Winterreise 2013

De Profundis Clamavi 2013

Master Classes Cramer 2012

Fagottissimo 2012

LOrfeo 2012

Motettenchorreise 2010 (German)

Wind Trio 2012

De Meulder 2012

Winterreise Schuetz Exequien 2013

Baroqueproject 2009

Baroqueproject 2012

Baroqueproject 2011

Lohmann visit 2010

Acis&Galatea 2010

Lute Course 2012

Lute Course 2010

Article in Pro Musica Sacra 2004 (German)

Baroque String Course 2008





Quadruplet goat lambs (August 2015)

SInce 2012 a herd of indiginous goats are kept at Deelfontein, to supply milk for own consumption. In future, as milk production increases, cheesemaking is envisaged. Keeping the animals from leaving the farm turned out to be a major challenge and never ending job, but in the meantime the northern boundary fence has been electrified and the remainder will follow with time. In the meantime, the herd grows at an amazing rate, which is not surprising considering the average of 3 births in 2 years and the norm of twins. In 2014, the first triplet was born, and in August of this year, a Skilder ewe gave birth to quadruplets! The two ram and two ewe lambs are all healthy albeit small, and fortunately some other ewes in milk can help raising them.


Waterless toilets produced at Deelfontein (August 2018)

In keeping with the philosophy of sustainable development at Deelfontein, all the old water closets were replaced with waterless composting toilets that were developed and are produced on the farm with great success since 2006. They are an ideal solution for anyone wishing to save water or to install toilets independent of a sewerage system. It is also possible to install them in existing buildings. Negative air pressure under the toilet ensures that odours do not escape. After about one year, the solid waste is removed and composted to inactivate pathogens. Using a mould made out of glass fibre consisting of 8 parts, the bowls are cast in concrete and subsequently treated with an epoxy coating.


Extension of the farming activities  (January 2015)

Shortly after the cattle farming with a Nguni stud started at Deelfontein, a herd each of Damara sheep and indiginous veld goats were introduced from Prieska in the Northern Cape. The sheep belong to an indiginous breed from northern Namibia but have acclimatized well in the Dome surroundings. This short haired breed have evolved over thousands of years in the conditions of Africa and are extremely hardy and resistant to disease and both internal and external parasites. They also have an excellent herding instinct, and are able to successfully defend themselves against predators. At Deelfontein, however, the animals spend the nights in the safety of their paddock as the area also harbours many jackals, caracals and even leopard.


The hall complex takes a step forward (June 2015)

After a long period of stagnation, building activities on the hall was resumed in 2015. The practice rooms, arranged in a semi-circle around the main hall, received their concrete floors and roofs consisting of poplar poles. After isolating the roofs with fleece and plastic foil, they will be covered with grass, enabling the major part of the complex to blend in with the surroundings. The main hall with about 240 square metre surface area and a span of 20m will of course need a lighter roof construction of steel trusses and IBR sheeting. Already, the stage is covered, and even at this stage, the acoustics are superb. The hall complex will enable seminars involving larger groups such as choirs and orchestras to be presented at Deelfontein.


Farming activities (November 2011)

Deelfontein is a farm of 170ha, and the pasture must be used for grazing to keep the veld in a good condition. In November 2012,  a Nguni stud was established in collaboration with two farmers of the Vredefort vicinity. On the disused maize fields, lying fallow for about ten years, pioneer grasses have become established, but it is an interesting and important challenge to convert this area into prime grazing. A flock of 40 indigenous chicken and a Saanen goat are kept to supply milk and eggs. It is envisaged that the farming activities will in future supply the Retreat kitchen, in line with the environmentally friendly philosophy underlying the whole venture.


Cattle handling facility (April 2012)

With the cattle arriving on Deelfontein, it was necessary to build a kraal and cattle handling facility. After some internet research and consultations with successful farmers of the area, an interesting building plan was designed to take account of cattle psychology and to minimise labour input when handling the cattle. The building commenced in February 2012, and the facility was completed in April, just in time for the veterinarian to do the pregnancy tests.


