Uruguayan Guitar Duo in South Africa
SPEECH BY H.E. LUIS BERMUDEZ, AMBASADOR OF URUGUAY TO SOUTH AFRICA ON THE URUGUAY’S BICENTENNIAL CONCERT, SEPTEMBER 20TH, 2011
Your Excellency Ambassador Bene M’Poko, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps;
Your Excellency Ambassador Raul Barrientos, Acting Dean of the Latin American & Caribbean countries group;
Excellencies Ambassadors & High Commissioners accredited to the government of South Africa;
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Distinguished representatives of University of Pretoria and Tshwane municipality;
Uruguayan fellow countrymen & women;
Students, friends, ladies & gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to specially thank you for accepting our invitation and joining myself and the staff of the embassy of Uruguay in Pretoria, on this cultural event associated with the celebration of the 186o Anniversary of the Independence of Uruguay and the Bicentenary of the Emancipation Process of 1811, lead by founder of the Uruguayan nationality Gen. Jose Artigas.
This struggle originated from a need for freedom and was the starting point of the process that lead us to independence, and, later on, defined the main features of the Uruguayan behaviour and believes: an inclusive society lead by pluralism and tolerance. Culture has not been an exception and traditionally, Uruguay has been exposed to different influences and enriched with cosmopolitan experiences supplied by a vast number of nationalities that migrated during 19th and 20th centuries.
We are very happy that, Siqueira – Lima guitar duo have accepted our invitation to perform in such a special occasion, and tonight, they will delight us with a rich and wide repertoire at the Musaion, a landmark for musical performances in South Africa.
Cecilia Siqueira and Fernando Lima met for the first time 10 years ago when they took part, as individual participants, in an international guitar competition held in Brazil, sharing the first prize. Later, they followed their music careers as a duo. But theirs, is also a beautiful love story so they do not only share their passion for the art of music, they share their young and successful lives, as well.
It is a lovely coincidence that we will attend this guitar concert in Pretoria, the Jacaranda City. As you probably know jacaranda is one of the most nobles softwoods used in guitar building, specially in South America.
As we believe in partnerships, also in the cultural field, we have invited two South African exceptional musicians, Mr. Gerrit Roos and Mr. Jonathan Moolman to play along side duo Siqueira – Lima.
We would like to specially thank University of Pretoria, UP Arts and Vice-Chancellor Prof. Cheryl de la Rey for accepting our proposal. Special thanks also to Head of Music Mr. Wim Viljoen and Head of Venues Mr. Johnnie Heinemann. We would like to acknowledge and show our appreciation to Oceanfresh foods, his director Mr. Gavin van der Burgh, represented tonight by Mr. Clive Canter, who have sponsored this concert.
We are also honoured that Mr. Neil van der Watt, composer of Afrika kerslied, that will be played this evening is here with us.
I hope you will enjoy the concert and, once again, thank you for joinning the Embassy of Uruguay and University of Pretoria.