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May 2017

Max and Alexander Baillie played two recitals in London, hosted privately by friends and supporters of the Trust, as fundraisers for further Workshops in South Africa, scheduled for March 2018.

April 2017

The UK Trust hosted a special concert at Pembroke College, Oxford celebrating and showcasing South African composers and professional musicians. The performers, who included QoP scholars and trustees, generously donated their services, playing to an enthusiastic full house. 100% of the profits of the evening went to educating and training gifted musicians who would otherwise not be able to advance their studies.

February 2016

The success of the workshops convinced the Trust that they should become a regular feature of the Trust’s programme.

In February and March 2016, the QoP hosted two unique workshops for string players in South Africa.  A grant from the UK Trust made it possible for internationally acclaimed violinist and violist, Max Baillie, to come to South Africa and present two three-day workshops in Pretoria and Cape Town.  He based the workshops on a similar programme which he runs as a sell-out in Europe each year under the title “Es muss Sein”.  Focus areas included technique development, improvisation, functioning as part of an ensemble, and how to practice and work on intonation.  Many of the participants were themselves teachers, so that his teaching will in time reach many more people.

36 people participated in Pretoria, ranging from an 11-year old boy to teachers with many years of experience.  In all, there were 20 teachers and 16 learners.

In Cape Town we had 26 participants.  Sixteen were teachers, two of whom travelled from Durban and Grahamstown.

Both week-end workshops ended with a Sunday afternoon concert in which individual players as well as the whole group showed off what they had learnt.

Click here to get a glimpse of the experience in Pretoria.

This is how some participants summed up their experience:

“Thanks for organizing this incredible workshop. I have been inspired and received so much advice to improve my playing. …Please also convey my thanks to the trustees of Quartet for Peace for the opportunity and to see Max in action.”

“…Since the workshop I have already been applying some of the teaching techniques to my students. The results have been very rewarding.”

“…the thing that impacted me most was Max’s generosity and humbleness. Even though he is a musician of such caliber, he is ready to share all his discoveries and secrets with the world…! I wished that this workshop would never end…”

“…I cannot tell you how much it meant to me to have this “lifeline” and to reconnect with the world that I was so much part of when studying.  We all need to refresh our knowledge as teachers  and Max was a true inspiration in every way, a brilliant music and a brilliant teacher.  It was a weekend I shall carry with me always.”

The workshop co-ordinator, Aileen Maas, wrote:

“The trustees could not have had a better ambassador for the work that Quartet of Peace would like to promote.  Max Baillie embodied not only the skills and qualities of a fine teacher and outstanding musician, but also the qualities of a person genuinely interested in making a difference in the lives of others and contributing to continuing education.”

September 2014

The UK Friends of the South African Peace Quartet Trust played host to a capacity audience at St Peter’s Notting Hill on 17th September for an evening of music anchored by renowned television personality, David Dimbleby. The concert attracted generous sponsorship from the Kirsh Foundation and significant donations from supporters.

The programme opened with Arnold van Wyk’s haunting “Elegies for String Quartet”- a perfect opportunity to showcase the Quartet of Peace instruments – with Elsabé Raath, a Quartet of Peace scholar at the Birmingham Conservatoire, on Viola (the instrument called Reconciliation and dedicated to FW de Klerk). We were delighted to have the 45-piece Barbican Chamber Orchestra, a dynamic new ensemble comprising the cream of Britain’s conservatoire students who donated hours of rehearsal and performance time. The BCO, conducted by its founder, award-winning cellist and conductor, South African-born Joel Sandelson, performed Mozart’s Overture to Don Giovanni K527 in D Minor. The climax of the programme was Brahms’s Concerto for Violin and Cello performed by world-renowned father and son, Alexander Baillie (Cello – called Hope and dedicated to Nelson Mandela) and Max Baillie (Violin – called Freedom and dedicated to Albert Luthuli) with the BCO conducted by Joel.

This was the first public performance of the piece by the Baillies and drew rapturous applause from the audience. The programme concluded with Robert Schumann’s 4th Symphony opus 120 in D Minor, followed by a brief rendition of Nkosi Sikelele played on the QoP instruments..

A delighted and appreciative audience stayed to meet the musicians and mingle at a drinks reception where wine was generously donated by Hamilton Russell Vineyards.

A copy of the programme can be found here.

Photos by Daniel Sandelson

December 2013

Christo and Caro Wiese hosted a concert at their beautiful old homestead at Lourensford, Somerset West, at the foot of Helderberg Mountain. The music was provided by two quartets: the prize-winning Stellenbosch University String Quartet and a quartet drawn from the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Two of the musicians, Shaheema Lakay and Dane Coetzee, have received bursaries from the Trust, and the quality of the performance clearly illustrated what can be achieved by South Africa’s young artists. Watch the performances.

August 2013

About 40 guests gathered at the home of Laurie and Estelle Dippenaar in Bryanston on 22 August 2013, to hear music by two very different quartets. Four young players drawn from the ranks of the MIAGI Youth Orchestra charmed the audience with zest and energy, followed by the Evolution of 4 who delivered a virtuoso performance showing off the full range and power of the instruments.

April 2013

On Freedom Day, guests at Boughton House, home of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry, enjoyed a day’s outing of lunch, champagne tea, incredible music, and a tour by the Duke of the historic house, artworks, grounds and landscape art. For more information, click here.

October 2012

The first of our “house concerts” was held at the home of Rudolf and Sonia Gouws in Stellenbosch. In this intimate setting, the Amici Quartet played to an audience of about 40. Among them were Mr FW de Klerk, former State President and Nobel Peace Laureate, and his wife Elita. Holding the viola, inscribed ‘RECONCILIATION’ and dedicated to him, Mr De Klerk expressed his appreciation and support for the project and wished us well.