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29 January 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Anja Aucamp
Prof Francis Petersen speech
“We can create an institution that operates and lives in the times of embracing and celebrating diversity, inclusivity, and academic excellence by ensuring that students own their time at university,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

25 January 2019 marked the official welcoming of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) first-year students, as they moved into their respective residences and were warmly welcomed on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. This day also marked the start of the registration process for first-year students.

According to first-year Psychology student Keisha Claasen, who moved into her residence earlier on 25 January, her first experience of the UFS was daunting but exciting, as she had never been in a similar environment. According to Given Gwerera, who dropped his son off at the Karee residence earlier the day, “the UFS is an institution with great culture and an overall good academic record.” He further explained that he trusts his son to make full use of the opportunities presented to him, as he has a cool head on his shoulders.

On the evening of 25 January, an eager group of millennials, joined by their parents, took the first sip from their cup of varsity life as they assembled on the Red Square of the Bloemfontein Campus to meet the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, members of Rectorate, the deans of all faculties, and the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the UFS.

“2019 will be a year of continued change; the UFS is thrilled about the prospect of bringing about opportunities for adaptation and realignment to the future,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

He further explained that the university prides itself in moulding its students into well-rounded individuals who will develop into globally competitive graduates as required in a diversity of landscapes. Prof Petersen urged first-years to remain open to the technological developments that go with globalisation, because of its permanent effects on society today.

First-years were further advised to take advantage of the rich pool of academic research and knowledge that is characteristic of the university and is piloted by UFS scholars, by engaging with and learning from them.

The inspiring night concluded on a colourful note, as the audience enjoyed an artistic laser show in front of the Main Building. Caption:

“UFS academics conduct research that forces the world to take note,” said Prof Francis Petersen at the official first-year welcoming ceremony on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

Odeion School of Music Camerata to perform in Russia
2013-07-31

 

31 July 2013

OSM CAMERATA "Die Spokewals" by Hendrik Hofmeyr under the baton of Jan Moritz Onken (YouTube)

After a successful audition, the Odeion School of Music Camerata (OSMC) received an invitation to participate in the 13th International Conservatory Festival which will take place in St Petersburg, Russia, from 1 to 9 November 2013. The festival is a yearly highlight on the concert calendar of the prestigious Rimsky Korsakov Conservatoire.

The artistic panel of the festival, under the leadership of Prof Lydia Volchek, annually selects ten international conservatories to gather in St Petersburg for the festival. Some of the participants include the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire: Moscow, Conservatoire de Paris, Eastman School of Music NY and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki Finland. According to the Rector of the Rimsky Korsakov Conservatoire, Prof Mikhail Gantvarg, it will be the first ever school of music hailing from Africa to participate in the festival.

The OSMC was requested to give two recitals of 40 minutes each during the festival. Maestro Jan Moritz Onken (Chief Conductor of the OSMC for 2013) will lead the ensemble to St Petersburg. OSMC members will have the opportunity to attend all concerts presented by fellow participants as well as masters’ classes presented by the masters of St Petersburg Conservatoire.

The festival is usually opened and closed with a grand concert presented by the St Petersburg Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra (70 plus members). Last year the opening concert was conducted by the celebrated master, Valery Gergiev (artistic director of the Mariinsky Opera and Symphony Orchestra), while the closing ceremony was conducted by Semyon Bychkov – reciting the Leningrad Symphony by Shostakovich. Both Gergiev and Bychkov are alumni of the St Petersburg Conservatoire.

All recitals at the festival will be presented in the Opera and Theatre Hall of the Conservatoire, as well as in the acclaimed Glazunov Concert Hall located within the colossal conservatory building.

The OSMC will recite a programme of mainly South African composers, with two new works commissioned by the OSM New Music Initiative. These were written by the prolific South African composer, Hendrik Hofmeyr: laureate of the Queen Elizabeth International Composition Competition, entitled Spokewals / Phantom Waltz and Notturno Elegiaco. Spokewals / Phantom Waltz is a challenging work where musicians simultaneously play, sing and speak.

A reworked edition for chamber orchestra of the original string quartet for piano and soprano, Liedere op Boesman-verse, by revered South African composer, Stefans Grové, will also be performed. To commemorate the centenary of composer Benjamin Britten this year, Cantus in Memoriam of Benjamin Britten by Arvo Pärt is also included in the programme.

After participating at the festival in St Petersburg, the ensemble will depart for a two-day visit to Moscow where the OSMC will perform an ’All South African’ programme.

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