Ten extraordinarily talented classical music instrumentalists, singers and a saxophone quartet will showcase their prowess at this year’s 52nd Youth Classical Concert.  On stage on Saturday 2 September 2023, in the Artscape Theatre at 19.00 this prestigious annual event, offers accomplished young musicians the opportunity of playing with a symphony orchestra on a professional concert stage.

Ranging from as young as 15-years of age to 21 they will perform works by Chamenade, Saint-Saens, Creston, Prokofiev, Crusell, Verdi, Ravel and Bill Holcombe.  Much of the biggest repertoire and most exciting to listen to and perform is in the concerto field (instrument with orchestra) and opera field (voice and orchestra).  The appeal of the works presented, as well as good variety in the overall programme content, played an important part in the final selection of these musicians.

The successful musicians that auditioned this year for the opportunity to perform with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) include Esihle Mtethwa (18) on Flute, Kyrah Adams (17) Marimba, Daniel Hutton (18) Clarinet, Bayanda Mthetho (20) and Christof Joubert (21) on Piano. Gilah Kellner (19) and Emma Steenkamp (16) play the Violin, Vocalists are Tenor Jason September (21), Sopranos Chloe Loggenberg (19) and Sasha Damons (21). The Hugo Lambrechts Saxophone Quartet members are – Keon Müller (19) on Soprano Saxophone, James Cilliers (16) on alto, Kian Goliath (15) on tenor and Michael de Goede (17) on baritone.

The emphasis of the Concert, produced by Artscape and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) is a celebration of young musical talent and not a competition.

Jacobus de Jager will be conducting the orchestra and in preparation of the concert the musicians will receive individual, comprehensive sessions with him and the CPO.  In 2017 Kobus was a soloist on piano at the 46th annual event and is the most recent winner of the South African Conductors’ Competition. He was one of the eight semi-finalists of the 2023 Herbert von Karajan Young Conductor’s Award in Salzburg and resident conductor of the Stellenbosch University Symphony Orchestra in 2021 and 2022. He has conducted ensembles for the CPO as well as for other orchestras in South Africa and continues his conducting studies in September.

The musicians are currently studying at the SA College of Music at the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre and with distinguished music teachers – Liam Burden, Arisa Voges, Dr Liesl Stoltz, Alex Laing, Prof Luis Magalhaes and Prof Nina Schumann.

Duration of the concert is 90 minutes including a 30 minute interval. Ticket prices: Adults R100, Students, Scholars and Pensioners R50.  Block bookings of 10 or more less 10 %.  Book through Computicket, Artscape Dial-a-Seat 021 421 7695 or purchase your seats via Artscape website www.artscape.co.za

Fine Music Radio will be recording the Concert for broadcast on 17 September between    14.00 & 16.00.

Says Artscape CEO Marlene le Roux: ‘Youth development forms an integral part of the cultural institution’s ethos towards building a sustainable performing arts industry. We value the Associated Companies’ dedication and support in these ventures, in this instance the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, who have steadfastly partnered with us since the inception of this prestigious Youth Classical annual highlight that proffers a steppingstone towards a sustainable professional career locally and abroad. I am always in awe of these young talented musicians who remain dedicated to their profession as well as continue their education in their respective disciplines. We are honoured that they will soon grace our stage to the delight of patrons as well as inspire and act as role models to their peers to follow their dreams”.

Says Chief Executive & Artistic Director of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra Louis Heyneman: “Another year has yielded another amazing group of musicians, poised on the cusp of a career and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra is proud to be associated with them.  Some are known to us through our own Youth Orchestra, which is the flagship of our vast youth development programme. Since our inception in 2000, we have made education a key goal, beginning with the Masidlale grassroots training project and ending where quite a few have ended – on the platform with South Africa’s orchestras, having been successful in auditions to claim their rightful positions.  This annual collaboration with Artscape does much to help us achieve that goal, for performing, in public and for the first time, with a full professional symphony orchestra is one of the most exciting events in a young musician’s life and leaves them with a sense of pride and achievement. We are so happy to part of their journey and wish them all a great future”.



Issued on behalf of Artscape and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra

For additional information, interviews and images, please contact

Simone Heradien

Artscape Senior Manager: Communication and Brand Management

simoneh@artscape.co.za 073 207 1558 (WhatsApp)

Artscape is an Agency of the Department of Sports Arts & Culture

Berniece Friedmann bernfried@kingsley.co.za

 Mobile/WhatsApp 082 892 5877 


Esihle Mtethwa18FluteObservatory
Emma Steenkamp15ViolinGordon’s Bay
Kyrah Adams16MarimbaPaarl
Jason September22TenorMitchell’s Plain
Bayanda Mthethwo20PianoMowbray
Daniel Hutton19ClarinetHout Bay
Sasha Damons21SopranoBellville
Gilah Kellner20ViolinStellenbosch
Chloe Loggenberg19SopranoBelhar
Christof Joubert21PianoStellenbosch
Hugo Lambrechts  Saxophone QuartetParrow
Keon Müller James Cilliers Kian Goliath Michael de Goede19 16 15 17Soprano Alto Tenor Baritone 

CONCERT PROGRAMME – 2 September 2023   

Esihle Mtethwa (18) Flute

Chaminade:  Concerto for Flute in D Major

Emma Steenkamp (16) Violin

Saint-Saens:  Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso Opus 28

Kyrah Adams (17) Marimba

Creston:  Concertino for Marimba in A minor

Jason September (21) Tenor

Lalo: “Vainement ma bien aimee” 

Bayanda Mthetho (20) Piano

Prokofiev: Piano Concerto no 3 Opus 26 in C Major – 1st Movement

Daniel Hutton (18) Clarinet

Crusell: Clarinet Concerto No 2, Opus 5 in F minor

Sasha Damons (21) Soprano

Verdi: Saper vorreste “Un Ballo in Maschera”

Gilah Kellner (19) Violin

Ravel: Rapsodie de concert for Violin and Orchestra

Chloe Loggenberg (19) Soprano

Verdi:  “Addio, del passato”

Christof Joubert (21) Piano

Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 3 in C Major, 3rd Movement

Hugo Lambrechts Saxophone Quartet

Bill Holcombe:  Stephen Foster Revisited


Formerly known as the Youth Music Festival (YMF)

The inception of the YMF dates back to the opening of Artscape (formerly the Nico Malan Theatre) in 1971. In that year, an orchestra was formed by David Tidboald to service the various performing arts genres (opera, ballet etc) attached to the new theatre centre.   He also had the vision to start the youth music festival concept whereby young instrumental soloists and singers would be given the opportunity of performing annually with a professional orchestra.

When the old CAPAB orchestra and the CPO amalgamated in 1997, the YMF continued under the joint banner of the “new” orchestra and Artscape.   The festival concert has been presented in various venues over the years including the Cape Town City Hall, the Artscape Opera House and the Endler Hall in Stellenbosch.


Traditionally, the event is widely advertised early in the year at the various local universities, music schools, libraries, private music teachers etc. The main criteria are that the entrants be bona fide music students, that they perform at a very high standard, and are resident or studying in the Western Cape.

The adjudicating panel this year were – Prof Nina Schumann Head of Piano University of Stellenbosch, Neil Robertson CPO Orchestra Librarian and ad hoc 2nd Flute for the CPO, Bongiwe Nakani Opera singer and director of BongiLizwi Music Development Organization, Sindile Patrick Tikolo Deputy Director, Head & Senior Lecturer in Vocal Studies, South African College of Music, University of Cape Town and Marvin Weavers Former CPO Youth Development and Education Co-ordinator.