Rondebosch musicians chosen for classical music festival

Viola player Stéphanie Lawrenson.

Two Rondebosch musicians will perform with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra(CPO) in the 49th Western Cape Youth Classical Music Festival concert, which will be streamed on Artscape’s YouTube channel.

Cellist Nicola McLachlan, 21, and viola player Stéphanie Lawrenson, 23, were part of nine young musicians selected to perform with the CPO, conducted by Brandon Phillips.

Nicola, who is still studying as an undergraduate at the South African College of Music (SACM) at UCT, said she was glad to have an opportunity to perform during this time.

“Recorded is still not the same as the experience of a live concert, but I’m so glad that we are able to still give our music in some sort of way and I am excited to be a part of it.”

Nicola, like many musicians, felt the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which has limited her from performing.

“It has sometimes been hard to stay motivated with there being significantly fewer concerts happening.”

Her music lessons also had to be done online.

“Covid-19 has made me realise how much I really do appreciate music and how much I miss it when it’s not around.”

One of Nicola’s early career highlights was performing with the Surrey County Youth Orchestra at the H.G. Wells Center in Woking, England, in 2017.

“The musicians were all amazing, and it was great to work under the conductor, Lee Reynolds, the associate conductor of National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.”

Stéphanie, an SACM graduate, was part of the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra for six years.

“I was mentored by members of CPO and learned the fundamentals of orchestral playing from Brandon Phillips, so this experience was very special,” she said.

“I am happy to adapt to a recorded concert, and having an online concert also means it is accessible for more people which is ideal.”

In October Stéphanie performed in the rarely-heard String Octet by Georges Enescu in the Erin Hall in Rondebosch and The Old Tannery in Wellington.

The Western Cape Youth Classical Music Festival concert is approximately 80 minutes long. It will be available for streaming on Sunday December 13, from 3pm to 5pm, on Artscape’s YouTube channel and Fine Music Radio (FMR).

There is no charge.

For more details, contact Artscape on 021 410 9800 or email