Activities have been revved up preparatory to a successful 22nd edition of the annual MUSON Festival of the Arts, an event that has continued to surpass expectations with its yearly renewed and invigorating medley of electrifying line-up of events. The 2018 festival planning committee has assured to replicate same standard, with an improvement that would make this episode grander than last year’s. Details were released to the public during a press briefing on September 13, 2018 at the Foyer, Agip Recital Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos.
Representing Arch. Kitoye Ibare-Akinsan, Chairman, festival planning committee, Dr. (Mrs) Femi Akinkugbe announced that the festival would run from the 17th through to the 28th of October, 2018 at the different halls within the serene MUSON ambience.
“The Board of Trustees and the Planning Committee of The Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) Festival are excited to announce the varieties of events planned for her 22nd annual MUSON Festival, scheduled to hold between 17th to 28th of October, at the MUSON centre- 8/9, Marina Road, Onikan Lagos,” Dr. Akinkugbe declared.
“The Festival commences with two major events: MusiQuest/ Youth Concert – featuring several young musicians constantly emerging in Nigeria. The Youth Concert is a competition that provides a platform of self-expression for these young budding artistes and, Wednesday, October 17 will flag off the final phase of this competition. The other opening event, is the Festival Art Exhibition- Music Meets Art, in partnership with the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) led by Mr. Oliver Enwonwu. The exhibition will officially open on Wednesday, October 17th and will continue until the 28th of October 2018. A special highlight of the exhibition will be the Dinner and Art Auction which will hold on Wednesday, October 24th.
“My Kind of Music is scheduled for Thursday, 18th October. As usual, guests will be taken on a musical journey through the memories, experiences and life philosophies of four outstanding individuals: first, an acclaimed art curator and founder of an internationally recognized Film Festival; who is also a member of the Marketing & Fundraising Committee at MUSON, Ms. Ugoma Adegoke, second, a Jazz enthusiast, promoter and founder of the Lagos Jazz Series, Engr. Oti Bazunu; third, Media Mogul and Chairman of Guardian Newspapers, Lady Maiden Alex Ibru; and fourth, Lawyer and Honorary Secretary of the Board of Trustees, MUSON, Mr. Adeyemi Akisanya.
The first weekend of the Festival will feature two interesting shows, the first is- LEGENDS– a 3 day musical drama production, highlighting selected ancient African Kings & Kingdoms. This production is in partnership with Seeing Through The Arts, led by Gbenga Yusuf, Creative Director, Professional Dancer/ Choreographer; and Declassical Arts & Entertainment, led by Ayo Ajayi – Music Director, Composer/ Arranger and a MUSON School Alumnus. The second highlight of the weekend is the production of Don Giovanni, a Danjuma Festival Opera sponsored by General T. Y. Danjuma.
The 18th Century Opera in two acts by W. A. Mozart will feature the MUSON Opera Department led by Joseph Oparamanuike. Since partnerships have proven to be very valuable, once again, in alliance with the Friends of Azerbaijan Organisation led by Ms. Billura Bayramova, we present Quand L’est Rencontre L’ouest- When East Meets West, featuring pianist Saida Zulfugarova and Tar Player Sahib Pashazade on Monday, the 22nd of October.
This year’s MUSON Day is scheduled for Thursday, October 25. It is a special members’ day event, set aside to mark the founding of our society. On this day, the new MUSON Chamber Orchestra will be officially launched and featured, followed by a cocktail and networking session.
Festival Jazz Party, supported by Dangote Group is one of the events to look out for. This year, it features Afro Jazz Guitarist and vocalist, Adedeji Adetayo, who is based in Greece; Aramide – internationally acclaimed Afro Soul Vocalist and guitarist; and Kaline – a fast rising and talented pianist, songwriter and singer.
This year’s Chevron Festival Drama Such is Life; a play by Prof. Femi Osofisan will be showing on Saturday, October 27. This hilarious musical comedy is about a household entangled with the intricacies of a marriage. Featuring PAWSTUDIOS, the play is directed by Kenneth Uphopho. The Chevron Festival Drama has been sponsored since 2001 by Chevron Nigeria Limited.
The 22nd MUSON Festival will come to a close on Sunday, October 28, with an enthralling performance by the MUSON Choir, and the MUSON Chamber Orchestra directed by Nigeria’s ace Choral Conductor and Music Director, Sir Emeka Nwokedi. The event will feature a special appearance by the MUSON Junior Choir featuring young singers between the ages of 5 and 15 led by Raphael Francis and Perpetual Atife, members of the MUSON School Alumnus.”
MUSON Trustee, Mrs. Francesca Emanuel also weighed in saying that “the main objective (of the MUSON festival) is the promotion and development of classical music, and as such, this year’s activities seek to surmount the previous Festivals in the pursuance of this aim.”
MUSON Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Gboyega Banjo acknowledged the immense contributions of the various stakeholders, sponsors, donors, advertisers, festival audience, the media and various artistes who he said “share in the festival ideals, for the implementation of its activities and projects.”
He thanked them for their unwavering supports in “motion and in advance” as a successful journey is expected to begin Wednesday, October 17th. He reassured that this year’s festival would be a huge success and encouraged more membership of the Musical Society of Nigeria.