Clapping between movements was once the scourge of classical music traditionalists, then embraced in an attempt to make concerts less intimidating to new audiences. But now it appears Proms modernisers could be losing their battle to insist that clapping between movements is welcome.
While the new director of the BBC Proms confesses he “loves” hearing enthusiastic audiences applaud, the festival’s diehard aficionados have dismissed the practice as “barbaric“.
In a behind-the-scenes look at the Proms, broadcast in a special BBC podcast, ticket-holders argued “under no circumstances” should clapping between movements be permitted.
Dedicated prommers, who queue to buy the £6 (R112.32) standing tickets for the summer concerts, were adamant it should “certainly not” be allowed.
One said: “Definitely not. We’re prommers and that’s something we don’t really enjoy very much.
“You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who approves.” Another said: “It’s a barbaric activity.”
The reaction may raise eyebrows among organisers who have reassured the public that the concerts are accessible to all.
As well as schemes to entice new, younger audiences to the Royal Albert Hall, they have emphatically rejected claimed of elitism by appearing relaxed about dress codes and enthusiastic behaviour.
The investigation was conducted after this year’s Proms opening night, featuring an Elgar cello concerto in which muted but growing applause was heard between movements.
When asked about the noise, Proms director David Pickard said: “I loved it. I’m sorry, I’ve now offended a whole load more people by saying that. But look, come on, if you’re listening to something and you think it’s exciting you applaud it.
“I come from an opera background and I always remember talking to a singer and asking if they got upset, and they said no performer objects to being applauded.
“There are moments when you don’t want somebody to shout ’Hurrah!’ or ’Bravo!’ before the music is finished. But I think if you feel you want to applaud at a certain point at the end of a movement, go ahead.”
Munich Philharmonic Orchestra musicians, who also played at the Proms, said they had “nothing against clapping” on the whole, as long as it does not “destroy” the feelings and concentration of performers.
Marin Alsop, the first female conductor of the Last Night of the Proms, has said previously that unexpected clapping “does not bother me in the least“, while violinist Nicola Benedetti said: “It means there are people who are not used to the rigmarole of the concert hall, and to me that’s a great sign.” – The Daily Telegraph
Once reserved for army girlfriends and wives away from their soldier partners deployed overseas, the “Dear John” break up letter has now evolved to the elusive text or social media post.
On Sunday, reports surfaced that popular South African soccer player Itumeleng Khune and his girlfriend, Sbahle Mpisane are no longer together.
According to Sunday World, the fitness instructor took to her social media to announce that they were no longer seeing each other.
“Not everything works out the way you wish for it to do… Some situations are worth removing yourself away from! I am no longer dating the Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper anymore sadly,” read the caption accompanying an Instagram shot of the pair during happier times.
The post prompted commentary that Mpisane used social media to dump the soccer star. She has since deleted the post and other pictures of herself and the soccer player.
Dumping someone via social media is not all that uncommon in this digital age. Samuel Pinney, in a report on The Telegraph recounts how he was dumped by his girlfriend on Facebook.
“First came the announcement online of my new ‘Single’ status. Deftly inserted into Facebook’s running newsfeed, it informed everyone that both she and I knew that I had been dumped,” he said.
Celebrities such as Katy Perry and Taylor Swift have been given the axe by the oh-so-intimate text message.
Dorothy Black, columnist and author of The Dot Spot: Adventures in Love and Sex, says while this trend may seem shocking at first glance, one needs to take into consideration the quality of the relationship.
“Sending a two-week fling you met through Tinder a polite ‘no thank you’ note via WhatsApp is a far more balanced and appropriate response than a heavy break-up speech with tissues and hours of discussion,” she said.
NMMU’s announcement of its new medical school is to be welcomed. Many bright and hard-working matriculants whose school marks qualify them to pursue a medical career cannot do so due to limited spaces at the universities now offering the degree.
Not only this, but even if there were enough spaces, the prohibitive costs of transport and accommodation away from home would preclude them from enrolling.
The closest option – and the only other university in this province to offer a medical degree – is Walter Sisulu University (WSU) in Mthatha, and that the next closest is the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, followed by those in and around Cape Town.
