On Easter Monday a friend and I went to listen to Handel’s Messiah at the Nelson Mandela Square. The covered seating in the tent was packed and despite threatening skies, there were many braving the possible rain in the open air . Fortunately the weather was kind. Richard Cock created his usual magic conducting the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra and the Johannesburg Symphony Choir and Chanticleer Singers. A wonderfully energetic, charismatic and dedicated man, Richard Cock has done a huge amount to popularize classical music in Johannesburg. He became Director of the National Symphony Orchestra in 1980 and expanded the orchestra’s horizons with open-air events, such as the successful Emmarentia Gardens Winter Series, Musical Fireworks and the annual Mother’s Day concert at the zoo. It was a wonderful afternoon, the Hallelujah chorus was rousing and all were smiling as they left the Square. A great end to a chilled Easter week-end.
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