MIAGI ‐ Music is a great Investment, ‘Uniting the Power of Classical, Indigenous and Jazz’ – is a South African section 21 (not‐for‐profit) company established in 2001 with support of the Department of Arts and Culture.
MIAGI invests in human capacity through music. Human capacity is the only way to sustainability and sustainability is economic growth.
MIAGI’s mission therefore is to:
contribute to social upliftment
MIAGI promotes music education for children and youth as an effective tool for social upliftment. Studies world-wide show that music education and participation in musical activities are the right tools to awaken young people’s creative vocation, promote social development and community cohesion, develop life skills and enhance career opportunities.
create job opportunities
MIAGI empowers South African young people through our extensive music education programmes and by arranging national and international events and tours as a platform for our young beneficiaries to showcase their skills. The MIAGI platform offers a space for creative experimenting, leading to new South African music styles that are overwhelmingly well received by audiences and media alike.
address the issue of ethnic relations
MIAGI ‘unites the power of classical, indigenous and jazz’ and thus offers a key to positive social development and to deep understanding between people across all borders. Through this platform for intercultural creative dialogue, MIAGI further brings young people, artists and audiences together that would otherwise never meet.
promote a unique new form of South African music
During our recent, extensive international tours (2009, 2012 and 2014), MIAGI has shown how its ingenious young members, when given the right kind of opportunities, are capable of composing and performing fabulous, fun and funky new music. They do this by uniting Western classical, jazz and African indigenous music forms, as well as other music forms and styles that in various ways are relevant to the young South African of today, such as hip hop, rap, rock and pop.
promote South Africa internationally through music
The positive impact of a South African group of young people representing all layers of our rainbow society, performing together joyfully at a level that matches highest international standards, cannot be stressed enough.
consolidate the South African constitution and deepen our understanding of the principles which underpin it
MIAGI strives to create an environment of non-racialism and contributes to an equitable society as well as to poverty reduction in the long-term. MIAGI strengthens its work by carefully selected collaborations with individuals and organisations outside the circles of music that work towards the same goals, thus complementing and reinforcing MIAGI.
MIAGI’S KEY PROJECTS INCLUDE
the MIAGI Youth Orchestra & MIAGI New Skool Orchestra, the Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music on the premises of the Morris Isaacson High School in Soweto, MIAGI Pre‐school and Day care centre Music Training Programme for Children, the MIAGI Mentor & Protégé Programme – a Programme for Excellency, the MIAGI Indigenous Music Programme and the MIAGI Intercultural Programme
THE SOUTH AFRICAN DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND CULTURE AND MIAGI
The South African Department of Arts and Culture in collaboration with MIAGI- download highlights pdf - Collaboration projects from 2001 until 2014 here
Since 2001, MIAGI has produced international, intercultural events ‘uniting the power of classical indigenous and jazz’ in collaborations with dazzling soloists and ensembles from South Africa and abroad. Among them, Maxim Vengerov, Thikundwi kha Sialala, Bruce Cassidy, Fazil Say, Miriam Makeba, the MIAGI Youth Orchestra & Youth BigBand, Sibongile Khumalo, Soweto String Quartet, Louis Moholo, Irene Schweizer, Madosini, the Ngqoko Women, Sergei Nakariakov, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the English Chamber Orchestra to mention just a few.
MIAGI has for the past fourteen years wowed fans across South Africa with its exciting events, celebrating the unity in diversity of our musical heritage by fusing distinctly African with Western classical sounds.
MIAGI AND MIRIAM MAKEBA
In 2004 and 2005, MIAGI had the honour and joy of working with Mama Africa, and to experience her exemplary artistry, paired with an immaculate professionalism and righteousness - the three corner stones that make a truly great artist and human.
Realising the MIAGI idea would not have been possible without generous and compassionate support from our international star-guests.
Read about MIAGI's partners, our generous funders and sponsors at our Sponsors Page
We are grateful to the NLDTF's Arts and Culture Distribution Agency for allocating a multi year funding grant to MIAGI!
MIAGI has throughout the years frequently received generous funding through the NLDTF. Without your support, a large number of all the initiatives, projects and events documented on this website would not have been possible.