Having an established medical school here in Nelson Mandela Bay would enable many potential doctors to save on the expenses associated with many years of study. It also would give the hospitals and clinics in this metro a source of talent on which to draw in times of need.
NMMU council chairman Judge Ronnie Pillay summed up the benefits beautifully: “We have been sending our school-leavers for medical training, at great cost, to other provinces for decades now, while NMMU has modern infrastructure, a strong health sciences faculty, plenty of land, in a city with highly skilled medical professionals, a sophisticated private sector, three major public hospitals, with one [Dora Nginza Hospital] originally built to accommodate a future medical training facility.”
However, a new faculty does not spring into life overnight and this week’s official announcement has been more than four years in the planning, with staff at the university working steadily behind lecture hall doors to realign existing structures with the no-doubt rigorous requirements that a medical school calls for.
It will be another four years before the first student walks into that new school.
It takes a leader with vision to follow through on this ambitious path and the city is fortunate that NMMU vice-chancellor Prof Derrick Swartz has an abundance of vision.
Already the city has seen his university’s music, art and design departments spread their wings to Bird Street, and the institution is also looking at expanding in the direction of dance and drama. Then there is the NMMU business school’s move into its new green building in Summerstrand.
The weekend’s announcement that the medical school will be up and running by 2020 is yet another outcome of Swartz’s vision. The university at one stage had a campaign to “grow its own wood” in the form of training lecturers. Now the city which bears the same name can “grow its own doctors”.
In about 35% of cases where a couple is battling with infertility issues, the problem lies with the male partner and not the woman, fertility expert Danie Botha said on Saturday at the Fembryo Clinic’s high tea.
“I find it frustrating that so many women will put their bodies through tests and stress but will protect and shield their partners while the problem might be with them,” Botha said.
Despite icy temperatures and pouring rain, the Tramways Building in Port Elizabeth was packed for Fembryo Clinic’s high tea.
“I will give anything to have a hot flush right about now,” Botha joked.
The proceeds of the event were donated to the Eastern Province Child and Youth Care Centre and local NGO Healing Hands.
“We really wanted to focus on how special and miraculous women are and celebrate that,” Dr Wendy Sieg from Fembryo said.
“We wanted to celebrate women as beautiful because they are and not because they live up to the impossible standards of the beauty industry. Our focus is on health and wellbeing. Women are so bombarded with messages about illness.”
The two doctors gave presentations on health concerns for each age group.
Botha said he was quite surprised that the focus of health warnings were so centred around breast cancer.
“We have to warn about cardiovascular disease in older women as well,” he said.
He was also concerned that while the worldwide incidence of cervical cancer had come down in most countries, it had remained the same in South Africa.
“We are getting many phone calls at the clinic asking about the government’s campaign to immunise girls against the human papilloma virus. This is what we want to address. Cervical cancer is 100% preventable,” Botha said.
The NMMU music department will be presenting Dr Erika Bothma’s piano studio concert tomorrow at 1pm in the university’s South Campus Auditorium.
Students from all years of study will be contributing to this lunch hour concert and as usual there will be a surprise performance.
The students who will be performing are Michelle Ward, Matthew Shone, Evan Perkins, Joshua Bussy, Ashton Cusens, Courtney-Jade Oliver and Ruan Coetzee, and they will perform works from Chopin, Mendelssohn, Poulenc, Bach Heller, Delius and Schubert. Entrance is free.
For more information: Nicky Bosman, (041) 504-4235.
SA Rugby withdrew a court application this morning that was made on behalf of a group of “mystery” investors wanting to fund a business rescue for the EP Kings.
The decision was jointly taken after the potential investors informed SA Rugby that it wished to place its interest on hold as there were certain conditions they were reluctant to meet, according to a statement from SA Rugby.
The liquidation application is scheduled to be made final next Thursday (August 4) in the Port Elizabeth High Court.
SA Rugby chief executive officer Jurie Roux said: “The course we hoped to pursue has now been closed and we will have to await the final court order.”
He said that SA Rugby’s focus remained on ensuring that EP was able to fully participate in its rugby commitments.
“We will work with the liquidator in finding solutions for rugby in the region,” he said.
