Alexander Shelley conducts Das Bundesjugendorchester
Alexander Shelley conducts Das Bundesjugendorchester

The 90-strong Bundesjugendorchester BJO National Youth Orchestra of Germany is touring South Africa. Conductor Alexander Shelley is bringing the BJO to SA to mark the youth orchestra’s 50th anniversary.

2019 Bundesjugendorchester SA tour schedule

9 August – Durban City Hall
12 August – Soweto, Morris Isaacson Center for Music
August – Pretoria, University of Pretoria
14 August – Stellenbosch, Spier Estate
15 August – Cape Town City Hall – opening CPO’s Aug – Sept Symphony Season
16 August – Khayelitsha

Their concert on August 9 is being presented by the KZN Phil in collaboration with MIAGI (Music is a Great Investment) in the Durban City Hall on Friday 9 August at 4pm, as the first concert of their nation-wide South African tour.

“We are delighted to be hosting the BJO. It is so exciting to have some of the next generation’s most promising young musicians performing in our city. It perfectly complements our extensive youth initiatives and Young Performers Project. I urge all young aspiring musicians, as well as our loyal audiences to come and be inspired!” enthuses KZN Philharmonic’s Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Bongani Tembe.

This stand-alone concert takes place just before the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (KZNPO) opens its four-concert 2019 Spring Season, which runs in the Durban City Hall every Thursday from 22 August until 15 September at 7.30pm. Soloist for the concert is Msaki.

National Youth Orchestra of Federal Republic of Germany

The National Youth Orchestra of the Federal Republic of Germany (BJO) is based in Bonn and features accomplished young musicians between the ages of 14 and 19 years old. Their repertory programme comprises classical and romantic orchestral music and new works by composers such as Hans Werner Henze and Karl Amadeus Hartmann. They have also performed world premieres by among others, Peter Ruzicka and Bernd Franke, and high-profile showcase concerts such as sharing the stage with Sting.

The young musicians qualify for membership by auditioning in front of a jury. The orchestra works under the guidance of private teachers, including members of the Berlin Philharmonic and their respective conductor.

The concert will be under the baton of Alexander Shelley. London-born Alexander is the son of celebrated concert pianists, and studied cello and conducting in Germany. In 2017 he concluded his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Nürnberger Symphoniker, a position he has held since 2009. In 2015 he assumed the role of Principal Associate Conductor of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with whom he curates an annual series of concerts at Cadogan Hall. He is also Music Director of Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra and tours both nationally and internationally.

On the programme is Walton’s Johannesburg Festive Overture; Hendrik Hofmeyr’s Three Sangoma SongsA Symphonic Picture – a 1942 album arranged by George Gershwin’s good friend Robert Russell Bennett which includes best known songs from Porgy and Bess; and Symphony No. 2 by Brahms.

Get tickets for the BJO concert and the KZN Philharmonic’s World Symphony Series 2019 Spring Season at Computicket

Cape Town music diary.

Who: Das Bundesjugendorchester National Youth Orchestra of Germany
What: BJO SA tour
Tickets: 0861 915 8000,
Info:,, 031 369 9438