South Africa’s leading period instrument collective.

The Cape Town Baroque Orchestra (CTB) is the leading South African baroque ensemble playing on period instruments. It was founded by violinist Quentin Crida in July 2004 as Camerata Tinta Barocca. As of July 2021 the ensemble has adopted the name Cape Town Baroque Orchestra, carrying it into a new age of growth and artistic excellence.

Members include some of South Africa’s finest musicians who embrace a historically informed performance approach. Mostly playing music from the 18th century, CTB has worked with international leaders in their respective fields, such as baroque violinists Antoinette Lohmann and Pauline Nobes; soprano Stefanie True; countertenors Lawrence Zazzo and Christopher Ainslie; male soprano Philipp Mathmann; recorder players Stefan Temmingh, Erik Bosgraaf and Anna Fusek; baroque oboist and recorder player Carin van Heerden, mandolin player Alon Sariel and conductor Arjan Tien.

Apart from CTB’s annual concert series in St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Cape Town, the ensemble regularly accompanies opera and oratorio performances, performs in festivals throughout South Africa and has an active outreach and education programme. CTB’s concerts have been broadcast on Fine Music Radio and kykNET, and have received critical acclaim in the Cape Times and Die Burger.

Since 2011 CTB has gradually moved towards playing on period instruments. Currently CTB is the only ensemble in South Africa that regularly plays in orchestral format, performing all of its annual concerts on period appropriate instruments. In 2013 CTB, in collaboration with the Cape Consort, gave the first South African period performance of Handel’s Messiah. During November 2016 CTB played for Cape Town Opera’s first production with a period instrument orchestra, in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, directed by Jaco Bouwer and conducted by Erik Dippenaar. In December 2016 CTB was nominated for a kykNET Fiësta award for a programme titled Handel in the drawing room presented during the 2016 Klein Karoo Klassique festival.

Erik Dippenaar was appointed as Artistic Director in 2015.


Erik Dippenaar – Artistic Director

In 2003 Erik Dippenaar obtained the degree BMus (cum laude) from Stellenbosch University, and was awarded a MMus (with distinction) by the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London in 2007, studying under Margaret Phillips (organ) and Robert Woolley (harpsichord). The following year he completed an Artist Diploma in Performance at the RCM under Jane Chapman (harpsichord) and Geoffrey Govier (fortepiano).

As a student in South Africa, Erik won most of the important music competitions, including the ABSA National Youth Music Competition (2000), UNISA National Organ Competition (2001), Mabel Quick Bursary Competition (2001), ATKV Musiq Competition (2002), the organ category of Distell Music Competition (2002) and the Unisa Overseas Bursary competition (2003).

From 2005 to 2011 Erik was based in London, where he played in various important early music festivals such as the Greenwich Early Music Festival, the London Handel Festival, the Brighton Early Music Festival and the Trigonale Festival der Alten Musik. His primary activity was chamber music and he has performed regularly with Florilegium, The London Handel Players, l’Avventura London, Amaranthos and Spirituoso. He also worked with the English Touring Opera, the Little Baroque Company and Ensemble Serse on a regular basis.

While in Londen, Erik gave regular solo recitals, which included a recital for the British Harpsichord Society, as well as regular broadcasts for BBC Radio 3. In 2010, with Florilegium, he made his debut in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Erik was one of the official accompanists for the annual London Handel Singing Competition, and in March 2008 he was awarded the competition’s Accompanist’s Prize. He won the RCM Early Music Competition twice, and was a member of the group Musici Infaticabili, who won the Broadwood Early Keyboard Ensemble Competition in Fenton House in May 2008. During 2008/2009 Erik was appointed as Mills/Williams Junior Fellow at the RCM, and he taught harpsichord at the Centre for Young Musicians in London.

Erik is currently Artistic Director of the Cape Town Baroque Orchestra, Artistic Director of the annual Cape Town Baroque Festival, and a part-time lecturer in Western music history and historical performance practice at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He is studying towards a PhD in music at UCT, focussing on the role historical domestic keyboard instruments played in the colonisation process in Southern Africa.

Cheryl de Havilland – Outreach Coordinator

Cheryl de Havilland was born in London and began playing the cello at the age of 8. At 11 she won a bursary to study music at the Royal College of Music. Cheryl first came to South Africa for the inauguration of the Pretoria State Opera House, and then to Cape Town as co-principal cellist in the Capab Orchestra. Later she joined the CTSO and CTPO. She was cellist in the Cape Town String Quartet for many years and plays concerts regularly with the cello sextet, I Grandi Violoncellisti. Cheryl is also an established cello teacher in the Cape.


Erik Dippenaar
Erik Dippenaar