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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

Standing ovation for the UFS Camerata in St Petersburg, Russia
2013-11-26

 
Jan Moritz Onken conducting the Camerata during their performance at the 13th International Conservatoire in St Petersburg, Russia.

The OSM CAMERATA (OSMC), flagship ensemble of the University of the Free State’s Odeion School of Music, received a standing ovation during a gala concert at the 13th International Conservatoire Festival presented on 7 November 2013 in the Glazunov Hall under the baton of Maestro Jan Moritz Onken.

The International Conservatory Festival was founded in 2001 by the St Petersburg Rimsky Korsakov Conservatory and has since then become an annual highlight on the concert calendar of St Petersburg.

For the last thirteen years, the festival has developed as a centre of excellence for artists, lecturers, and music experts who represent higher institutions of music from almost every continent. This forum has introduced more than 200 conservatories internationally, and literally produced hundreds of concerts, master’s classes and lectures. Internationally-acclaimed musicians such as Yuri Temirkanov, Rodion Shchedrin, Saulius Sondeckis, Krzysztof Penderecki, Valery Gergiev, Vasily Sinaisky and Semyon Bychkov, as well as young talented performers on the brink of their international careers, have participated in the festival over the years.

The OSMC presented the artistic director of the festival, Prof Lydia Volcheck, with audio-visual material as an audition and received a formal invitation from Prof Mikhail Gantvarg, Rector of the St Petersburg Rimsky Korsakov Conservatoire, in May 2013. Jan Moritz Onken (who was appointed as the OSMC chief conductor and artistic director for 2012) prepared the ensemble with vigour and discipline. Experienced international OSM alumni and several young international professionals served as mentors throughout the year preceding the event.

The OSMC gave two recitals during the festival – a gala performance in the Glazunov Hall, as well as a concert in the St Petersburg White Hall. For the first concert on 7 November (entitled FOUR CONTINENTS FESTIVAL), the OSMC shared the stage with a piano duo from the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music (Katowice, Poland), the String Quartet of the Colburn Conservatory of Music (Los Angeles, USA), as well as an ensemble of Japanese Traditional Instruments from the Tokyo University of the Arts (Japan).

After the last reverberating notes of the performance of the Phantom Waltz (a work commissioned by the OSM from the South African composer Hendrik Hofmeyr), a thunderous applause and shouts of bravo exploded! The OSMC responded spontaneously with a kwela improvisation as an encore.

Dagbreek broadcast: http://bit.ly/1evTgR3

 

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