Five major components form MIAGI's music education programme:
1. CAPE GATE MIAGI CENTRE FOR MUSIC IN SOWETO
CMCM is MIAGI's centre for music education, located at the premises of the Morris Isaacson High School. CMCM also serves as an important community centre.
Thank you Department of Arts and Culture for your support towards our on-going music education programme and the upgrading of our music centre building - the CMCM in Soweto!
April 2015 - watch our new video - the CMCM Elementary Music Training Programme HERE
Our CMCM Pennywhistle Ensemble performed at the Sounds of Celebration Concert on17 March - follow this link to a video, where your can hear them performing together with peers from other music education initiatives
Children entering the building for music lessons at CMCM
2. PRE-SCHOOL AND DAY CARE CENTRE MUSIC TRAINING PROGRAMME FOR CHILDREN
Apart from playful singing and dancing, the participating children are offered elementary music literacy training, and as instruments we have introduced pennywhistles, xylophones and djembes. The programme is running at Pre Schools and Day Care Centres in Soweto. The CMCM music teachers are on weekdays visiting Siyacathula Day Care, Asha Pre-School, Peaceful Day Care, Salvation Army Crèche, Seoding Pre School and Morris Isaacson Crèche.
April 2015 - watch our new video - the CMCM Elementary Music Training Programme HERE
3. MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA, MIAGI NEW SKOOL ORCHESTRA - AND THE SEMI PROFESSIONAL FORMATIONS DERIVING FROM THIS WORK
MIAGI's youth orchestra and ensembles work grew out of the need of formations for youth studying within the many developmental music education initiatives that MIAGI has partnered with and supported since 2001. The members are guided by some of the very best tutors and conductors and come from all ethnic and social backgrounds. There is no cost to individual participants and MIAGI arranges orchestra courses and international tours as well as other performance opportunities for the young musicians.
To get a picture of the quality of our youth orchestra work, please follow these links:
article about our MIAGI Youth & New Skool Orchestra tour of Europe 2014 written by Allister Sparks and published in Business Day on 30 July 2014.
MIAGI video from the 2014 tour (click on the icon): - MIAGI Youth Orchstra: Shostakovich - Suite for Variety Stage Orchestra, conductor: Brandon Phillips
Front Article that was published in STAR TONIGHT in connection with our MIAGI Youth Orchestra tour of Europe 2012.
MIAGI Youth Orchestra at Konzerthaus Berlin 2012
4. MIAGI MENTOR & PROTEGE PROGRAMME - READ MORE ABOUT THIS PROGRAMME IN THE MIAGI CREATES OPPORTUNITIES COLUMN AT THIS PAGE
5. INDIGENOUS MUSIC EDUCATION PROJECTS
Our support for African Indigenous Music is on-going and we are supporting these initiatives by financial assistance for transport, attire and the making of instruments. These groups are supported to practice their own music but constantly inspired to go into projects with a strong emphasis on cultural dialogue, as expressed in our slogan ‘Uniting the Power of Classical, Indigenous and Jazz’. Our constant effort to link these groups to performance opportunities has shown good results nationally and internationally.
CDG Xincaiyncayi Dancers - Ribungwani Village, Limpopo - one of MIAGI's flagship projects within the field of indigenous music
MIAGI, Venda Ngoma Drummers and Dancers and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra
Venda Ngoma Drummers and Dancers and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra
Thikundwi kha Sialala – Venda Ngoma Drummers and Dancers met the musicians and the audience of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra.
Click here to watch and listen to excerpts from this event on Youtube!
Enjoy MIAGI impressions at our MIAGI page on Facebook:
MIAGI's patron: violinist and Unicef Goodwill Ambassador Maxim Vengerov
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MIAGI empowers South African young people by arranging and facilitating extensive music education opportunities and international, intercultural events and opportunities for them, in South Africa and abroad.
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!
MIAGI HIGH-LIGHT 2016
MIAGI COLLABORATED WITH ABB IN SWITZERLAND!
MIAGI Orchestra and soloists, 70 musicians, featured in two MIAGI produced anniversary shows for ABB - ABB 125 Years - in Switzerland
Feedback excerpt after the shows:
".... this was a fantastic new benchmark of an incredibly successful and excellently executed very very classy event.....".
