national Arts Festival Banner

Thursday, March 7, 2013


(Conductor Charles Dutoit. Pic by Lawrence K. Ho-Los Angeles Times)

This year, the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates its 30th anniversary.

From its opening concert featuring Ukuzalwa by Malcolm Forsyth in the Pietermaritzburg City Hall in 1983, the KZNPO has gone from strength to strength. It is widely considered to be the finest orchestra on the African continent and it has hosted an impressive line-up of international conductors and soloists, offering Durban music lovers a musical feast par excellence.

With the current Symphony Season series of concerts underway, the KZN proudly hosts the visit of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, rated by Gramophone magazine as the World’s greatest orchestra.

This World Tour, hosted in South Africa by the KZNPO, celebrates the RCO’s 125th anniversary which makes its association with the KZNPO a fitting double anniversary celebration. The concert, on March 10, will represent the RCO’s first concert in Africa.

Jan Raes, Managing Director of the RCO said: “We are delighted to be hosted by the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in South Africa, on our World Tour in celebration of 125 years. How appropriate that the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, which has a reputation for achieving and delivering the highest level of quality at every performance, should be partnering with an orchestra whose quest for excellence and innovation has enabled them to be the first orchestra in South Africa’s democratic dispensation to distinguish themselves with a thirty year record.  For the RCO, every performance is another opportunity to let listeners hear the unhearable, feel the unfeelable and touch the untouchable. That’s when magic happens and a concert becomes a truly unforgettable experience. We look forward to delighting South African music lovers.”

The concert on March 10 will be conducted by Charles Dutoit with soloist Janine Jansen performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, op 35. Other works on the programme will be Wagenaar’s Overture Cyrano de Bergerac op.23 and the Brahms Symphony No.1 op 68.

“It is a privilege to host undoubtedly one of the best orchestras in the world on their first tour of South Africa,” says Bongani Tembe, KZNPO Chief Executive and Artistic Director. “The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will perform in Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria, whilst also participating in educational/community related work in Soweto and Umlazi township. This is sure to have a lasting impact on all who come into contact with this exceptional group of musicians.”

The concert takes place on March 10 at 19h00 in the Durban City Hall. Booking is at Computicket. More information on 031 369 9438 or click on the KZNPO advert at the top of this page.