MIAGI – Music is a great Investment invited Anders Paulsson to the MIAGI Youth Orchestra course in Johannesburg as a saxophone instructor with the possibility of creating some music together with our young musicians that come from all South African ethnic and economic backgrounds. The success of this initial collaboration made us select him as our Composer‐in‐Residence for the MIAGI Youth Orchestra and ‘New Skool’ Orchestra in South Africa 2013‐14. The commission was to create an orchestral piece for the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Democracy in South Africa, while incorporating musical elements from South African Freedom Songs, Folk music, Jazz and Western classical tradition. Anders background in both classical music and jazz combined with his deep commitment to music as a harmonizing connection between cultures are qualities that made him suitable for the assignment. The African rhythms combined with the joy of this born free generation were also part of the nucleus that would become CELEBRATION SUITE. The CELEBRATION SUITE received its world premiere performance in the Soweto Theatre on September 25, 2013 with Tshepo Tsotetsi conducting.
CELEBRATION SUITE was so well received that the orchestra decided to bring it on their European Summer tour. It has now been performed 15 times with the European premiere at the Berlin Philharmonie on June 29, 2014 and on Nelson Mandela Day in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. The Reconciliation and Amaqhawe * Heroes of South Africa movements have also been performed several times with the New Skool Sextet at the Swedish Embassy in Pretoria and at Fryshuset and Lilla Akademin in Stockholm, Sweden, as well as at the Headquarters of SIDA – Swedish International Development Cooperation that also funded part of the project.
Anders intuitive ability to connect musically with any person from any culture makes him an inspired leader, composer and soloist. His ability to assimilate local music of any genre and create something new made the South Africans feel that CELEBRATION SUITE was their own music. The South African Ambassador was convinced that Anders grew up in South Africa although he had only visited for a few weeks.
At the 14th performance of CELEBRATION SUITE the orchestra showed their appreciation by giving Anders a South African name: Jabulani = Happiness. Based on these uplifting experiences we strongly recommend recruiting Anders Paulsson for any musical projects involving youth, international understanding and peace.
Robert Brooks, Executive Director ‐ MIAGI
Pretoria, 9 May, 2015
MIAGI – Music is a great Investment, the South African developmental NGO was established in 2001 with support of the South African Department of Arts and Culture. Our Patrons are violinist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Maxim Vengerov, establisher of El Sistema Dr Jose Antonio Abreu and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, President Martti Ahtisaari.
7th Floor, State Theatre, 320 Pretorius Street, Pretoria 0001 / P.O. Box 13288, The Tramshed, 0126 Pretoria Tel: +27 (0)12 320 5154 / Fax: +27 (0)12 392 4160 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Web: www.miagi.co.za
Directors: Robert Brooks (Executive Director), Klaus Döring, Maria Kurian (Chairperson), Junior John Ngulube, Enoch Phambuka Members: Ingrid Hedlund, Ayanda Holo, Matthew Krouse, Elizabeth Lindbergh, Rhulani Madale, Semane Molotlegi, Mikael Strandanger, Rod Tennant, Rudolph Willemse
A Section 21 Company – not for gain: MIAGI (Reg. No. 2001/015788/08)