THE SIMPHIWE DANA SYMPHONY EXPERIENCE, WITH SIMPHIWE DANA, ASA AND CONCHA BUIKA!
The Simphiwe Dana Symphony Experience was presented by MIAGI through generous support from the National Lotteries Commission in solidarity of vision for the African cause.
This was an unprecedented and certainly a South African first event of its kind. The much lauded Afro soul artist Simphiwe Dana, the melodically gracious Asa (Nigeria), the imperiously vocal Concha Buika (Equatorial Guinea), a 60-piece orchestra and a choir of 30 together on stage!
OCTOBER 2016 - MIAGI ORCHESTRA ON TOUR IN EUROPE
From 12 to 22 October, 60 MIAGI Orchestra members toured in Germany and Switzerland together with peers and colleagues from all over the world. Soloists included Just6 (vocal ensmble) Anders Paulsson (soprano saxophone) and Emilia Utter Mangsbo (soprano) - Conductors / composers, Duncan Ward and Tshepo Tsotetsi.
The two major concerts/shows were tailor made by MIAGI, as celebration events for a major international company. The shows, for invited guests only, were an extraordinary success for MIAGI and for the host!
SEPTEMBER 2016 - PREPARING FOR THE TOUR
20 of the 60 MIAGIans that will be going on tour to Germany and Switzerland in October started rehearsing for the tour at Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music, 6, 7 and 8 September 2016. They will later be joined by the others as well as by musicians from all over the world to together create a spectacular show where ancient music from many epochs and cultures, some of the music and instruments date back well over 1000 years, will meet our time, and even the future. How? :-) that is a secret
The Lanxess MIAGI Partnership has been nominated for BASA’s Beyond Borders Partnership Award 2016 - we are thrilled!
The ARCO Festival at CMCM celebrated young string talent, collaboration and the joy of music!
A culmination of eighteen months of cross continental collaboration and very hard, wonderful work! Ten ARCO teachers from Birmingham Conservatoire, Lucy Nolan, George Cooke, Martha Evans, Eileen Smith, Maria Parfitt, Matthew Johnstone, Alistair Rutherford, Laetitia van Wyk and Lieva Starker directed by Louise Lansdown travelled from Birmingham to Soweto for the Festival at Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music. The Festival included public concerts, the premiere of the ARCO Anthem, intensive individual tuition, quartet lessons, instrument specific classes, listening classes and much, much more.
A delegation from the European Union visited our Music Centre at the beginning of June.
Thankfully and proudly quoting the letter from the European Union: "The work of MIAGI remains an inspiration, and we are proud to have supported
3 JULY 2016
Don't miss this GREAT opportunity to hear highly regarded, renowned & inspirational BUSKAID Soweto String Ensemble at our Centre for Music on 3 July @ 2:30 PM - Entry Free - Welcome!
Anders Paulsson’s Celebration Suite commissioned by MIAGI at Berwaldhallen in Stockholm.
‘Reconciliation’ with Anders and the Swedish Royal Navy Band conducted by Petter Sundkvist - Marinens Musikkår's 'Freedom Fighters' concert, 13 March 2016
Academic pennywhistle and djembe exams at CMCM - Pennywhistle and djembe syllabi taking shape at MIAGI's music centre in Soweto!
This is an important step towards improving the position of the pennywhistle and djembe in relation to other instruments.
JANUARY 2016 - THE DISTANCE LEARNING VIA SKYPE HAS BEGUN AT OUR MUSIC CENTRE IN SOWETO!
In the brand new distance learning studio at our music centre, our young students are now able to receive tuition from teachers at the Birmingham Conservatoire in the UK!
The collaborative project launched between Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music, and Birmingham Conservatoire Strings Department - 'arco - Bridging the Divide is in full swing - follow this link to read more about this wonderful project!
In October 2015: First String Quartet Experience for young students taking part in our Arco Programme!
