Home > Summer School > Baxter Programme

Baxter Music Programme

The Baxter Theatre Music Programme is a highlight of the University of Cape Town’s annual Summer School. It was launched in 1996, with the express purpose of integrating academically grounded discussions of music with actual performance. It has grown from strength to strength, over the last three years drawing audiences of over 500 every night. The programme typically consists of lecture-performances by some of Cape Town’s most acclaimed musicians over three or two evenings.


In 2017 we will host Barry Smith with Three Brilliant Bs: Bach, Brahms and Beethoven as well as local jazz musician and Professor at the South African College of Music, Andrew Lilley and friends with Jazz: Tradition and Evolution.



Dr Barry Smith, musicologist, conductor and organist

The great trio of German composers, Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, will be celebrated in three evenings of lecture-performances, with a focus on examples of their choral, organ and chamber music.

Although their lives did not overlap, the period of their compositions spanned almost two hundred years of exceptionally rich music in Germany – religious, classical and romantic – to which each contributed his unique creative gifts.

Johann Sebastian Bach is often regarded as the greatest composer of all time. In its outstanding innovation and variety his work foreshadowed many later developments in music. Bach was an organist of wide renown in his lifetime. The first evening will feature one of his compositions for his favourite instrument, also a choral work and some chamber music.

The second lecture-performance will be devoted to Ludwig van Beethoven and particularly his chamber music. The performances will include a violin sonata, a cello sonata, and the piano trio Opus 70 (the ‘Ghost’).

The focus of the final evening will be Johannes Brahms and will include a choral work with organ accompaniment, and two of the composer’s best-known chamber works: the piano trio in B major which he revised, and the great G minor piano quartet.


Date: Monday 23–Wednesday 25 January                
Time: 8.00 pm
Venue: Baxter Concert Hall, Rondebosch
COST: Full: R460,00   Staff and Reduced: R365,00  

For details of Three Brilliant Bs: Bach, Brahms and Beethoven please click here



Associate Professor Andrew Lilley,South African College of Music, University of Cape Town

True absorption, assimilation and regeneration is only really available to those born into a tradition. This holds true for jazz music, in that the surroundings and culture associated with the music have defined the tradition. Influences from other cultures may have obscured the identity of jazz music to a point where some would argue that it has evolved into a kind of world music. This poses interesting questions about the continued development of jazz music in respect of its tradition. This two-lecture course looks at the evolution of jazz post-1960 with particular focus on the soul and funky styles that were popularised by jazz musicians such as Horace Silver, Stanley Turrentine and Herbie Hancock, and the use of popular tunes as a medium of expression in the jazz context. 

Date: Thursday 26–Friday 27 January                             
Time: 8.00 pm
Venue: Baxter Concert Hall, Rondebosch
COST Full: R305,00  Staff and Reduced: R245,00

For details on Jazz: Tradition and Evolution please click here