Visser Liebenberg, Clarinet; MIAGI Youth Orchestra; Duncan Ward, Conductor
Nelson Mandela would have been 100 years old this summer. Perhaps the icon of the South African freedom movement would have wished for a very special ensemble for the musical accompaniment of the festivities: the MIAGI Youth Orchestra. Founded in 2001 with the support of the South African Ministry of Culture, it embodies everything that Mandela desired for his country: equality for all – regardless of skin color or origin. “Music Is A Great Investment” – this is the message of the MIAGI organization, whose educational programs reach into the poorest strata of South African society. Made up of highly talented young people from a multitude of social, ethnic, and religious groups, its flagship orchestra builds bridges between African music, classical, and jazz. As is well known, Leonard Bernstein had similar plans in mind. With “Prelude, Fugue & Riffs”, he created a work that combines baroque with jazz riffs, making it no coincidence that it is part of the MIAGI Youth Orchestra’s “Be the Legacy” tour to celebrate the Nelson Mandela centenary in 2018.