BASA’s Conduct an Orchestra a resounding success

At about this time last year, CN&CO’s Carel Nolte took up the baton and conducted an orchestra at the Linder Auditorium in Johannesburg at the first Conduct an Orchestra session run by Business Arts South Africa (BASA).

The second iteration of Business and Arts South Africa’s Conduct an Orchestra initiative on Friday, 3 February 2017 was a resounding success. Six business and cultural leaders bravely stepped up to the rostrum to conduct the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, including CN&CO friends and associates Kelly Jackson of Contiki SA and Tim Nuttall of St Stithians.

Here’s the lowdown from BASA:

Under the confident guidance of renowned conductor and BASA Board member Richard Cock, the Linder Auditorium’s Space Frame echoed with the sounds of the diverse repertoire selected by the novice conductors.

Ismail Mahomed, CEO of the Market Theatre, took on Strauss’ Radetzky March while Kelly Jackson, GM for Contiki SA, led the orchestra through Bach’s Air from suite in D major. Slavonic Dance No 8 by  Dvorák was the choice of Laurent Miraucourt, Hyperion Analyst in the banking industry, and Strauss’ popularity was confirmed with Moving Into Dance’s Artistic Director Mark Hawkin’s selection of Tritsch Tratsch Polka.

A proudly South African moment came when Tim Nuttall, Rector of St Stithians College turned in a rousing rendition of the South African National Anthem, and the versatility of the orchestra was on display for all to see with the choice of Margie Whitehouse, Chief Marketing Officer South African Tourism – It’s My Life by Bon Jovi accompanied by Richard Cock on vocals.

An arts-based initiative that is growing in popularity, Conduct an Orchestra forms part of the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival. The impetus for the event – which made its debut in 2016 – comes from the real similarities between the role of a business leader and a conductor.

“Both are based around getting immense satisfaction and success through other people’s accomplishments,” explains Cock.

Through diverse insights the conducting exercise provides an entertaining way for senior managers to think about their own organisations and leadership skills.

Conduct an Orchestra is another way Business and Arts South Africa is profiling the enduring and diverse possibilities of business and arts partnerships. It is a fitting start to BASA’s 20 year celebration of shared value and equitable partnership in 2017.

About BASA:

Business and Arts South Africa (NPC) is an internationally recognised South African development agency with a suite of integrated programmes implemented nationally and internationally. BASA encourages mutually beneficial partnerships between business and the arts, securing the future development of the arts sector in South Africa and contributing to corporate success through Shared Value. BASA was founded in 1997 as a joint initiative of the Department of Arts and Culture and the business sector as a public/private partnership. For more information on BASA contact us on 011 447 2289 or visit our website: