Paris Saint-Germain are poised to end Liverpool’s hopes of landing young defender Mahamadou Dembele.With the 18-year-old not yet to pen a professional deal with PSG, Liverpool had zeroed in on the centre-back as they look to continue to recruit the best young talent available.However, the French giants are determined to keep hold of Dembele and, according to L’Equipe, he is now set to commit his future to them.Dembele is expected to put pen-to-paper on a professional contract with PSG in the coming weeks, resisting the temptation of leaving for the Premier League.He has been a consistent part of PSG’s squad in the UEFA Youth League and turned out against the likes of FC Basel, Arsenal and Red Bull Salzburg.His impressive performances in the competition attracted the attention of Liverpool and a host of other clubs across Europe. 1
The Miagi youth orchestra is about to takeEurope by storm during the upcoming tour.(Image: Miagi) Sought-after Austrian conductor ChristianMuthspiel will take up the baton for allof Miagi’s European concerts.(Image: Erich Reismann)MEDIA CONTACTS • Robert BrooksMiagi executive director+27 82 332 3398 or +43 676 378 3125RELATED ARTICLES• Building bridges with classical music• Wouter Kellerman: magic on flute• SA songbird wins top opera prize• Jazz festival brings stars to Cape Town• SA quartet plays for peaceShamin ChibbaAfter many years of honing their craft, young musicians from the Pretoria-based music education organisation Music is a Great Investment (Miagi) are making their mark on the European stage.The organisation took its name from a statement made at a 2003 press briefing by its patron, the Russian violinist Maxim Vengerov, who was visiting South Africa for the first time. Miagi was known then as the International Classical Music Festival.The Miagi youth orchestra, also known as the New Skool Orchestra, and the big band will take their brand of classical, jazz and traditional African music to Germany, Austria and the Netherlands between 16 July and 5 August this year.Before jetting off to Europe, the group, made up of approximately 100 musicians, will present a farewell concert at Johannesburg’s Linder Auditorium on 15 July.Thereafter, they will perform at the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele in Germany before heading to Austria for the Carinthischer Sommer, or Carinthian Summer Festival.Their biggest performance will take place on 27 July at the opening concert of the Young Euro Classic Festival in Berlin. Here they will appear at the Konzerthaus Berlin in Gendarmentmarkt Square.This is Miagi’s second invitation to the Berlin festival, following their 2009 debut.The Young Euro Classic was established 12 years ago by a group of friends who wanted to bring together the best young orchestras from around the world.Apart from South Africa’s representative Miagi, this year’s festival will also feature orchestras from Japan, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany and Turkey.According to Miagi’s executive director and founder Robert Brooks, the youngsters made such an impression on Berliners the first time around that they were invited to return in 2012.“The orchestra was built from nothing and it is quite amazing what these kids have achieved,” said Brooks.The Miagi troupe will travel to the Netherlands before ending off the tour at the Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festival in Germany.Crosscultural collaborationRenowned Austrian conductor and composer Christian Muthspiel will lead the orchestra on tour.Muthspiel’s affiliation with Miagi began in April 2011 and was so fruitful that when the invitation came, the Austrian agreed readily to conduct the orchestra and big band in Europe.According to Brooks, Muthspiel is a real coup as he is one of the most sought-after conductors in Europe.Miagi commissioned Muthspiel to create a new intercultural composition with a member of the orchestra and big band; the composer, clarinettist and saxophonist Tshepo Tsotetsi.While performing in Vienna in October 2011, the pair started work on a composition which is now known as Christian Muthspiel: Out of South Africa, Symphonic Poem on Themes by Tshepo Tsotetsi. This piece will be part of the European repertoire.The orchestra and big band will also play Leonard Bernstein’s symphonic suite On the Waterfront, George Gershwin’s An American in Paris, Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, and Antonin Dvořák’s Romance in F minor for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 11.Blending classical, jazz and traditional African musicAccording to Brooks, the New Skool Orchestra was established as a result of the informal kwela evenings of music and dance that took place at the orchestra and big band courses.From these gatherings arose an amalgamation of classical, jazz and traditional African music.“If you expose musicians to all music forms they will play with them and come out with their own unique sound,” said Brooks. “This we are playing was developed by the kids.”For Tstotetsi, the New Skool Orchestra is the voice of young musicians and composers seeking to reach greater musical, social and educational depths.“New Skool seeks to give young composers the courage to keep producing music of the highest quality, giving them the chance, through the orchestra, to hear and thoroughly develop their music,” he said.He added that the orchestra is a symbol of the unity between the different ethnic groups of South Africa, an ideal that the previous generation strove for.Brooks seconded Tsotetsi’s sentiment, saying that music can act as the bridge between the social fractures in this country.