NOTICES AND EVENTS          - 26/5/2010      <--Prev : Next-->


BULAWAYO was indeed bustling this last week, and it must undoubtedly be called the "Bullivant Bustle".

Michael Bullivant is the most amazingly energetic gentleman. The Director of the Zimbabwe Academy of Music and the Chairman of Performing Arts Bulawayo, Michael will be mortified that I have singled him out, as he does not enjoy publicity, but we just cannot let him escape this year.

Featuring in the Bulawayo Music Festival were Performers from South Africa including the Odeion String Quartet and guitarist James Grace, as well as the double bass virtuoso Leon Bosch, who was born in Cape Town, but left South Africa in the apartheid years and settled in Britain.

Trevor Lax, talented trumpeter, conducted workshops for wind players as well as performing, as did the guitarist, James Grace.

A first for the festival, was musical light entertainment by Kit and the Widow, a comedy duo who have performed in some of the top venues all over the world.

In addition, one of the duo, Richard Sisson, wrote "The Mukamba Tree", an half-hour work based on a book by the local author, June Farquhar, which involved upwards of 200 young performers.

The line-up was completed by Petroc Trelawny, well-known in Britain as a BBC Radio 3 announcer and producer.

Petroc interviewed all the performers during the festival and acted as narrator for The Mukamba Tree, as well as researching the 1953 Bulawayo Rhodes Centenary Festival for a projected radio programme and possible book.

One of the best known pianists of course was Leslie Howard, who is in the Guinness Book for his incredible feat of recording Liszt's complete solo piano music on 99 CDs (and perhaps deserves another entry since this will be his 12th visit to Bulawayo in 16 years).

And then of course there was Bulawayo's very own Michael Brownlee Walker, from Turk Mine, a former academy student now making a career in Britain. Elizabeth French and Coady Green, no strangers to Zimbabwe, added even more depth to the amazing musical talent making up the Bulawayo Music Festival.

"All men shall be brothers where your gentle wings beat, Your magic unites those whom rigid custom divides."

Believe me, Michael Bullivant wove his amazing energetic magic, beat his own gentle wings, and once again united us all in a week of musical bliss.