PRESS REVIEWS

February 2016 – Review of Free State Symphony Orchestra – Brahms concert

2015 – Review of Free State Symphony Orchestra Concert March 2015

http://www.netwerk24.com/vermaak/2015-03-16-orkes-soliste-absoluut-skitterend

2015 – An article about the work that Alex does in Swakopmund. Follow this link

http://www.netwerk24.com/vermaak/2015-01-14-swakop-bied-musiektuiste-vir-almal

Thys Odendaal – Die Beeld – March 2014

Così fan tutte/Mozart/Gauteng Opera

Staatsteater, Pretoria

Dit is verblydend dat daar nou weer in Pretoria, in Gauteng, ’n geselskap gestig is wat opera na behore op die planke kan bring.

Gauteng Opera, ’n uitvloeisel van die oorspronklike Black Ties Ensemble (BTE) en toe die klankversterkte “cross over” BTE Vo1SS, se eerste vol produksie – Mozart se Così fan tutte – vestig ’n grondslag waarop met vertroue voortgebou kan word.

In die eerste plaas is dit ’n heerlik komiese “opera buffa” met ’n besetting wat ’n jong geselskap behoorlik kan behartig, pleks van “Grande Opera”.

To read this article in full , follow this link

http://www.beeld.com/vermaak/2014-03-03-cos-in-geheel-prysenswaardig

Verdi Opera Gala – 2012 – Arts Comments

There are simply not enough superlatives to describe the BTE Vo1ss Verdi Opera Gala held at the Linder Auditorium on 15 June 2012 for Youth Day. Sponsored by MTN, the concert was magnificent. The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra were under the baton of Alexander Fokkens, the artistic director of the Free State Symphony Orchestra in Bloemfontein, and he has worked with the Black Tie Ensemble before, actually having presented this very programme in Bloemfontein earlier this year. It is the first time I have heard Fokkens conduct and I was very impressed. At one point some of the audience burst into applause before an aria was finished, and with one motion of his hand and an impatient movement with his head he silenced the clappers. For that brief moment I glimpsed a little of what it must be like to be on the other side of the conductor. The orchestra played brilliantly, their tutti was always tutti and not a note was out of place. The orchestral overture which opened the concert was I Vespri Siciliani, and after interval the overture was La forza del destino. An interlude in the second half gave us the prelude from Attila.

To read this article in full , follow this link 

http://artscomments.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/verdi-opera-gala-with-bte-vo1ss/

KZN Philharmonic Orchestra – 2010 – Thrilling Performance – Natal Witness

LAST Thursday evening, conductor Alex Fokkens made his debut with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in blistering style. Bursting onto the stage with coat-tails flying, he brought with him an energy and passion which set the tone for an evening of flawless performances by all involved.

Fokkens’s musical pedigree is impressive, including stints as guest conductor to the Black Tie Ensemble, the JMI Orchestra, the Greater Dallas Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa, the Cape Town Opera, the Grinell (IA) Symphony Orchestra and the UCT Symphony Orchestra.

He holds a masters degree in double-bass playing from Fort Worth in Texas and is currently based in Cape Town where he freelances as a conductor and double-bass player. He is also the music director of the Symphony Choir of Cape Town and resident conductor of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra. I think it is safe to say that he gives a great deal of time and energy to music in South Africa.

To read this article in full , follow this link

http://www.witness.co.za/index.php?showcontent&global%5b_id%5d=50910

VIDEO LINKS

Carmina Burana at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town, March 2014

The Symphony Choir of Cape Town, City of Tygerberg Choir and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra

“The Armed Man” by Karl Jenkins  – the final movement, “Better is Peace” at the City Hall in Cape Town 2011

Rustenberg Girls’ High School, Rondebosch Boys High School, SACs,