|Celebrated: Dr Thomas Rajna will be honoured by the SACM with In Celebration of Tommy Rajna, at the Baxter Concert Hall on Tuesday, 14 October 2008.|
Internationally acclaimed composerpianist, Dr Thomas Rajna, longserving staff member of the South African College of Music (SACM), from which he retired in 1993 as associate professor of piano after 23 years, is turning 80 later this year.
The SACM is marking the occasion by presenting an evening of music, titled In Celebration of Tommy Rajna, at the Baxter Concert Hall on Tuesday, 14 October. Rajna himself will officiate at his trusty piano. Special guests include singers Golda Schultz and Brad Liebl, violinist Patrick Goodwin and the SACM Choir. The programme consists of works by Rajna, Ravel and Granados. (Tickets from Computicket and at the door half-an-hour before the start.)
On 25 November, the Cape Philharmonic present their own Thomas Rajna 80th Birthday Concert at the Artscape Theatre, as part of their International Summer Music Festival. The programme includes extracts from Rajna's 2004 opera, Valley Song, and his 2nd Piano Concerto with the composer as soloist. Brahms's Fourth Symphony concludes the evening.
Tributes are also taking place in Johannesburg. The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra will play Rajna's Divertimento Piccolo on 12 and 13 November, under the baton of visiting British conductor Nicholas Cleobury.
Richard Cock and his choir perform Rajna's Three Hebrew Choruses at St Thomas' Church on 27 November. Cock has been associated with these pieces for a number of years, having featured them on tours with his choir in USA (1990) and Israel (1993).
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