R36m boost for classics

I HAVE played Lotto and each time I have lost - however there are some people with good fortune on their side.

I HAVE played Lotto and each time I have lost - however there are some people with good fortune on their side.

The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO) will begin 2010 with a R36million cash injection from Lotto featuring a top-flight array of talent.

The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund has agreed to fund JPO's four seasons of concerts this year, as well as its affiliated development and education projects, for the next three years.

This funding will enable the JPO, celebrating its 10th year of existence, to provide a venue for top musicians and to train up-and-coming talent.

The JPO has scheduled four six-week seasons of high-quality music for 2010. The first six-week symphony season starts on February 10 and continues until 18 March. The second season runs from May 5 to June 10, the third from July 28 to September 2, and the fourth from October 6.

During the first season of concerts, internationally renowned South African-born conductor Gérard Korsten, Bulgaria's Emil Tabakov and Japan's Yasuo Shinozaki will each conduct the JPO for two weeks.

In addition to South African musicians Pieter Schoeman (violin) and Anmari van der Westhuizen (cello), the JPO has confirmed a stellar line-up of international soloists for its first season.

Among them is acclaimed cellist Julian Lloyd Webber. Also heading to South Africa are German violinist Benjamin Schmid, Russian pianist Konstantin Soukhovetski, Japanese pianist Noriko Ogawa and US pianist Bryan Wallick.

The concerts will take place at the Linder Auditorium in Parktown on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

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