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Friday, November 18, 2011


(Maxine Matthews)

An exceptional classical music event takes place at St Agnes Church in Kloof on November 24.

Combining three separate concert ideas in one varied event, well-known concert pianist and concert entrepreneur Christopher Duigan compiles a unique and extraordinary event featuring the cream of young KZN talent that is not to be missed.

The concert starts with classical masterpieces by Beethoven and Mozart featuring an all-South African team of soloists from the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra: Kirsten Sayers (clarinet), Maggi Deppe (oboe), Marian van Duyker (French horn) and Anele Mnguni, (bassoon). Christopher Duigan (piano) joins at the piano to play the Quintets for Winds and Piano by Ludwig van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Shortly after the premiere of his Quintet in E-flat major K452 in March, 1784 in Vienna, Mozart wrote to his father: "I myself consider it to be the best thing I have written in my life."

Mozart’s Quintet was the inspiration for the 26-year-old Ludwig van Beethoven who, 12 years later, composed his Quintet for the same combination of instruments and in the same key of E-flat major. The young Beethoven’s expansive style is clearly evident in this music. A newcomer to Vienna, Beethoven had quickly made his mark, dazzling all with his power as pianist and improviser, the extraordinary emotional intensity of his playing, and his brilliantly original compositions.

The second part of the concert features Maxine Matthews (alto saxophone). Born in Mauritius, Maxine started studied saxophone under the tutelage of Werner Dannewitz and Theo Venter at the Durban Music School and recently returned to Durban following three years of study in Athens and Besancon, France. She was awarded her “Diplome de Perfecctionement” (Perfectionment Diploma) in June this year with distinction, bringing her studies in France to a close.

Currently undertaking a private study year in Durban, Maxine is moving to Liverpool in September 2012 to take up a highly sought-after position in the class of music at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA), Paul McCartney's school of performing arts specializing in Music, Dance, and Drama.

Christopher Duigan joins Maxine at the piano in a varied programme that ranges from revised classical repertoire by Glinka, to the be-bop inspired Sonata by Phil Woods, nuevo-tango by Astor Piazzolla and dash of local flavour with music by South African composer Richard Guinness.

The last component of the programme features Christopher Duigan in a solo capacity playing selections of music by Franz Liszt. Probably the greatest pianist of all-time, Hungarian-born Franz Liszt (1811-1886), a pianist of extraordinary technical and musical virtuosity, is celebrated around the world this year on the 200th anniversary of his birth. Selecting from his all-Liszt programmes presented earlier this year, Duigan features a number of high-energy performance pieces from the composer’s varied output including the Hungarian Rhapsody No 6 and music from Liszt's most extensive and poetic work, Years of Pilgrimage.

The Grand Extravaganza concert takes place on November 24 at 19h30 at the St Agnes Church in Kloof. Performance is 120 minutes duration including interval. Interval refreshments will be on sale and parking is secure. Tickets R80 and booking is advised as places are limited. Contact St Agnes Church, Kloof, on 031 764 2037 or e-mail