Container with instruments arrive on Deelfontein (January 2012)

In January 2012, for a second time, a 20 feet container arrived after the long sea journey from Germany. Amongst others, it contained two pipe organs, two pianos, and various other instruments destined for use in the Dome Arts Retreat at Deelfontein. In addition to the already existing instrument collection, including a grand piano, a two-manual concert harmonium with pedal, and a harpsichord, these instruments afford exciting new possibilities for courses, music projects and concerts at the retreat.  


The Retreat hall nears completion (July 2012)

At the Dome Arts Retreat, the current seminar facilities consist of two large rooms, in which courses and master classes are held. To accommodate larger groups like choirs and orchestras, and facilitate group splitting, a new complex consisting of a hall and several practice rooms is under construction, replacing an existing shed. The hall, with a floor surface of more than 200 square metres and a large stage, will also provide an ideal venue for the concerts in the series "Dome Classics", presented every last Sunday of the month. The masonry work on the hall is finished up to roof height. The next phase is installing the roof trusses and completing the IBR roof. 


Early Music Forum Africa

The performance of non-contemporary music is always relative to the musical conceptions and the instruments of the era in which it was composed. Up till the second half of the previous century, this fact was not generally acknowledged by music performers, and all music was performed with the performance practice and the instruments of the late romantic era. Following well established practice in Europe, John Reid Coulter, Hans Huyssen, Gerhard Benadé and others founded the Early Music Forum Africa in November 2010 to further the aims of historically informed performance practice in South Africa. In the second semester of 2012, four courses in Early Music give content to this undertaking.


Antoinette Lohmann plays Vivaldi's Seasons at Aardklop (October 2011)

The master classes and music projects in historically informed performance practice already look back upon a three year tradition at the Dome Arts Retreat. In September and October 2011, a total of eleven concerts were presented at the Aardklop Arts Festival and in Bloemfontein, Johannesburg and Pretoria, including a stage production of the Händel opera Acis and Galatea. In October 2012, the Netherlands baroque violinist Antoinette Lohmann, already well-known in Early Music circles in South Africa, performed the concertos Spring and Summer from the Four Seasons of Vivaldi to great acclaim at Aardklop and in Johannesburg and Pretora. She was assisted by her colleague Arjen de Graaf in another Aardklop programme featuring the young Cape soprano Elsabe Richter.


German woodwind trio at Deelfontein (February 2012)

The German woodwind trio Trio d'Anches Würzburg, consisting of Jochen Müller-Brincken (oboe), Manfred LIndner (clarinet) and Albrecht Holder (bassoon) gave master classes at the Dome Arts Retreat as well as at the Hugo Lambrechts Centre in the Cape during their two week educational visit to South Africa organised by the Retreat. They also performed in three concerts -- at the Enoch Sontonga Hall in Sunnyside, Pretoria, at Deelfontein, and in Cape Town. 


Mountain bike trail at Deelfontein comes of age 

With four races presented in 2012, the Deelfontein MTB trail is firmly established in the mountain biking landscape. Offering picturesque trails through the Dome bushveld as well as extreme technical mountain climbing tracks, the trail provides for leisurely riding as well as for the professional seeking hard practicing opportunities. The trails cover a total distance of well over 50 km, with a wide spectrum of grades, and , comprising of dirt road, jeep track and single track. The ablution facilities include a sauna and use of a 15m swimming pool.


Organ positive for performances of Early Music (July 2012)

The three register pipe organ that arrived at Deelfontein in January awaits the fitting of a transposable keyboard to make possible performance on the various tuning standards commonly encountered in Early Music. The transportable instrument has 3 registers -- Gedackt 8', Rohrflöte 4', and Principal 2' -- and will be a valuable addition to the continuo group for performances of baroque music. It was built by Markus Bauer from the Black Forest in Germany.