The Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival (SICMF) is the only festival of its kind on the African continent. In addition to bringing together world-renowned musicians to perform in Stellenbosch, the festival also aims to nurture and coach talented young South African musicians.
The major drawcards of the 10-day festival are the daily evening recitals by top local and international musicians that commence at 8pm each night. On the first seven evenings, a series of chamber works will be presented, with composers such as Elgar, Mozart and Bernstein making up the programme. The final three shows are orchestral concerts, with works by Tchaikovsky, Verdi and Berlioz (Symphony Fantastique) being performed.
During the day, around 250 students from all over the world, will have the chance to attend lectures and coaching sessions given by the festival faculty (made up of respected international and local artists and chamber-music experts). The students are then given the opportunity to perform in a number of lunchtime and afternoon concerts, also part of the festival lineup, which the public is encouraged to attend. Also on the Stellenbosch Chamber Music Festival programme are a series of public master classes and “In Conversation with” talks that are open to all.
This not-to-be-missed event has put Stellenbosch University (and indeed South Africa) on the international map as an event of outstanding musicianship (as well as a providing nurturing ground for young talent).