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Tuesday, February 18, 2014


 (Conductor Daniel Boico)

Six sublime and inspirational symphony concerts await classical music lovers in the KZN Philharmonic’s Summer Season commencing on Thursday (February 20) at the Durban City Hall.

In designing the symphony concert programmes, Bongani Tembe, CEO and Artistic Director, has ensured that traditionalists and concert newcomers alike will be thrilled with each and every performance.  “By attending all six concerts in the season audiences can hear their old favourites whilst also building their knowledge of music.  For instance, the concert on March 6 features Concerto for Sitar, Cello and Orchestra as well as the ever-popular Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.”

The sitar, a delicate Indian instrument which was closeted in the chamber of the Maharajas for centuries, is showcased in this concert by Pradeep Ratnayake, a Sri Lankan composer and performer. He has become a virtuoso by pushing the sitar beyond its customary limits and bringing it into the realm of classical music, whilst also combining it with traditional eastern drums, western rhythm guitar and sinuous saxophone phrasing.

Past concert research proves that Durban audiences are always keen to hear South African soloists and this season features Anzel Gerber playing Elgar’s Cello Concerto Op. 85 on February 27 and Avigail Bushakevitz with Violin Concerto No. 5 by Mozart on March 27. 

Amongst the international stars appearing are trumpet, cello and piano soloists. True to maintaining its world class performance standards, the KZN Philharmonic’s podium will be graced by a selection of highly acclaimed international conductors  – Israeli-born Daniel Boico, Yasuo Shinozaki from Japan, African-American Kazem Abdullah and Frank Cramer of Germany.

Part of the KZN Philharmonic’s mission is to bring the pleasure of classical music to all members of KwaZulu-Natal’s diverse society. When not performing symphony concerts, the Orchestra implements an extensive education programme, introducing 25,000 learners a year to the joys of classical music.  For youngsters studying music as a potential future career, their National Cadetship Programme nurtures young talent from around the country to professional level with over 30 of their graduates in fulltime positions domestically and internationally. In keeping with this transference of skills, this Summer Season’s visiting conductors and soloists will conduct master classes for up-and-coming stars, enabling them to learn from some of the world’s best.

Pre-concert lectures take place at 18h15 on concert nights in the Alhambra Room at the Playhouse Theatre across the road from the City Hall.  These lectures enable concert-goers to learn more about the works to be performed, thereby enhancing their enjoyment of the live entertainment.  This season the KwaZulu Natal Wind Band will welcome concertgoers as they approach the City Hall, performing in the Porte Cochère from 19h00 to 19h30 preceding the concerts on February 20 and 27 and March 27. 

Every symphony season the KZN Philharmonic encourages concert-goers to buy season tickets, thereby becoming subscribers and qualifying for a 25% discount on single ticket prices.  This season there is a range of nine wonderful prizes for those who subscribe, from luxury accommodation at five star hotels, to restaurant vouchers, a magazine subscription, lightweight suitcases  or a complimentary four-ball round of golf at the Durban Country Club.  Visit for full details or call the orchestra’s offices on 031 369 9438.