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Congo orchestra attracts a European royal patron

A self-taught orchestra in a war-torn country has attracted the patronage of Pincess Caroline of  Monaco. None of the players is paid, and ma ny are struggling to hold body and soul together. But they come together several times a week to play Verdi and Beethoven. There have been a few curiosity reports. Now, the orchestra is gaining serious attention. Reuters report here.

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Comments

  1. Camilla Allison says:

    What a wonderful orchestra. The players and the singers are the embodiment of the soul what making music is all about. Life, hope and above all finding a meaning and order in a chaotic world. Play on!

  2. Christian Stach says:

    It is indeed a big achievement. Luckily the Kimbanguiste orchestra OSK has won fans all over the world. Normal people like us and celebrities of the entertainment business and right now of royal origin.
    In 2010 a German movie depicted the orchestra called “Kinshasa Symphony” – which many people believe is the name of the orchestra, but it is not. Their name is “Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste” (OSK), deriving from the church Simon Kimbangu founded. Armand Diangienda ist one of the grandsons of this man. He is leading a tiny fraction of the split church, the fraction which holds the orchestra.
    Since the movie was internationally presented many things have changed. The OSK is now well equipped with instruments, and a team of one of Germany’s leading orchestras, the WDR Symphony, is regularly showing up in Kinshasa to give lessons. In July the WDR SO and the OSK are giving a concert together in a nice open air theatre from Mobutu times. Together with the recent contacts it is reasonable to believe the OSK is well off at the moment.
    The projected music school might really change the level of playing and is highly desirable.
    Christian Stach, WDR SO double bass player

  3. Les Leader says:

    Amidst all the vanity, the swindling, the predation, the pridefulness that we read about in your pages, Norman, I see here a marvellous drive to make music against all odds. Let us be reminded by their example.

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