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Unpack a Babushka of Musical Dinner
– Isha Ranchod Johannesburg CBD.  The City Hall, where Stravinsky once conducted, is up the road.  Stravinsky.  Babushka dolls, oddly, come to mind inside the Rand Club, where the South African National Youth Orchestra is preparing to play the Mozart Clarinet Concerto and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite for the Members’ Christmas dinner.   Like the outer layer of a Russian doll, we have the bustling CBD of Johannesburg, where sounds of cars, shouting, hooting, and even Bollywood music can be heard. Inside the first doll is the opulent Rand Club building, with its history of colonial men and their upper-class living.  Open the second doll to find yet another stark contrast – that of excited youth orchestra members rehearsing in their shorts and slip slops. In a club building where only men were allowed entrance until 1989, the orchestra is being conducted by a woman – Sarah Ioannides, from the USA.  The building is a perfect fit for the varying repertoire, with the establishment of the Rand Club in 1887 slotting between the composition of the Mozart concerto in 1791 and the Pulcinella Suite in 1922.   Once starters and main meals have been served to the guests, they file into […]

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