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Monday, September 1, 2014


(Ben Schoeman)

Ben Schoeman is regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost pianists and a blazing classical star who shines on international music stages.

He has given solo, chamber music and concerto performances throughout Europe, Canada and South Africa in such prestigious concert halls as the Wigmore, Barbican, Cadogan and Queen Elizabeth in London, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, Paleis het Loo in the Netherlands, the Gulbenkian Auditorium in Lisbon, Teatro del Giglio in Lucca, the Cape Town City Hall and the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest (a duo recital with pianist Matei Varga).

He will perform Sain-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No 5 with the KZN Philharmonic in the second concert of their Spring Symphony Season on September 4. On the podium will be internationally-acclaimed conductor Theodore Kuchar who returns to Durban after conducting the sold-out and highly successful Cirque de la Symphonie in June.

Saint-Saëns’ piano concerto is also known as ‘The Egyptian’ and features exotic and middle Eastern themes inspiring one to dream of far-off destinations and ancient treasure. The other works to be performed at the concert are Dvorák’s Midday Witch and the Durban premiére of the sixth symphony by Dmitri Shostakovich.

“The Spring Symphony season has been designed to appeal to a wide ranging classical music audience. We are working hard at increasing our season ticket database and hope that the interesting selection of compositions, soloist and conductors will encourage more people to become subscribers, thereby increasing their knowledge of music and heightening their enjoyment of it,” said Bongani Tembe, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the KZN Philharmonic.

The Season’s remaining seven Thursday night concerts in the Durban City Hall run until October 23 (excluding October 16). By booking for these remaining concerts before next Thursday you still stand to derive subscriber benefits by getting seven concerts for the price of six.

Before each concert, at 18h15, patrons can attend a 45-minute lecture in the Playhouse Alhambra Room, across the road from the City Hall. The lectures are delivered by local music experts and give concertgoers a deeper understanding and appreciation of the music to be heard in the concert. Refreshments and light snacks may be purchased in the foyers of the Playhouse and the City Hall before and after the talk.

An added extra on concert nights is the free performance by either the KZN Youth Wind Band or the Durban Music School Jazz Band on Church Walk outside the City Hall, from 18h30 to 19h15. The orchestra website – – carries full details of each concert as well as ticket pricing.

The concert featuring Ben Schoeman takes place on September 4 at 19h30 in the Durban City Hall. Booking is through Computicket (single tickets) or by calling the KZN Philharmonic’s booking office on 031 369 9404 or e-mail (season tickets for subscribers).