Jan Beukes

Artistic and Operational Head: OSM

Why a festival such as Vrystaat Klank & Klassik? A legitimate question with a simple answer.  Regarding the possibility of a classical music festival, it was clear that we want to present something special to South Africa, the Free State and Bloemfontein. While we are at present constantly confronted with bad news, vital questions, isolation, social distancing, and a great sense of loss,  a week of excellent music is probably a means to help us see the world in a different light. Not only does music reflect on social issues, but it also has tremendous healing power. Mridha once said: “Music can heal wounds which medicine cannot touch.”

The Odeion School of Music (OSM) has been part of Bloemfontein’s concert life for many years, and to be part of this venture is truly an honour. We have the privilege of showing off the extraordinary talent of the cream of OSM students and some of our acclaimed OSM staff members. Other South African artists are also taking part.

The audience is the essence of any music production, without which music performances would not exist. For the first time in more than a year, an audience is allowed back in the Odeion Auditorium. We can experience the superb acoustics of the Odeion as well as live music. We honour the artists as well as the community for investing in art music. We also present free concerts in the Universitas Centre of Faith, to include as many people as possible in the current financial environment. When musicians and the audience come together, the result is magical. We believe the experience will fill listeners’ hearts with joy.

A quote by Gould is the message we as musicians wish to convey: “When a community comes together to share cultural life, through celebration, rites and intercultural dialogue, it enhances its relationships, partnerships and networks – in other words, developing social capital”.

Please enjoy this festival of classical music.