Return to Eternal Echoes

We can’t wait to welcome the Johannesburg-based Chanticleer Singers and their conductor, Maestro Richard Cock, to Cape Town! Joining forces with them for this performance means that you will be able to enjoy over 50 experienced choral voices interweaving in glorious harmony. Finally, we are delighted to welcome mezzo-soprano Violina Anguelov-Hobbs and saxophonist Liam Burden whose contributions will add an extra sparkle to the musical programme.

The Chanticleer Singers

For the last 43 years the Chanticleer Singers have been delighting audiences throughout Southern Africa and further afield with their varied and unusual programmes. They have toured in the USA, several African countries, the UK and Europe. The choir specialises in singing unaccompanied, but they have worked with many orchestras and also gave the first live TV broadcast of classical music in South Africa. The choir has given many first performances of new works and they have made a speciality of performing South African choral music. They have also sung with many of the leading choral conductors in the world today. The choir usually has 25 singers but this number is augmented for special occasions.

The Chanticleer Singers pride themselves on the quality of their work and on their commitment to the music scene in South Africa. Richard Cock has directed them since their inception in 1980.

Soprano: Carol Ackerman, Louise Frahm-Arp, Christine Geldenhuis, Louise Hurn, Marianne le Roux, Elissa Lessing, Este Meerkotter, Irma Meyer
Alto: Di Cowen, Megan Cox, Susan Harrop-Allin, Karien Labuschagne, Marga Sander, Elaine Sullivan
Tenor: Riaal Domingues, Mzukisi Kota, Mark Marais, George Potgieter
Bass: Waldo Egan, Wion Flett, Bodo Meyer, Zayne Upton, Hendré van Zyl

On Sunday 13 August, Chanticleer will be singing High Mass at St Michael and All Angels in Observatory where Richard served as organist from 1968 to the beginning of 1972. All are welcome and entrance is free. The service is at 10 AM.

Richard Cock

Richard Cock was born in Port Elizabeth and educated at the Diocesan College, Cape Town. He pursued his musical studies at the Cape Town College of Music, where he graduated in 1971. The following year, he won a scholarship to the Royal School of Church Music, where he was awarded several prizes and diplomas. In 1978 he became Director of Music at the Cathedral Choir School and assistant organist at Chichester Cathedral. During his years in England he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists.

After his return to South Africa in 1980, Richard breathed new life into the National Symphony Orchestra as Music Director from 1991. He was organist and director of music at St Mary’s Cathedral for 12 years and was elected a Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music for his services to church music in South Africa. He founded the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg and the internationally recognised Chanticleer Singers in 1980.

In 1999, Richard left the orchestra to pursue a freelance career and to stimulate music activities throughout South Africa. As a conductor, he is in much demand countrywide. In May 2000, he received an Honorary Doctorate in music from Rhodes University. In 2012 he received a Parnassus Award from Stellenbosch University and in 2013 a special award from the ATKV for his 30 years’ dedication to spreading the love of music in South Africa. In November 2014 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arts and Culture Trust, and in March 2020 he was awarded the Robert Gray Medal from Bishops College for distinguished achievements by an Old Diocesan.

He is chairman of the Apollo Music Trust, and, together with Florian Uhlig, he directs the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival which is held every January.

Violina Anguelov-Hobbs

Violina Anguelov-Hobbs (mezzo-soprano) was born in Bulgaria. She obtained her Performer’s Diploma in Opera with distinction as well as an Honours Degree in Singing (First Class) from the University of Cape Town under voice teacher Sarita Stern and the direction of Professor Angelo Gobbato. She has been awarded many prizes including the Adcock Ingram Music Prize, the Leonard Hall Memorial Prize, Erik Chisholm Prize, Best Principal Singer for Cape Town Opera and more.

Violina has a vast operatic and concert repertoire and has performed throughout South Africa and abroad. She has performed over 35 leading operatic roles in a multitude of highly acclaimed performances in South Africa, Germany, Bulgaria, Australia, Switzerland and Sweden. Her South African operatic début was as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart with Cape Town Opera in 1999. She made her European operatic début as Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte by Mozart, in Hanover, Germany, in 2000. Since then she has sung roles such as, just to mention but a few, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Marguerite in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust, Ruggiero in Alcina, and the title role in Bizet’s Carmen, a spectacular performance celebrated by both critics and public alike, performed in 2011 and 2016. Violina has had the immense privilege to share the stage with the world-renowned Bryn Terfel in a Gala Concert for Cape Town Opera and Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2013, Violina had the privilege of working with world renowned conductor Sir Richard Bonynge in a concert version of Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti.

Apart from her vast repertoire of operatic roles, Violina has performed as a soloist with great success in many sacred works in and around South Africa.  These have included all the major oratorio works by Mozart, Pergolesi, Vivaldi, Haydn, Handel, Elgar, Beethoven, JS Bach, Berlioz, Mendelssohn and Verdi amongst others. Her lieder repertoire includes works by Shubert, Schumann, Brahms, Britten, Debussy, Fauré, Duparc, Poulenc, Dvořak, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Mussorgsky, Glinka and more. Apart from performing, Violina has an extensive teaching career both privately and as a full-time Voice Lecturer at the UCT College of Music.

Liam Burden

Liam Burden teaches saxophone and clarinet at the Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre where he is Departmental Head: Winds, Percussion and Piano, and principal conductor of the Symphony Orchestra. He also lectures saxophone at Stellenbosch University. Liam is a founding member of the Intonga Reed Quintet, the first of its kind in South Africa. He was an adjudicator at the first South African International Woodwind Competition held in Bloemfontein last year and recently made his debut with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra premiering Kevin Houben’s saxophone concerto, Legend of a Giant.

Liam was recently on the faculty, as saxophone specialist, at the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival. There he directed the first-ever saxophone choir of the SICMF which performed to high praise. Liam has conducted various orchestras in South Africa including the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra, University of Stellenbosch Symphony Orchestra, and the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Liam graduated from Stellenbosch University in 2021 with an MMus cum laude. He also studied with Dr Michael Ibrahim (saxophone) and Dr Mitchel Arnold (conducting) at the West Virginia University in the USA.  He was a finalist at the Len van Zyl Conductors’ Competition, the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition (saxophone), the Unisa Licentiate Competitions (saxophone), and ATKV Muziq Competition (percussion). Liam is a recipient of the Rectors Award for Excellent Achievement in Culture from Stellenbosch University.