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Wednesday, February 8, 2012


(Violinist Mirijam Contzen will appear in the first concert of the Summer Season)

The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra’s forthcoming World Symphony Series Summer Season takes place in the Durban City Hall every Thursday evening from February 16 until March 22.

Following the richly rewarding tradition of the Orchestra’s mainstream concert programming, the upcoming season’s guest roster will feature several distinguished frontline artists from the international concert circuit along with a number of leading South African musicians.

Maestro Omri Hadari is the conductor for the first two concerts of the season. Launching the season on 17 February, he conducts a programme entitled The French Connection. This offers concert goers the enjoyment of hearing Ravel’s colourful Alborada del gracioso as the evening’s perky musical curtain raiser, and concludes with Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, one of the 19th century’s great orchestral showpieces. The ground-breaking work will follow a performance of Lalo’s exotically scored Symphonie espagnole for violin and orchestra, spotlighting the widely acclaimed young virtuoso, Mirijam Contzen.

Omri Hadari returns to the podium on February 24 for Soulful Synthesis, an imaginatively conceived musical excursion in Israeli soprano, Sivan Rotem, will perform Rossini Semiramide Overture as well as Mozart works: Le Nozze di Figaro: Giunse al fin il momento…Deh Vieni, non tardar; Cosi fan Tutte: Una Donna a quindici anni; Lucio Silla Overture and Exsultate, Jubilate. The second half of the programme will feature Beethoven’s Symphony No.7.

The third concert of the season offers an evening of music making loosely styled as Pianistic Poetry, the prize-winning soloist Alexander Lubyantsev, performs Chopin’s much-loved Piano Concerto No. 1. His account of this show-stopping warhorse will be followed after interval by Schumann’s powerful Symphony No 2. This concert sees Yasuo Shinozaki’s welcome return to the KZN Philharmonic podium.

Winding Paths on March 8 sees the popular Japanese conductor taking his second bow of the season, with Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 preluding a performance of Richard Strauss’s Oboe Concerto by the orchestra’s principal oboist, Alison Lowell. Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony rounds off this engaging programme.

Noted South African pianist, Malcolm Nay, makes his second appearance with the Orchestra for a performance of Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No 2 in the penultimate concert of the season, performing under the baton of the young American conductor, Daniel Boico, whose short-notice debut here during the Spring of 2011 was accorded wide acclaim.

The evening’s fascinating programme, entitled Classical Spirit, opens with a performance of Mozart’s turbulent Symphony No. 25, one of the great Austrian composer’s most dramatic early works, used to great effect in the film Amadeus, and closes with a rendering of the teen-aged Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 5. Written in 1816, Schubert’s supremely beautiful early work, while fully imbued with his own unique creative life-force, movingly suggests the composer’s sense of homage to the profound influence of Mozart and Haydn a generation earlier.

Symphonic Dances on March 22 will celebrate a rigorous resurgence of Russian repertoire to bring the curtain down on a memorable season of music making. Daniel Boico will conduct performances of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol, Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, and Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances. This final concert of the season will re-introduce the KZN Philharmonic’s audience to the rising young international virtuoso pianist, Pallavi Mahidhara, who comes to Durban fresh from performances at the 2011 Marlboro Music Festival.

Subscriptions to the 2012 Summer Symphony Season are now open and bookings can be made directly with the KZN Philharmonic booking office on 031 369 9404 / 9438 or e-mail

Subscriptions and ticket prices have increased by an inflation-linked 5%. Concertgoers are encouraged to book a subscription for the 2012 Summer Season or, indeed, the entire 2012 World Symphony Series (Summer, Winter and Spring seasons).

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