibia. This initiative enables them to earn an income while gaining experience and realising their dreams with their glorious voices. The experience gained since the formation of the company in March 1999, has let to its now being in a position to embrace more challenging projects, and they staged their first opera, RIGOLETTO, during May 2001 to rave reviews. Their second opera, MADAMA BUTTERFLY, was staged in the Spoornet State Theatre, the new “home” of the Black Tie Ensemble since August 2001. The Ensemble was very honoured to have Mrs Zanele Mbeki attend the opening night. The Black Tie Ensemble elicits standing ovations at virtually all their performances. The media have been extremely impressed with the project particularly because the standard has been consistently high. “Triumphant staging of Verdi’s RIGOLETTO” – Riek van Rensburg Pretoria News “The Black Tie se RIGOLETTO `n puik toekomsbelegging” – Thys Odendaal Beeld “Black Ties se RIGOLETTO prysenswaardig” – Beeld “Drie van Black Tie genooi om in Beijing te sing” – Thys Odendaal Beeld “Grense is só in Bloemfontein oorgesteek” – Marina Griebenow Volksblad “Black Ties sit finale stempel van welslae op fees” – Volksblad “A Magical Butterfly” – Riek van Rensburg Pretoria News “Prime accolade in this production goes to Zodumo Mboniswa” – Riek van Rensburg Pretoria News “This multi-racial production of Puccini’s immortal MADAMA BUTTERFLY is a triumph for the Black Tie Ensemble” – Michael Traub The Citizen “A production not to be missed, one that South Africa can be proud of” – Michael Traub The Citizen The Black Tie Ensemble has since its launch in March 1999 made appearances at functions for auspicious audiences such as: * South African Airways’ Executives and Lifetime Platinum cardholders * Soirees for Vodacom, Altron, Classic FM * The Cultural Festival “Aardklop” in Potchefstroom * The “Namibië Kunstefees” in Windhoek * A performance for a delegation of cultural advisors from Germany * A soiree for Hospice in Port Elizabeth * A soiree for The Airports Company of South Africa * The Lipizzaners Viennese Ball * The Garden World Concert * Several regular concerts and Soirees for Rapport and City Press * Edutainment programme: The Mountain to Mohammed Project at the Highveld Steel factory near Witbank * One of the ensemble members, Linda Zitha, sang on 14 November 2000 at the Earth Gallery, National History Museum London, and had a great personal success. He repeated this performance at the Frankfurt Opera House in January 2001. This spectacular event was arranged by Ogilvy One Worldwide for South African Tourism. * Several VIP soirees and concerts for Nedcor Investment Bank * A recording for Kyknet’s Draadloos – this was aired on 22 December 2000 * Eight Christmas concerts with the Lipizzaner horses at the Lipizzaner Centre during December 2000 * A Christmas Eve street concert at Montecasino Fourways * During February 2001 the Ensemble performed for the Directors and Editors of all the newspapers and magazines belonging to the Naspers Group. * Four Ensemble members sang their first Edwardian Soiree at the Sammy Marks Museum outside Pretoria on 27 March 2001 for a selected audience. * During May 2001 the Black Tie Ensemble completed their first full-length opera RIGOLETTO (Verdi) at the Aula, Pretoria and received excellent reviews from the Press. * During 2001, the Black Tie Ensemble performed regularly at the Kloppenheim Country Estate in the Machadodorp area. * The South African Department of Foreign Affairs in Beijing invited members of The Black Tie Ensemble, as part of the Youth Day Celebrations, to perform at concerts in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai * The Ensemble has staged their first true corporate opera for their main sponsor, Nedcor Investment Bank with Opera in Miniature: La Traviata (Verdi). This 70-minute performance was staged in the Agfa Theatre on the Square, Sandton. This performance was repeated at the Kloppenheim Country Estate. * A performance in the open air at the Royal Livingston Hotel, Zambia – a corporate function v Invited to sing for Mr Mandela at the Newsmaker of the Decade Award. * During April 2002 the Black Tie Ensemble completed their second full-length opera MADAMA BUTTERFLY (Puccini) at the Spoornet State Theatre, Pretoria and received excellent reviews from the Press. For the first time, the opera was accompanied by the 35-piece Chamber Orchestra of South Africa. * The Black Tie Ensemble was honoured to perform for the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology at a dinner held in honour of the Finnish Delegates. v The Black Tie Ensemble performed for the third time at the annual Pretoria News: A Night at the Proms * At the end of October, the Black Tie Ensemble did a short season of the acclaimed Madama Butterfly at the Sand du Plessis theatre in Bloemfontein to critical acclaim. v A Christmas concert for Classic FM and a Christmas Gala in the Drama, Spoornet StateTheatre during December. * The Black Tie Ensemble has recently collaborated with the South African Ballet Theatre to stage Valentine Enchantment in the Opera, State Theatre Pretoria. FUTURE ENGAGEMENTS INCLUDE: The monthly concerts at the Ristorante Ritrovo continue in support of the Adopt-an-Artist Scheme. Already eleven members of the Black Tie Ensemble have been adopted. The Ensemble will also continue with their outreach work at schools and factories into the new year. The Ensemble is planning to do Puccini’s La Bohème during May 2003 in Pretoria at the Spoornet State Theatre. The Ensemble can be divided into groups of 2 artists, up to the full Ensemble, depending on the client’s needs, but we have found in the past that with a minimum of four singers, we can compile a suitable programme. The programme can then include arias, duets, trios and quartets. The first half of the programme usually includes well-known opera-arias, duets and ensembles. The second half includes operetta-excerpts, Italian songs and excerpts from the classical musicals. The Black Tie Ensemble also performs Opera in Miniature, a concept that has become very popular with the Corporates. The most well known arias and ensemble work from an opera are combined with narration into a 75 – 90 minute programme. This is a short staged version with costumes and props of the original work. The latest development for the Black Tie Ensemble is the Adopt-an-Artist scheme. Companies, families and individuals can adopt an artist for a year to secure these artists’ income so that they can focus on their art form and artistic development. The Black Tie Ensemble for 2003: Louette Johnston coloratura Shirley Sutherland coloratura (presently in Cape Town for further studies) Loveline Madumo soprano Bongi Madlala soprano Charlotte Silulu mezzo Veramarie Meyer mezzo Nobuhle Gqweta mezzo Jannie Moolman tenor (guest artist) Dewald von Solms tenor Khotso Tšekeletsa tenor Given Mabena tenor Jonathan Boinamo baritone Linda Zitha baritone Vuyani Mlinde bass (leaving for Australia in March 2003) Paul Madibeng bass Accompanist & Coach: Susan Steenkamp-Swanepoel



