Skip links

Dynamic US conductor Joseph Young to step in for Marin Alsop on SA tour

By Creative Feel

The Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra (MNPO) has announced that world-renowned conductor Marin Alsop will no longer be joining the Orchestra for their upcoming national tour this month as she is unexpectedly indisposed due to health reasons and currently unable to travel.

“I am devastated that I have had to make the difficult decision to cancel this engagement with Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra, an orchestra close to my heart.”

Marin Alsop
Joseph Young Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra South African tour
Joseph Young PHOTO Robert Young

“Nonetheless, I am thrilled that Joseph Young will conduct the Orchestra in my place. I have worked closely with Joseph for many years and can attest to his incredible stage presence, musical finesse, and outstanding conducting technique. I have no doubt that he will do me proud on the South African stage, and I remain thankful to audiences for their support.”

The Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra’s South African tour, Powerful Harmony, will continue as planned, with the three-city tour taking place in Johannesburg at the Linder Auditorium on Thursday 10 August 10, in Cape Town at the City Hall on Saturday 12 August, and in Gqeberha at the Feather Market Centre on Monday 14 August.

soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra South African tour
Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha PHOTO Vera Elma Vacek

The programme remains unchanged. An enticing line-up of concert showstoppers will be performed in each venue. Showcasing soloist Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha’s lustrous soprano, the first half of each evening will be given over to operatic highlights from Verdi’s La forza del destino, Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, Puccini’s Turandot, and Wagner’s Lohengrin and Tannhäuser. The audience will then be treated to a performance of Mahler’s titanic Fifth Symphony – seldom performed in South Africa – to bring the evening to a resounding close.

Bongani Tembe, MNPO Chief Executive and Artistic Director, says: “Joseph Young, the conductor who led the MNPO for its inaugural concert, Oh! To Believe in Another World, curated by William Kentridge in July 2022, is a fitting substitute given his special relationship with both Marin Alsop and the MNPO.”

“We are confident that the Orchestra’s esprit de corps will carry through under Joseph’s expert baton and can assure our audiences and supporters that they are in for a treat.”

Bongani Tembe, MNPO Chief Executive and Artistic Director

Praised for his suavely adventurous programming, Young is one of the most gifted conductors of his generation. The American conductor is Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony and Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Artistic Director of Ensembles at the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University. In the past year, he has made major debuts with the LA Phil at the Hollywood Bowl, the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington National Opera and NYO2 at Carnegie Hall.

Joseph Young Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra South African tour
Joseph Young PHOTO Dario Acosta

“Marin Alsop has been my mentor for over fifteen years, and it is my honour to step in for her and conduct Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2023 South African tour. I look forward to working with the Orchestra again and to meeting new audiences in your beautiful country.”

Joseph Young

The Orchestra wishes Marin Alsop a speedy recovery and looks forward to another engagement with her in the not-too-distant future.

Tickets for the MNPO national tour can be purchased from Quicket.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.