Kaunas Kantata preview at the Old Shul

Composer Philip Miller with tenor Tshegofatso Moeng

On the evening of 6 September, an audience filled the SAJM’s Old Shul for the first time since renovations began in May. 

The occasion was the preview of well-known South African composer Philip Miller’s new choral composition, Kaunas Kantata. Miller himself explained the process of creating the multi-layered work, illustrating his talk with excerpts and concluding with a short performance of one of the pieces by the tenor, Tshegofatso Moeng. Video projections by UK-born artist Jen Kagan created a visual dimension for the cantata, which weaves together song, instrumental and the spoken word to explore unaddressed traumatic histories from Lithuania’s past and suggest the possibility of new paths to co-existence.

The world premiere of Kaunas Kantata will take place on 30 September and 1 October 2022 in Kaunas (formally Kovno) Lithuania, which is this year’s European Capital of Culture. The event will be the highlight of the biggest-ever Litvak Culture Forum in Kaunas as part of the CityTelling Festival

Along with Tshegofatso Moeng as featured soloist, the performance will include over 200 musicians, the Kaunas Symphony Orchestra, choirs and various ensembles.

The preview inspired and enchanted its audience, including Diana Kopilevič, Lithuania’s Consul and Deputy Head of Mission to the Republic of South Africa, who gave some insight into the effect her country’s painful past has had on her own family.

For more information please go to www.sajewishmuseum.co.za

• Published in the October 2022 Digital Edition – Click here to read it.

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