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Saturday, June 29, 2013


The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra marks another highlight in its 30th anniversary year.

The Durban-based orchestra spends the opening week of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown for a busy itinerary of performances. As the Festival’s resident orchestra they will perform a variety of concerts commencing June 29 with a reprise of the programme from their recent Johannesburg tour.  It includes Maurice Ravel’s famous orchestration of Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.  Accomplished US conductor Theodore Kuchar will once again lead the orchestra for this exciting programme. This time, however, they will feature their enchanting concertmistress Joanna Frankel as soloist on Jean Sibelius’ stunning violin concerto.

For fans of orchestral pops programmes, the KZN Philharmonic will present a gala concert on June 30 led by popular South African conductor, Richard Cock. This rousing programme will include pianist Ben Schoeman, Standard Bank Young Artist award winner in 2011, and soprano Runette Botha as featured soloists as well as a variety of crowd-pleasing orchestral classics. On July 1, Richard Cock will also direct two medleys of lush orchestral adaptations of Frank Sinatra’s hits sung by soloists Nick Nicholaidis and Zwai Bala. These concerts will be staged at the Guy Butler Theatre at the Monument.

In the words of Bongani Tembe, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the KZN Philharmonic: “We are presenting a variety of performances this year which we hope will delight the Festival audiences; we are pleased that the Gala concert is already sold out. Our musicians and audiences are key to our success. We also could not exist without the generous support of all levels of the South African government and our sponsors to whom we are eternally grateful. They ensure that our traditions of community engagement continue to triumph in the name of music.”

In addition to the activities of the full orchestra, there will be several opportunities to hear the Philharmonic’s musicians in more intimate settings at chamber music concerts from June 28 to July 1. These include a mixed-instrumental trio, an ensemble of cellists, a choir of woodwinds and an orchestral nonet performing a serenade by Brahms. These ensembles will perform in the Rhodes Chapel or the Beethoven Room. Philharmonic harpist Linor Steinhausen will also accompany The Chanticleer Singers in a programme that includes a mix of early and modern choral music. Overall, the National Arts Festival should provide ample opportunities for fans of great music to hear a beautiful variety of artistic playing by the KZN Philharmonic’s company of high-calibre musicians.

Tickets are available from Computicket.