26 NOVEMBER 2015
MIAGI at Global Child Forum at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Read more at our MIAGI Sweden page
2 - 7 MARCH 2015
MIAGI 'New Skool' Orchestra already stars in Europe after having performed to packed halls and standing ovations at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, toured South Africa
"A Revolution in the Concert Hall" according to the press in Europe
Conductors: Tshepo Tsotetsi and Brandon Phillips - Soloist: Anders Paulsson, soprano saxophone - Works by Tshepo Tsotetsi, Anders Paulsson, Zakes Nkosi and Ilke Alexander
Photos: MIAGI 'New Skool' Orchestra and Ahmed Kathrada - Wits Great Hall, Wednesday 4 March, 'Deepening Non-Racialism'- concert with opening words by Ahmed Kathrada, presented together with the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation in presence of among others former President KgalemaMotlanthe
Photo: MIAGI 'New Skool' Orchestra - kykNET Endler, Friday 6 March, Stellenbosch University Woordfees Festival
Photo: Freedom Struggle Icon Ahmed Kathrada and MIAGI Creative Manager Ingrid Hedlund at the Bridging Ages South Africa national conference 2015. 3-5 March 2015, Freedom Park, Pretoria
MIAGI SWEDEN FOUNDATION
The Music is a great Investment - MIAGI Sweden Foundation is a result of a partner driven cooperation project 2013 - 2014 funded by the Embassy of Sweden in Pretoria through the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency - Sida. We will be posting information at our MIAGI Sweden page.
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MIAGI creates opportunities for South African aspiring artists to develop and showcase their talent.
MIAGI introduces South African music to audiences worldwide. We inspire dialogue among people of different cultures through an intense process of artistic exchange that includes commissioning new intercultural compositions. This underlines our objective to educate in the broadest sense of the word – MIAGI unites people through music and empowers musicians throughout South Africa.
MIAGI was among the last beneficiaries of the excellent Partner Driven Cooperation (PDC) programme of the Swedish international development agency - Sida. Due to a new development aid policy in Sweden, this programme as for South Africa has now sadly been phased out.
The Embassy of Sweden in Pretoria through Sida funded a Music Exchange programme between Sweden and South Africa - the 'MIAGI and the Swedish Odyssey - with the Times' project.
The project enabled MIAGI to make fantastic new contacts in Sweden. As a direct result of the project, we are looking foward to the official launch of MIAGI's 'daughter organisation 'MIAGI Sweden'.
Thank you Sweden!
Photo/Swedish Embassy/Pretoria: Robert Brooks, Executive Director of Miagi and Marie Bergström, Head of Development Cooperation at the Swedish Embassy in Pretoria
MIAGI COMMISSIONED INTERCULTURAL COMPOSITIONS
Photo from a performance of the second MIAGI commissioned intercultural composition - ''The Songs of Madosini' - 2002
MIAGI has commissioned and premiered 15 major new intercultural works (read more about them here)
The 2012 commission was Christian Muthspiel/Tshepo Tsotetsi - Out of South Africa, Symphonic Poem on Themes by Tshepo Tsotetsi - listen to a performance of this work here(read more here)
Christian Muthspiel and Tshepo Tsotetsi
THE MIAGI MENTOR & PROTEGE PROGRAMME
MIAGI MENTOR & PROTEGE PROGRAMME supports young exeptionally talented aspiring artists - has offered many young musicians study opportunities, instruments, as well as opportunities to take part in prestigeous international competiotions.
Many of our proteges are now pursuing successful careers abroad, read about some of them below:
MIAGI offered Pretty Yendemany opportunities that she utilised optimally; these included the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Competition in Vienna, the International Vocal Competition 's-Hertogenbosch and the Istituto Internazionale per l'Opera e la Poesia opera competition in Verona.
Since she won all first prizes at the Belvedere Competition in Vienna in 2009, she is continuing earning accolades and prizes through her participation in prestigeous concerts and competitions all over the world. Pretty Yende is enrolled in Milano within the Teatro alla Scala Academy programme.
Musawenkosi Ngqungwana, also a succesful International Hans Gabor Belvedere competition participant, is currently Resident Artist at The Academy of Vocal Arts Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Angela Kerrison who after her successful participation in the IIOP Opera Competition in Verona was enrolled at the International Opera Studio, Operhaus Zurich, is currently pursuing a successful international career.
Donné de Kockafter winning 2nd prize in the Artscape National Youth Music Competition in 2011