In 1992, British viola player Rosemary Nalden registered Buskaid as a charitable trust after she heard a BBC radio interview about a group of young string players in Diepkloof, Soweto. Over 100 of her colleagues raised money in a simultaneous “Busk” at 16 British Rail stations for the young township musicians. Since then there have been four other “Busks” and Buskaid have been raising money for township musicians ever since. The Buskaid Soweto String Project (BSSP) was founded in January 1997 and is made up of younger members of the original Soweto project. Its students are from the underprivileged community and range in age from eight to twenty-one. Rosemary Nalden teaches at BSSP in Soweto. The BSSP ensemble is widely sought after for a variety of prestigious events, including for workshops with a number of international artists. BSSP have done several performances for Nelson Mandela and President Thabo Mbeki. BSSP members have toured London, France, Ireland, the USA – in New York and California. They have performed for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. Buskaid recorded their first CD in 1998, released in the UK and South Africa. Their second CD Soweto Dance was released in South Africa and in 1999 Rosemary Nalden won the Shoprite Checkers SABC3 Woman of the Year Arts and Culture Award for her work with Buskaid. The BSSP won the Arts and Culture Trust Award for best Cultural Development Project, 1999.



Danielle Klimas originates from Lithuania, Eastern Europe. Her performing musical career spans more than twenty years. She is an accomplished violinist and singer and has studied and performed all over Europe and the Far East. John Louw has been involved in the South African music industry and bands for over twenty-five years. His functions are management, song arrangements, sound, recording and backing tracks as well as occasional vocals and percussion. Danielle and John have been performing in South Africa for almost 3 years. This combination performs all styles or genres of listening music. They have performed at over 500 functions at restaurant, corporate, school, party, art, presentation, launch and wedding venues. They have jointly recorded 8 CD’s with numerous specialised individual CD’s as ordered. They have developed a “Music Awareness” program designed to educate young children at schools. This program has been well accepted with many future bookings. Their current repertoire of more than 270 songs is tastefully selected and performed to please a wide variety of audience with the ability to change styles during a performance. Their shows can last up to 5 hours. Genres include Old Popular, Light jazz, Light Classic, Latin, French, Traditional songs and Anthems.