Christopher Wishlade, 45, of Integrated Sport, emerged in court papers two months ago as the mystery equity partner managing a deal to acquire a 49% stake in the EP Kings, with a much-needed cash injection of R100-million.
But The Herald revealed last month that Wishlade was bankrupt businessman with an unregistered UK firm and false business address.
If EPRU is liquidated, it would spell the end of professional rugby in the province and would also be damaging to the amateur wing.
Applying this (loosely) to political economic public policy-making: just when we thought it was safe to go outside, neo-liberal orthodoxy has crept out of the shadows to frighten us – again!
But seriously, while the world is seeking new and better answers for enduring problems there appears to be a slide backward to a time of rigid orthodoxy. This seems apparent with the appointment of Paul Romer as chief economist of the World Bank, from whence orthodoxy on global public policy-making and development comes.
Let us recap. The portmanteau concept of neo-liberalism includes slashing social spending, focusing economic output on direct export and resource extraction, devaluing currencies against the US dollar, lifting import and export restrictions, increasing stability of investment (achieved, in part, by supplementing foreign direct investment with the opening of domestic stock markets), balancing budgets and cutting down on public expenditure, removing price controls and state subsidies, privatisation and/or divestiture of all or part of state-owned enterprises and strengthening the legal rights of foreign investors.
In the briefest, neo-liberalism insists on deregulation and “getting the state out of the way” so that markets can work competitively and efficiently. That, anyway, is what textbooks teach, notwithstanding what happens in the real world.
This orthodoxy came under extreme pressure in the 1990s. Its allure began to fade considerably when new evidence emerged (from the successes of the East Asian Tigers) that there was, indeed, a role for the state in expanding the economy, creating jobs, lifting the population out of poverty, ensuring more equitable and inclusive growth, and providing access to the most basic public services.
One of the bank’s former chief economists, Joe Stiglitz, had great difficulty convincing people at the bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) of this during his tenure – which ended in 2001. For the record, I served in Stiglitz’s office at the bank, and have some understanding of the tensions between the bank, the IMF and elements in the US government.
Anyway, over the past decade, neo-liberal orthodoxy was battered further when the 2007-08 crisis left it fairly tattered. Even the most mainstream of scholars and thinkers recognised this.
The European world’s darling economist, Paul Krugman, wrote that economists had been “seduced by the vision of a perfect, frictionless market system” and were blind “to the possibility of catastrophic failures in a market economy”. Alan Greenspan, who served as US chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006, admitted, in 2008, to a state of “shocked disbelief” because “the whole intellectual edifice [had] collapsed”.
In October that year, he also admitted to the US Congress that his ideological obsession with deregulation was, well, faulty.
And so, 15 years after Stiglitz’s departure from the bank, and everything that his tenure promised, and just when we thought it was safe to go outside, neo-liberalism is back, this time bearing the sceptre of empire. This is, of course, a somewhat radical expression. Bear with me.
When a very mainstream, and rather status quo, source publishes a foreboding article about the bank’s new chief economist, we ought to pay attention. Romer’s main shtick is convincing poor countries to sell tracts of land to foreigners, who should be allowed to create “charter cities” where domestic laws are denuded.
The Atlantic magazine – as mainstream as they come – described Romer’s idea of charter cities as “unconventional, even neo-colonial” and compared it to Britain’s historic lease of Hong Kong.
Citing a Columbia University professor of urban planning, The Atlantic wrote: “Romer makes it sound as though setting up a charter city is like setting up a fairground . . . We take a clear piece of land, we turn on the bright lights and we create this separate environment that will stand apart from everything that’s around it. I wish it were that simple.”
Anyone who has visited casino complexes around the country, and hyper-real spaces like Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, may recognise this.
The differences between places like casino complexes and charter cities, however, is that in casino complexes, domestic laws take precedence, in charter cities they are virtually absent. Come to think of it, that does sound like neo-colonialism.
It would be disingenuous to ignore Romer’s stellar contributions to theories of growth. He is, probably, one of the better mainstream economists of his generation.
This does not mean that he is exempt from the intellectual influences of his peers. You do not become chief economist of the bank by stepping out of the mainstream.
