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   21 November 2018 Issue 234 - Diplomacy in Music




Chopin on 5 Continents

Acclaimed Polish artists Prof Maria Pomianowska, Katarzyna Gacek-Duda, Gwidon Cybulski, Karolina Matuszkiewicz and Wolciech Lubertowicz brought Chopin on 5 Continents to Africa. They performed at the residence of Polish Ambassador Andrzej Kanthak in Pretoria on the occasion of commemorating the 100th anniversary of Poland's Independence.

The talented artists fashioned some of their instruments from just pictures and historical records that were available and with these entertained guests with Chopin inspired pieces.
Frederic Chopin was born in 1810 in Poland and his compositions still inspire. Chopin's masterpieces were inspired by folk music, especially from the Mazovia region.


France and South Africa sing together

TAmbassador Farnaud of France hosted the University of Pretoria Youth Choir and the Ouistreham Choir at his residence as a continuation of the celebration of Nelson Mandela's centenary, which the French Embassy in South Africa has been celebrating for the whole year.

40 South-African singers from the University of Pretoria and 30 French singers from the Ouistreham and Dijon Choirs entertained guests. Among the guests were Yvonne Chaka Chaka, internationally recognised South African singer and songwriter.

Ambassador Farnaud said that it was an honour for him to host this unique mix of generations, nationalities and style at his residence.

The two choirmasters, Agnes Polet and Lhente-Mari Pitout, met in 2016 and decided to cooperate as part of the celebration of the centenary of Nelson Mandela. They met when Lhente-Mari Pitout was invited to lead a workshop in Dijon in Burgundy, France.



Master classes in Delhi

DIn October, South African cellist Berthine van Schoor went to Delhi, India to give master classes at the Delhi School of Music. Earlier this year, she received an award from the University of Pretoria in recognition of her excellent performances and decided to use part of the prize money for a project in India.
She was hosted by former Austrian Ambassador to South Africa, Brigitte Oeppinger-Walchshofer, who has been posted to the Austrian Embassy in New Delhi.

"The Delhi School of Music does not have  a permanent cello teacher, so it made sense to offer some assistance in that department. The students were eager to learn and made a lot of progress during the few days. It was good to be able to make a difference in these student’s lives, who clearly share a love of music," said Berthine.

While in Delhi she visited some of Delhi’s world heritage sights, including Humayun’s Tomb and the Qutub Minar Complex.



Renewing the strong bonds between South Africa and Germany

 President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on a state visit to South Africa.

The last official visit to South Africa by a German President was undertaken 20 years ago by then Federal President Roman Herzog.
Photo: President Cyril Ramaphosa and Federal Republic of Germany President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Tuynhuys, Cape Town during a welcome ceremony on the occasion of President Steinmeier’s State Visit to South Africa. (Kopano Tlape GCIS)

This state visit follows a bilateral meeting between President Ramaphosa and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the margins of the G20 Africa Summit in Berlin in October.

This meeting re-energised relations between South Africa and Germany and provided the opportunity for the President to highlight the strategic importance of the relationship between the two countries.

Relations between South Africa and Germany are cordial, multifaceted and of a strategic nature.


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OCTOBER 2018 Print Edition








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