national Arts Festival Banner

Saturday, September 12, 2009


(Pic: Christopher Duigan, programme director of the Hilton Festival’s music component)

Strong Music Revival presence at Witness Hilton Arts Festival.

At this year’s Witness Hilton Arts Festival, Music Revival in association with East Coast Radio, presents a stellar selection of classical concerts in the Hilton College Chapel over the weekend of September 18 to 20 at Hilton College in KZN.

Featuring a star-studded selection of outstanding musicians from around South Africa, the series provides much to offer with classical recitals, chamber music, choral concerts, and many innovative and creative productions. “The series is unique in South African music festivals in that it brings together many of the artist who appear in Music Revival’s countrywide schedule and offers opportunity to the musicians to collaborate in new ways,” says programme director Christopher Duigan. “It’s a very friendly gathering! Many artists make guest appearances in others solo programme and thus provide new contact and scope for creativity that other festivals do not offer. The programme also offers an extremely wide range of serious classical and popular music that will offer enjoyment for a broad range of tastes.”

Highlights these years include internationally-acclaimed piano duo Nina Schumann and Luis Magalhães. This Stellenbosch-based husband and wife duo have received much acclaim for their thrilling performances and recording and will be performing in Hilton as part of a national tour to promote their new CD of music by Arensky and Lutoslawski.

James Grace, popular Cape Town based classical guitarist who has been receiving much well-deserved acclaim nationally for his CD recordings, performs a selection from his new CD, Sevillia: Music of Spain Vol. 2, which will be available at the festival.

Now living in London, former Principal Clarinet of the KZNPO Joanne Rozario is featured in several concerts including a bonanza selection of chamber music with newly-appointed Principal Viola of the KZNPO, David Smith in Mozart’s Kegelstatt Trio for clarinet, viola and piano as well as music by Bruch. In the same concert Sabine Baird (flute) performs music for flute by Bach, Chopin and Faure and joins Rozario and Smith in Saint-Saëns’ lively Tarantella. Rozario also appears in a highly entertaining performance Sax-Delight, exploring the seldom-heard alto saxophone in classical performance.

With music from Handel to Piazzolla, Abdullah Ibrahim's The Mountain plus the popular Pink Panther theme, the concert features guest artists in music for saxophone with guitar, organ and baritone Federico Freschi. A favourite with local audiences, Freschi introduces Lithuanian mezzo-soprano Aukse Trunkunaite to local opera fans in an Opera Gala evening. With solos and duets including Carmen’s celebrated Habanera, duets and solo arias from operas by Rossini and Saint Saëns plus a selection of Russian songs by Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky, this performance in the popular Saturday evening slot is not to be missed.

Programme director Christopher Duigan is highlighted in a classical recital including Beethoven’s legendary Sonata op 57 Appassionata along with a sequence of high-powered virtuoso works by Liszt, Chopin and Rachmaninoff. His second performance offers lighter and entertaining fare with a selection of music from around the world in many popular genres titled I Got Rhythm. Exploring repetitive rhythms and a clear two, three, four, five beats in a bar, the innovatively-compiled selection grouped by time-signature includes ragtime, film and classical music with the popular Flight of the Bumblebee and Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody no 2 taking centre stage. This will appeal to admirers of piano music of all ages.

Other performances include concerts by the Midlands Youth Choir and the Durban Chamber Choir, the latter performing Fauré’s much-loved Requiem. Violetta Osorhean, Associate-Concert master of the KZNPO and David Smith (harpsichord and organ) delight with music from the Italian Baroque for violin on Saturday morning at 10h00, a perfect way to start the festival experience and the final bonanza on Sunday afternoon at 16h30 is the revisit to the popular concept of Last Night of the Hilton Proms. Featuring performances by many of the festival soloists along with massed choirs, this promises to be an electric performance that includes a nod to many local and world cultures while including and reworking of the audience-friendly Last Night of the Proms sequence of sing along favourites.

The Music Revival Concert Series is presented in the Hilton College Chapel. For more information or a full programme and booking kit – visit / / or the Hilton Festival hotline on or phone 033 3830126. Info will also be found on the East Coast Radio website.