Going to midday music concerts may seem like an activity only meant for music scholars or theatre critics. But, the average Joe could enjoy the soothing sounds of a jazz band or forty piece orchestra just as much. In fact, we think that popping into a noon time music show is a great way to de-stress and reboot before tackling the rest of the work day.
Luckily, there are three notable venues in the city which offer Joburg natives the chance to chill out to some tunes in the middle of the day:
The Auto & General Theatre on the Square
This 200-seat theatre venue is tucked away just opposite the extravagant Nelson Mandela Square restaurant boulevard in Sandton. They were the first theatre of their kind to introduce a lunchtime classical music concert. Conceptualized over a decade ago, this feature is now a regular Friday event. Shows usually take place at around 1:00 pm on Fridays, with tickets available at the Box Office until thirty minutes prior to the start of the show. Tickets prices are often capped at *R50, and include entrance to the show, a play bill and tea and biscuits after the show.
The theatre has already booked a stellar range of classical performers for their lunchtime concerts until 24 May 2019. Audiences can expect everything from guitar and violin duets to an ensemble of Argentinean Tango Music. On Friday, 26 April 2019 the theatre will present a Pre-Freedom Day musical tribute concert performed by Pops Mohammed. The concert is set to explore the rich tradition of African indigenous music and instruments in honour of the 25th anniversary of our country’s democracy.
The Wits School of Arts Music Division
The Wits School of Arts music division present a weekly midday concert in the Great Hall on the universities Main Campus in Braamfontein. These musical showcases often feature some of the divisions most promising students, as well as acclaimed classical and jazz musicians. The best thing about this concert however, is that admission is free! (The only downside is that you may have to battle a couple of harried students to find a decent parking on campus.)
The lunchtime concerts at Wits occasionally take place on Wednesdays from 1:15 – 1:50 pm. Check the university website for further details on upcoming shows. If you have the time, also check out The Olives and Plates Alumni House on West Campus after the show. Their carrot cake is to die for!
Details: University of the Witwatersrand | 1 Jan Smuts Avenue, Braamfontein, Johannesburg | Tel: 011 717 1000
The Joburg Theatre
It is almost impossible to miss the imposing figure of the Joburg Theatre over the city. This massive theatre precinct hosts every kind of performance event imaginable. From international musicals to children’s theatre and dance spectaculars – they have it all. Speaking of dance, the theatre often stages daytime showings of classical ballets performed by the Joburg Ballet company. While this is not a music concert per say, the Joburg Ballet does frequently perform with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. So, if you find yourself drifting off during a court scene, gaze down into the orchestra pit for a change of scenery. (You can often spot the percussionists getting up to mischief when they think no one is looking.)
Do you know of any other venues in the city that host midday music concerts? Let us know about them in the comments below!