CLASSICAL music enthusiasts in Zimbabwe have a treat in store during late September, with the offer of two concerts for the cost of one in both Harare and Bulawayo.
One concert will feature violinist Anya Birchall, while the other will feature singer Aidan Smith, both of whom are British and both of whom will be performing in Zimbabwe for the first time. Their visit is being arranged by Celebrity Subscription Concerts in Harare and Performing Arts Bulawayo, in association with the British Council.
Birchall will be accompanied by Zimbabwe’s leading concert pianist Jeanette Micklem and she will perform works by Brahms, Smetana, Elgar and Franck. Smith, who is also to be accompanied by Micklem, will sing pieces written by Ireland, Finzi, Vaughan Williams, Gershwin, Kern, Bizet, Gounod and Mozart, as well as songs from stage shows such as Man of La Mancha and Les Miserables.
The Harare concerts will be held at the Harare International School, with Birchall performing at 7.30pm on Saturday September 27 and Smith at 4pm on Sunday September 28. Advance booking is in place at The Spotlight (open Tuesday to Friday 9am to 4pm and Saturday and Sunday 9am to 12 noon).
In Bulawayo Birchall will perform at the Robert Sibson Hall at 7.30pm on Tuesday September 30 while Smith’s concert will take place at 7.30pm on Thursday October 1. Advance booking can be made at the Zimbabwe Academy of Music.
“We are delighted that the British Council has brought this exciting pair of performers to Zimbabwe and both Celebs and PAB are pleased to co-operate in hosting these concerts,” said Frans Eigenraam, chairman of Celebs.
A violin player since the age of five, Birchall studied at the Guildhall School of Music, the Escuela de Musica Superior in Madrid and the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she obtained a postgraduate performer’s diploma.
Her wide repertoire includes the violin concertos of Beethoven, Dvorak, Mendelssohn and Sibelius and she has performed in a number of countries in Europe and, most recently, in South Africa.
Smith also studied at the Guildhall School of Music and won a scholarship to attend the Royal Academy of Music under the tutelage of Mark Wildman. He has undertaken a number of opera and operatic performances, including leads in The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen, The Magic Flute and HMS Pinafore.