Dynamic US conductor, Joseph Young to step in for Marin Alsop on SA tour

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Photo Credit : Dario Acosta

The Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra has announced that world-renowned conductor Marin Alsop will no longer be joining the Orchestra for their upcoming national tour this month as she is unexpectedly indisposed due to health reasons and currently unable to travel.

“I am devastated that I have had to make the difficult decision to cancel this engagement with Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra, an orchestra close to my heart,” says Alsop.

“Nonetheless, I am thrilled that Joseph Young will conduct the Orchestra in my place. I have worked closely with Joseph for many years and can attest to his incredible stage presence, musical finesse, and outstanding conducting technique. I have no doubt that he will do me proud on the South African stage, and I remain thankful to audiences for their support.”

The Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra’s South African tour, Powerful Harmony, will continue as planned, with the three-city tour taking place in Johannesburg at the Linder Auditorium on Thursday, August 10; in Cape Town at the City Hall on Saturday, August 12; and in Gqeberha at the Feather Market Centre on Monday, August 14. The programme, which features soprano star Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha performing popular arias from grand operas in the first half, and Mahler’s iconic Symphony No. 5 in the second, remains unchanged.

Bongani Tembe, Mzansi Philharmonic’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director, says: “Joseph Young, the conductor who led the Mzansi Philharmonic for its inaugural concert, Oh! To Believe in Another World, curated by William Kentridge in July 2022, is a fitting substitute given his special relationship with both Marin Alsop and the Mzansi Philharmonic.

“We are confident that the Orchestra’s esprit de corps will carry through under Joseph’s expert baton and can assure our audiences and supporters that they are in for a treat.”

Praised for his suavely adventurous programming, Young is one of the most gifted conductors of his generation. The American conductor is Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony and Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Artistic Director of Ensembles at the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University. In the past year, he has made major debuts with the LA Phil at the Hollywood Bowl, the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington National Opera and NYO2 at Carnegie Hall.

Says Young: “Marin Alsop has been my mentor for over fifteen years, and it is my honour to step in for her and conduct Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2023 South African tour. I look forward to working with the Orchestra again and to meeting new audiences in your beautiful country.”

The Orchestra wishes Marin Alsop a speedy recovery and looks forward to another engagement with her in the not-too-distant future.

Tickets for the Mzansi Philharmonic’s national tour can be purchased from Quicket.

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