Description: Odeion Sinfonia  Tags: Odeion Sinfonia
The Odeion Sinfonia is a string orchestra housed in the Odeion School of Music at the University of the Free State and comprising string students studying at the school and string members of the Free State Youth Orchestra .

The principle aims of the orchestra are to provide excellent training and valuable experience in string and ensemble playing, to adequately prepare string students for orchestral playing, to present them with numerous ensemble and orchestral concert playing opportunities and to generally promote quality string and ensemble playing.

Under the direction of the highly acclaimed cellist and chamber musician, Anmari van der Westhuizen (cellist of the Odeion String Quartet) who has more than thirty years of experience in playing and conducting chamber music, students are receiving experienced and expert musical guidance and direction, and, together with their participation in the orchestra, are enabled to shape and develop their playing and ensemble skills to full potential.

The orchestra was founded by Anmari during her first year of residence at the UFS and the OSQ in 2009.

This was done to address an urgent need for students at the university to take part in a string ensemble which could serve as a training vehicle to support all facets of string playing and teaching. It was first known as the Kovsie String Ensemble, but a year later (2010), it became the Odeion Sinfonia, replacing a previous semi-professional string ensemble by the same name under the direction of Derek Ochse.

Since then, the new Odeion Sinfonia has become a vibrant, quality student string orchestra, attracting much attention through well received concerts of a high standard, as well as by being a successful draw card for aspiring young string students. The orchestra’s repertoire includes well known works for string orchestra, as well as contemporary compositions.

The Odeion Sinfonia is also offering exciting opportunities to gifted students to perform as soloists with the orchestra. Some young performing artists who have already appeared with the Sinfonia include Carmi Nel (violin), Lizanne Dippenaar (violin), Eljee du Plooy (organ), Richard Rheeder (piano) and the Junior Odeion String Quartet.

In addition, opportunities are provided to present new compositions or arrangements of compositions. In 2010, an arrangement of Porrino’s trumpet concerto was made for trumpet and strings by Dr Paul Loeb van Zuilenburg senior and performed by his son, Paul who was at that time senior lecturer in brass tuition at the OSM. 2012 saw the premiere of Noel Stockton’s Lament for flute and string orchestra with Anton Esterhuyse as soloist, to whom the work was also dedicated.

An important mission of the Odeion Sinfonia is that of outreach concerts. In this regard, the orchestra has, for instance, presented concerts at various schools in which pianists, Richard Rheeder and Dana Cilliers (OSM lecturer in piano) appeared in performances of Saint-Saëns’s popular Carnival of the Animals.

The Odeion Sinfonia is giving regular concerts every year and has weekly rehearsals throughout the two academic semesters of the year. All string students are welcome to become members of the orchestra and to enjoy the wonderful training and playing benefits on offer.


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

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