Stiglitz learned this the hard way. What is cause for concern, for South Africa, at least, is that Romer’s “charter cities” idea feeds seamlessly into the creation of the envisaged “market-driven” city that the Chinese have planned for Gauteng.
It also feeds into the idea of creating tariff-free and duty-free zones where a country’s labour laws have little to no effect. As for the charter cities idea, well, we can always boast that we did not need Romer to tell us about it. We were there first.
“White supremacy” is at the core of the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) appropriation of the late president Nelson Mandela in its election campaign‚ the African National Congress (ANC) said.
“It is a glaring sign that the DA’s attempts to woo the black electorate are floundering and they will stop at nothing to ‘blackwash’ their chequered history as a whites-only party by thrusting a few token blacks into positions of leadership and appropriating even symbols that have always shunned them‚” the ANC’s Zizi Kodwa said on Tuesday.
He was reacting to the launch of the DA’s election poster – which urges voters to “Honour Madiba’s Dream‚ Vote DA” – in Tshwane on Monday.
“Nelson Mandela fought for black and white domination and therefore our project as the DA is to build South Africans who come from different political backgrounds‚ different races… standing together to say ‘we are better together and we must address historical legacies’‚” said DA leader Maimane.
“I think if you were to reflect on the DA today‚ you can’t even begin to sustain the argument to say the DA is a white party.”
Kodwa‚ however‚ countered by quoting Mandela when he told a Congress of South African Trade Unions rally in December 2000 that the “DA was a party of white bosses and black stooges”.
“Because Madiba was black‚ the white supremacy at the core of the DA holds no regard for his words‚ his wishes and the historical record that lays bare Madiba’s unwavering commitment to the ANC‚” Kodwa said.
“Because he was black‚ they can think for him and show utter disregard for that which he committed himself to.
“What is most sinful is that all this is done after Comrade Madiba has departed and no longer able to speak for himself as he did all those times before saying ‘they know they have not produced any credible policies with which they can challenge the vision of the renewal of our country… their success lies in projecting themselves as tireless fighters for the defeat of the ANC’.
The post ‘DA’s white supremacists have appropriated Madiba’: ANC appeared first on HeraldLIVE.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has unpacked the huge challenge that South Africa faces in the coming months to convince ratings agencies that the country’s economy is still a favourable investment destination.
Speaking at the NedGroup Investment Summit in Sandton‚ Gordhan said labour‚ government and the private sector had worked tirelessly in the first half of the year to prevent the country from being downgraded to junk status.
Representatives from labour federations‚ business leaders and government flew to London‚ Boston and New York‚ meeting 265 individuals who are investing in South Africa to tell them “the same South African Story”.
But things had to be done differently in the second half to retain the investment outlook of the country’s economy‚ he said.
“Now we have to follow that with some action. We have a working group on investment that has met [made up of] about 100 chief executives in eight different sectors of the economy. They are making their own progress‚” said Gordhan.
“We will evaluate that progress and see how that can be converted into concrete investment in this country.”
Gordhan said the ratings agencies would need to get evidence that the commitments made by South Africa in the first half of 2016 have resulted in action for them not to downgrade the country’s credit rating.
“[They want to know] what are the milestones you want to achieve. If you tell us the milestones‚ we know how to monitor whether you are delivering on what you said you would do as a country. [The ratings agencies] are going to monitor you [South Africa]; whether or not this is just another plan that South Africans are famous for producing‚ or are you actually delivering on the plans. We have taken that challenge as government‚ business and labour‚” he added.
He further told investment leaders that government had begun programmes to deal with youth unemployment‚ training and funding of small businesses.
The post Now it’s time to walk the talk with ratings agencies: Gordhan appeared first on HeraldLIVE.
The three people accused of murdering Gerrie Hoekstra in 2010 have been found not guilty on all the charges against them.
Karen van der Merwe, 41, Charne Brown, 32 and Sherwin Leander, 29, were accused of planning the robbery turned murder of the former Walmer Country Club manager.
But Judge Phakamisa Tshiki found none of the witnesses, either for the state or defence, were credible, leaving reasonable doubt as to what happened on the day of Hoekstra’s death.
More on this story in The Herald tomorrow.
Have you tried: Farking?