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Princeton Symphony Orchestra Presents Online Series Featuring South Africa's Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble

The on-demand series begins Friday, January 29.

Princeton Symphony Orchestra Presents Online Series Featuring South Africa's Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra will present South Africa's renowned Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble in a 5-concert on-demand series, Buskaid - A Musical Miracle, curated from the Ensemble's most memorable concert moments of the last five years. Directed by founder Rosemary Nalden, the Ensemble displays extraordinary vibrancy and virtuosity through performances of classical, pop, and uniquely South African music. The series-opener, Brilliant Baroque to Cool Kwela, is available online Friday, January 29 - Sunday, January 31 through the PSO's website at www.princetonsymphony.org.

Princeton Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Marc Uys is a South African long familiar with the astounding work of Buskaid, its founder Rosemary Nalden, and the dedicated students who have made music a priority in their lives. He says, "I'm thrilled that the PSO is presenting the amazing musicians of the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble. Their musicianship and enthusiasm for their art is inspirational. Considering the conditions under which they have consistently excelled, it is nothing short of a miracle. Their story is one filled with hope and beauty and should be shared with the whole world."

Rosemary Nalden, Founder and Music Director of the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble, came up with the idea for creating virtual concerts out of archival footage of past concerts during the initial lockdown period of the pandemic. She says, "Suddenly I had the time to devote to the painstaking task of sound and video editing - something I've wanted to do for years! As a result, we've been able to take some outstanding highlights from these concerts and turn them into five very special streamed events, showcasing the versatile and prodigious musical talent which can be found in the dusty township of Soweto. One unique aspect of all these concerts is the extraordinary ability of these young musicians to capture the precise style of the music, whether it's European baroque or township Afro-pop. I hope you'll enjoy this first concert and that you'll come back for the other four! A huge thank-you to the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and Marc Uys for their generous support in hosting these events!"

The January 29-31 opener includes the third movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 13 in C Major performed with guest artist Melvyn Tan, Max Bruch's Romanze for Solo Viola and Orchestra featuring Buskaid-trained artist Tiisetso Mashishi, and Princeton-based composer Julian Grant's Sancho's Dance-Mix, a suite after dances by Ignatius Sancho. The program expands with the addition of popular vocals and unforgettable Kwela - a South African style of music based on jazzy undertones and derived from the marabi sound. Each concert in the series is available on-demand over a three-day weekend for a nominal fee of $5 per access link.

Buskaid 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.

Access to each concert in the Buskaid - A Musical Miracle series is $5 per unique device link, and includes on-demand access to the concert over the course of a 3-day weekend. Look for a new Buskaid on-demand concert each month. To purchase, call 609-497-0020 or visit princetonsymphony.org.




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