“South Africa is such an ingredient of colours and flavours and so are its people – therefore the music will be a vibrant mix of all these cultures,” he said.Developing young musical talentMiagi was established in 2001 as a not-for-profit organisation.Brooks, himself a well-travelled tenor, said that it grew from a series of concerts he hosted, which brought together a number of genres and many acclaimed artists, including Miriam Makeba.Miagi was established after Brooks obtained funding from the South African government and the EU. With the support of the national Department of Arts and Culture, the organisation has built a countrywide network of music education initiatives that has developed young local talent, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.From this wealth of musical talent came the orchestra and big band.The best students often perform with world-famous musicians at Miagi’s international intercultural events.Miagi has grown to an extent that Brooks was able to open a new music centre in Soweto. The Cape Gate Miagi Centre for Music was opened on 29 May 2011 and is situated on the premises of the Morris Isaacson High School in the suburb of Jabavu, central Soweto.A donation by the philanthropic Kaplan-Kuschlik Education Foundation, as well as the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, made the construction of the centre possible.
Business analytics and data insights empower today’s business leaders for faster decision making. A recent data consolidation and analytics project uplifted Intel’s revenue by $264 million in 2014, as highlighted in our recently published Annual Business ReviewOpens in a new window. This $264 million represents only a portion of the $351 million in value generated by Intel IT through the use of big data, business intelligence, and analytic tools. Access to connected data in an efficient and timely manner has enabled stakeholders to analyze market trends and make faster and better business decisions. In an age when organizations such as Intel are rich in data, finding value in this data lies in the ability to analyze it and efficiently derive actionable business intelligence. Intel IT will continue to invest in tools that can transform data into insights to help solve high-value business problems. Boosting Sales with Reseller Market InsightsAnother significant chunk of the previously mentioned $351 million — $76 million — was generated by a sales and marketing analytics engine that provides valuable information to Intel sales teams, helping them strategically focus their sales efforts to deliver greater revenue. The engine’s recommendations identify which customers sales reps should contact and what they should talk to them about. This data significantly shortened the sales cycle and enabled sales reps to reach customers who were previously off the radar. (Watch a video about the analytics engine here.) The fact that this recommendation engine garnered Intel a 2014 CIO 100 award illustrates how important CIOs consider technology in today’s business environment.What’s Next for Data Visualization at IntelGoing forward, we intend to promote the collaborative analytics to Intel decision makers. For example, Intel IT has developed an Info Wall that harnesses the power of data visualization. This solution is built on Intel® architecture and is Intel’s first interactive video wall with a viewing area measuring 5 feet high and 15 feet wide. While it’s too early to state any specific results, this unique implementation will enable new possibilities for business intelligence and data visualization. Currently, the Info Wall and data focus on sales and marketing; we plan to soon expand the application of the Info Wall to other areas of Intel business. The Right Data at the Right TimeIntel’s business processes use a significant amount of historical data to reach decisions. But isolated datasets are not very useful because they provide only a glimpse of a much larger picture. Recognizing the power of connected data, Intel IT engaged in an 18-month data cleansing and consolidation effort, connecting more than 200 GB of historical data from various disparate and vertical systems using common measures and dimensions.The complexity of this project was daunting. There were many spreadsheets and applications, and even the same data had inconsistent identifiers in different datasets. Our efforts resulted in replacing more than 4,000 spreadsheets with a single database solution that included over 1,000 data measures and 12 dimensions, as well as tracking information for about 4 million production and engineering samples provided to customers. Even connected data, however, is not inherently valuable, unless the data is conveyed in terms of trends and patterns that guide effective decision making. On top of our now-connected data, we added advanced analytics and data visualization capabilities that enable Intel’s decision makers to convert data into meaningful insights. About 9,000 application users that serve Intel and external customers have access to this data, along with 15,000 reporting users.As part of the project, we automated our data management processes, so that we can now integrate new datasets in just a few hours, instead of in several months.