Inspiration Under Pressure: Unveiling the Magic of Our Monthly Inspiration Evenings!

Inspiration Evening activity: Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra - Presents Kharitonov’s Rachmaninov.

Welcome to our monthly Inspiration Under Pressure piece, where we shine a light on the creative mind behind our Monthly Inspiration Evening. 

At Pressure Cooker Studios, we thrive on the belief that learning is a continuous journey, and what better way to embark on it than through a whirlwind of fun and inspiration? 

Our monthly inspiration evenings are not just about fostering team camaraderie; they’re our playground for innovation and growth. Picture this: Mobile Laser Tag battles in De Waal Park, gliding through Rollercade’s neon-lit rinks, sharing belly laughs at Comedy Nights and belting it at karaoke bars. But wait, there’s more! We’ve delved into the depths of mystery at Hint Hunt and explored countless other avenues of excitement. Through these events, we’ve crafted not only a culture of togetherness but also a platform where talent can flourish. Here, every laugh, every game, and every shared moment fuels our creative fire and propels us forward on our collaborative journey.

Once a month, one of our team members gets nominated to host an Inspiration Evening of their choice.

This month, our spotlight is on Kadin, our talented intern whose passion for classical music is matched by his skills on the violin. He orchestrated an evening of sheer delight, pun intended, set against the magnificent backdrop of Cape Town’s City Hall. 

Severely underdressed for the occasion but buzzing with anticipation, the team eagerly awaited the performance by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, presenting Kharitonov’s Rachmaninov. 

Witnessing the orchestra, led by conductor Martin Panteleev, including a mesmerizing solo performance by Daniel Kharitonov, a piano virtuoso hailing from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in the Russian Far East, was a true delight. At just 16, he shone brightly at the 15th Tchaikovsky International Competition in 2015, earning the Third Prize with his triumphant performance. 

As his fingers danced across the keys, weaving magic faster than our thoughts, we were spellbound. Martin Panteleev, a renowned violinist and composer born into a family of musicians in Sofia, Bulgaria, guided the symphony. His musical journey began at the tender age of four, studying at the L. Pipkov National School of Music in his hometown.

What inspired you to choose this month’s activity for your Inspiration Evening?

I wanted to share some of my musical world with the team – classical music is my hood, the classical composers are my homies, and, abruptly ditching the Bronx analogy, the orchestra is my favorite musical medium.

 What was the most memorable moment from your Inspiration Evening?

There were many memorable moments, but one that will stick with me occurred during the first movement of Rachmaninoff’s 1st Piano Concerto, when it was just the pianist playing. While I typically prefer orchestral music over solo performances, this moment captivated me as the piano solo unveiled an entire world of sound. It was almost as if the piano transformed into an entire orchestra. Witnessing the depth and richness that one instrument could produce in a way that is not often experienced was truly incredible and inspiring.

Did any unexpected surprises or highlights occur during the event?

It wasn’t during the event per se, but I was surprised by how captivated everyone was by the concert and how much they appreciated it. I suppose I’m quite familiar with it, so it can be easy to lose the initial wonder and delight in the magic of a live orchestra.

How did your colleagues react to the activity? Any funny anecdotes to share?

Despite some initial misgivings from a few when they heard that I’d managed to trap them in a hall with an orchestra for over two hours, everyone really loved the evening. Andries and James came away plotting a bass drum heist, so I know that at least two people were inspired to do something new. There was something else that had us laughing during the actual performance, but I can’t remember what it was – I’ll see if I can recall it.

What did you hope team members would take away from the experience?

I hoped that team members would gain a deeper glimpse and a better understanding of something we work with virtually every week, and that they’d get to share in some of the delight I’ve found in classical music over the last 21 years.

The evening was an absolute inspiration, evoking a sense of wonder and leaving us all deeply moved and searching for our old music books, eager to reconnect with our own musical journeys. 

Kadin, your passion for classical music transformed the event into an unforgettable experience, reminding us of the profound impact that music can have on our minds and souls. 

Our creative hub of audio pioneers and composers in Cape Town continually draw inspiration from each other, further enriching our musical explorations and pushing the boundaries of innovation in sound.

Kadin curated a playlist featuring ‘our own orchestral compositions’ directly from our Pressure Music Catalogue that perfectly captured the essence of the evening: have a listen.