Since its inception in 2010, The Gala Pops Orchestra has become well known locally. Their adaptability ensures their ongoing popularity. They perform in stage concerts, for private celebrations, business launches and gala events. Their remarkable diversity and vast repertoire go together to ensure that they are always in demand. They had the distinction of appearing regularly during the Austrian Imperial Ball and have performed at numerous gala events. They were recently invited by the American Young Presidents Organisation to perform at the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. They regularly perform arrangements from numerous spheres of music and their aim is to provide the listener with fiery, shimmering and exciting performances. Their music suggests something of the heroic, the familiar and the hidden, as well as the romantic and the modern. The Gala Pops Orchestra’s themes are of love, beauty and adventure in a variety of rich and generous moods, providing performances of unmistakable musical warmth.



Lizze is from an extraordinarily musical family in Cape Town, South Africa. She started playing violin and piano at around age six, then got serious on viola in her teens. After dropping out of med school in 1989, Lizzie became the youngest member of the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. In ’91 she was awarded a scholarship from the University of Cincinnati to study viola performance with Masao Kawasaki. During her three years in the USA, she played in many ensembles, toured Mexico, played in the Aspen Music Festival, gave recitals in New York City and graduated a year early! Lizzie returned to SA in ’94, having graduated summa cum laude, and took up the co-prinicipal viola position in the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra. Later she moved on to become principal violist of the PACOFS Orchestra in Bloemfontein and then in ’98 moved to Joburg to join the National Symphony Orchestra. When the NSO closed down in 2000, Lizzie embarked on a freelance career which grew from basic survival into a richly varied experience. She has established herself as a “studio-friendly” muso in Gauteng and has contributed to recordings for top artists such as Paul Hanmer, Johnny Clegg, Anton Goosen, Johannnes Kerkorrel, Nianell, PJ Powers, Lionel Bastos, Theuns Jordaan, Jannie du Toit, Laurika Rauch, Vusi Mahlasela, Zim Ngqawana, Coleske and more. Lizzie also tasted the life of rock-n-roll as the violinist for the band Watershed, with whom she played for two years, the highlight of which was a European tour in 2002. “Now that the Watershed chapter is over for me, I continue to busy myself freelancing and teaching, whilst enjoying developing my own contemporary solo act, encouraged by numerous requests to do something bold and new – a South African answer to the Vanessa Mae idea. I love the fact that my skills allow such a wonderfully broad range of musical projects: one day it’s Mozart and the next it’s something with a completely different groove! I truly believe that this colourful variety is a fitting reflection of current life in South Africa and I am grateful to be able to embrace music in the fullest sense possible”



The four professional classical musicians who make up Palm Strings Quartet play a wide variety of music from Baroque, Classical and Pop to jazz. The quartet comprises of two violins, viola and cello and was formed in 1986. Their versatility is evident in the assorted venues in which they perform, at wine farms, churches, restaurants, clubs, hotels, for launches, private functions, company incentives and recitals. Palm Strings Quartet is both an aural and a visual treat that enhances any occasion. Their clients include The Two Oceans Aquarium, Chameleon Indabas, The Table Bay Hotel and Rennies Travel.



Salon Five Music Ensemble comprises of four musicians on flute, violin, clarinet and piano and is led by pianist Jacobus Swart who is also composer and conductor. He started his musical career at the age of three and has studied with the world’s finest teachers. Jacobus has worked with and gained a love for Salon Music from Robert Stoltz the famed Austrian composer. Salon Five suits any occasion from corporate functions, gala events, and cocktail parties to dinner parties and weddings. They are well known for their excellent performances and ability to adapt to any requirement and event. Their repertoire is derived from numerous spheres of music, ranging from the classics to jazz, Baroque to The Beatles.Duo Musica consists of Jacob Swart on piano(clavinova) and Ettienne Malan on Saxophone.



