Buskaid – A Musical Miracle

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is proud to present South Africa's renowned Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble in an on-demand series curated from their most memorable concert moments of the last five years. Experience the virtuosity and vibrancy of this extraordinary ensemble through performances of classical, pop, and uniquely South African music.

PSO Executive Director Marc Uys grew up in South Africa where he began his career as a violinist and first became familiar with Buskaid. The PSO has been developing a relationship with the organization ever since a group of trustees, including composer Julian Grant, visited the Buskaid School in Soweto in 2019. Julian Grant's 2014 composition Sancho's Dance Mix, commissioned for Buskaid, is included on the first concert in the current series.

Buskaid link to websiteBuskaid is an organization which offers high quality string teaching to less privileged children and young people in the township of Soweto, South Africa. In 23 years it has produced a world-class Ensemble, which has undertaken 26 highly successful international tours. Buskaid also runs an inhouse teacher-training scheme, and currently employs twelve Ensemble members as Assistant and Trainee teachers. Buskaid offers a safe haven to the 120 children currently attending its Music School, many of whom battle with difficult personal circumstances. Studying and playing music improves their self-esteem – and for some, provides a welcome path to skilled employment.   

Find out more at buskaid.org.za (opens new window). 

Contact or donate to Buskaid
 

Melvyn Tan, piano, with Buskaid Ensemble

Brilliant Baroque to Cool Kwela!

Rosemary Nalden, Music Director
Melvyn Tan, piano
Tiisetso Mashishi, viola

January 29-31
Virtual Concert - On Demand

This first concert features performances with guest artist Melvyn Tan, Buskaid-trained violist Tiisetso Mashishi, popular vocals, and unforgettable kwela - a South African style of music based on jazzy undertones and derived from the marabi sound.

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Mathapelo Matabane, vocalist

Soulful and Scintillating Solos

Rosemary Nalden, Music Director
Melvyn Tan, piano
Mzwandile Twala, violin
Mathapelo Matabane, vocals

February 26-28
Virtual Concert - On Demand

Guest artist Melvyn Tan and multiple Buskaid-trained soloists including violinist Mzwandile Twala and vocalist Mathapelo Matabane (pictured) perform a range of delightful works showcasing their virtuosity. 

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Buskaid violinist Kabelo Monnathebe

A Lark and Diverse Dances

Rosemary Nalden, Music Director
Kabelo Monnathebe, violin

March 26-28
Virtual Concert - On Demand

Buskaid-trained violinist Kabelo Monnathebe performs Ralph Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending on a program infused with dance rhythms.

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Buskaid guest harpist Jude Harpstar

Curious Creatures and a Heavenly Harp

Rosemary Nalden, Music Director
Jude Harpstar, guest harpist
Mzwandile Twala, violin

April 30-May 2
Virtual Concert - On Demand

The imaginative program includes Carlo Farina's groundbreaking Capriccio Stravagante (Curious Inventions) and Claude Debussy's compelling Danse sacrée et danse profane (Sacred and Profane Dances), performed by guest harpist Jude Harpstar.

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Violinists of the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble

Fabulous Finale

Rosemary Nalden, Music Director
Melvyn Tan, piano
Soloists:
     Kabelo Monnathebe, Tshidiso Boikanyo,
     Cecelia Manyama, Keabetswe Goodman,
     Gilbert Tsoke,  Nathi Matroos,
     Thokozani Radebe, Khotso Langa,
     Mzwandile Twala, Simiso Radebe


May 28-30
Virtual Concert - On Demand

The final concert of this series comes full circle with a program spanning musical eras from Baroque through Classical and early 20th century. Of course, no Buskaid concert is complete without contemporary pop music and kwela!

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