Celebrate 50 years of the Bundesjugendorchester (that is, the National Youth Orchestra of Germany) in this unconventional concert from the 2019 Young Euro Classic! The evening begins with the British composer William Walton's Johannesburg Festival Overture, written to honor the 70th anniversary of the famous city. The South African sound continues in a work created just for this event, Three African Songs by Cape Town native Hendrik Hofmey, whose swaying rhythms and jazzy orchestration are beautifully suited to the timbre of talented vocal artist Msaki, a compatriot of the composer.
The solid rapport among the young musicians and guest conductor Alexander Shelley is obvious throughout this captivating program, which ends across the ocean—all the way in the United States, with an orchestral medley adapted from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. The arrangement by Robert Russell Bennett, a friend of the composer, prominently features the opera's most beloved songs, like "Summertime" and "It Ain't Necessarily So"!