The Soweto String Quartet is a musical explosion of four Africans playing eighteenth century musical instruments, but with the rich pulse of Africa flowing through their veins and into their music. Their music comprises works both contemporary and traditional, some original and some borrowed from Africa’s rich treasure house of melody. The Soweto String Quartet’s qualifications are impeccable, and they portray the timeless spirit of Africa. The Soweto String Quartet became a full-time professional outfit in 1992, the time when South Africa was in the throes of dramatic change. Sandile on how the changes affected the band: “The elections in 1994 turned everything around for us. Our first really important gig was actually at President Mandela’s inauguration. That was very emotional, but it was also the turning point for our career. The President even started recommending us for all sorts of other jobs”. The Soweto String Quartet have recorded two previous albums for BMG Africa – Zebra Crossing in 1994 and Renaissance in 1996. Both were a huge success. And like Millennia, the albums showcase the bands unique blend of traditional rhythms, Township Jazz, Pop songs, Jazz Fusion, and of course, strong Classical influences. The songs are arranged in the band’s unique and vibrant fashion – a true celebration of the resilient township spirit. The last few years have seen the band play all around the world as music ambassadors for the New South Africa. But their home will always be in Soweto as Sandile explains: “We belong to the people. And there are a lot of people coming through studying these instruments and taking an interest. They don’t think we are quite so crazy anymore”. Soweto String Quartet, comprising the three Khemese brothers and friend, Makhosini Mnguni, grew out of a Khemese family musical conspiracy. The Khemese children had no choice but to flourish in their artistry, in spite of the political oppression that held them down. Sons of a virtuoso conductor father and choral singer mother, Sandile and Reuben were naturally drawn into their uncle’s township music school. There they soon switched from choral singing to playing violins for the Soweto Symphony Orchestra. Between 1980 and 1986, Sandile pursued a music scholarship in England, which included four years at the Royal North College of Music in Manchester, after which he returned to the township to teach his brothers everything he had learned. He was able to obtain a job teaching the traditional African marimba instrument at the Madimba School of Music. After three years of sacrificing his violin playing, Sandile, his brothers and Makhosini decided it was time to regroup. For ten years, the Quartet weathered the criticisms of peers who taunted them for playing “funny European instruments”. “Our agenda included encouraging the youth to master these so-called Eurocentric instruments,” says Sandile, “as well as improving the standard and appreciation of classical music in the townships.” Since then, and since the miraculous birth of true democracy in their native South Africa, the Quartet has intensified its experimental intermixing of musical styles and instrumentation-bringing guitars, keyboards and percussion into a musical exploration of the inner dimensions of their cross-cultural experience. With an eclectic mix of African rhythms and intonations, Soweto String Quartet presents an aesthetic landscape that knows no cultural, temporal or geographical barriers.



Dancer, actress, musician and singer Tessa Ziegler started playing the piano at the age of five. At the age of nine, she began playing the classical guitar. Tessa graduated with a B.Mus from Wits University where she majored in guitar and piano. After teaching the guitar for many years, she decided to concentrate on performing and recording. Tessa recorded two albums with David Hewitt. As a solo artist she has made seven CD’s. Her latest releases for BMG Records include Late Afternoon at the Road Café, With Love and her new release, Classical, released in August 1999. Tessa has performed for Des and Dawn’s Soirees, the Classical Guitar Society of South Africa, PACT, the Grahamstown Festival and on Radio and television. She joined the national Symphony Orchestra in accompanying Pavarotti in Pretoria and was the supporting artist on the Hollies Nation-wide tour of South Africa. Tessa plays regularly for private and corporate functions.



The Three South African Tenors was formed in 1997 and consists of Agos Moahi, Given Mabena and Lucky Sibande. All three gentlemen studied at the Opera Department of the Technikon Pretoria under the vocal tuition of Eric Muller and Pierre du Toit and were awarded National Diplomas for Performing Arts – Opera They have performed all over South Africa including corporate functions for Afrox, SAA, Marconi Communication and Tribute Magazine. They also appeared at the SABC Community Builder of the Year Awards Ceremony in 1998 (attended by President Nelson Mandela and Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi) and 1999 as well as the VIP dinner at the opening ceremony of the All Africa Games 1999. Another highlight of their careers include their solo performances at Ama Opera-Opera with Sibongile Mngoma at Vodaworld. Other artists that they have appeared with include Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Aviva Pelham and NAPOP Orchestra.



Vienna Quartet performs a large array of music from pre-Classical to jazz and specialises in Viennese style classical music, exemplified by Strauss, Lehar and Keisler. The quartet’s repertoire includes French, Italian, German and Russian compositions as well as South African traditional music. The Vienna Quartet is based in Gauteng and performs regularly in Johannesburg and Pretoria. They have performed all over southern Africa and were members of the National Symphony Orchestra of the SABC. Adrian Ignat is the first violin. He was born in Rumania and graduated from the Bucharest College of Music where he obtained a Masters Degree in Violin from the Bucharest Conservatoire. For five years he played with the Bucharest Radio Orchestra. He has toured many European Countries including Italy, France, Australia, Germany and Russia. For two years he was leader of the Caracas Chamber Orchestra and came to South Africa in 1985 to join the National Symphony Orchestra of the SABC.

ABOUT Entertainment has an exciting catalogue of high calibre polished classical acts.

Contact us with your requirements so we can make the best suggestions