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Friday, September 12, 2014


The Music Revival Concert Series at The Witness Hilton Arts Festival are sponsored by Parklane Superspar with free concerts on the Saturday at 10h00 and Sunday 16h00 sponsored by Marriott, The Income Specialists.

September 19 (Friday)
Flamenco guitarist Demi Fernandez and jazz pianist Neil Gonsalves have been colleagues as music teachers for 20 years. Their musical partnership is more recent and grows out of a mutual admiration of each other’s musicianship and the desire to develop a creative outlet that would explore the orchestral potential of the guitar-piano duo format and the vast terrain of Latin music. Their debut CD recording, Latinfluence is the first instalment of their duo. Playing a Latin/jazz cross-over programme of standard and original compositions their complex and sophisticated blend is a cool start for a Friday night concert. Director for the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music (CJPM) at UKZN, Gonsalves has worked with many of South Africa’s most well-known and respected jazz musicians as well as relatively long tenures with Busi Mhlongo and Johnny Clegg. Demi Fernandez is the resident guitarist for Linda Vargas Spanish Dance Company. Besides his work with the company, Fernandez has performed for the Spanish Ambassador in Zimbabwe and Mozambique and as guest artist at the Spanish Embassy, in Pretoria and Cape Town.

September 20 (Saturday)
Leading South African concert pianist and Steinway virtuoso Christopher Duigan plays a classical piano recital in the Hilton College Chapel. Duigan chooses a bold selection of dramatic music for the chapel recital, renowned for its spacious acoustic and the magnificent piano it boasts for the festival weekend. Included is Harmonies du Soir - Liszt, Scherzo No 2 op 31 - Chopin, and music by Russian composers Sergei Rachmaninoff and Alexander Scriabin. Central in the programme is Beethoven's Sonata Opus 57 Appasionata. Duigan's recent performance of the Beethoven, one of the composers most intense and dramatic compositions, drew rave reviews at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.
This concert is free, sponsored by Marriott, The Income Specialists. Normal booking procedures are to be followed.

12h00: DAVID SALLERAS - SONIDOS POR EL ALMA (Sounds for the soul)
Music Revival proudly presents the consummate artistry of classical saxophonist David Salleras at the Hilton Arts Festival. Based in Barcelona-Spain, Salleras is acknowledged as one of the finest and most innovative saxophone players worldwide. Playing solo classic repertoire by Jules Demersseman and Pedro Itturalde, Salleras is also joined by young Durban-based saxophonist Maxine Matthews in music for two saxophones by Jean-Baptiste Singelée and Astor Piazzola. Salleras's own original compositions are included alongside music for saxophone and piano by Christopher Duigan, who joins them at the piano. This promises to be a varied and thrilling performance by one of the world’s leading exponents of the instrument. Not to be missed!

A favourite of many festival regulars is classical guitarist James Grace, Head of Guitar Studies at the University of Cape Town's College of Music. One of South Africa's most sought-after concert artists, Grace is joined by young guitarist Chloe Murphy, who is currently completing her B.Mus in Performance at UCT before continuing studies overseas next year. Grace and Murphy will present a programme of music arranged for two guitars by composers John Dowland and Isaac Albéniz, with original duo works by Fernando Sor and Maximo Diego Pujol. Also featured in the programme is the exciting and virtuosic Suite Retratos by Brazilian composer Radamés Gnatelli.

London-based, Irish violinist Darragh Morgan, who lived in Durban as Concert Master of the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra (2004-2005), returns to the Hilton Festival for an exemplary programme of music for violin.  Morgan has a particularly broad and eclectic taste,which spans many genres, in particular authentic Baroque sounds and contemporary music.  He is joined by James Grace (guitar) in excerpts from Piazzola's 'Histoire du Tango', and Christopher Duigan (piano) in spellbinding music by contemporary Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt.  Morgan also performs music by de Falla and Kreisler alongside an unaccompanied 'Fantasias' by GF Telemann, giving rare insight into the breadth of the violin's beautiful repertoire. Morgan’s visit to South Africa is supported by Culture Ireland.

A Spanish, Latin and Italian mix of popular music in one concert brings a highly energetic and passionate mix to the Hilton College Chapel. Baritone Federico Freschi and James Grace, long-standing musical partners of pianist Christopher Duigan, are joined by David Salleras (saxophone) in this dynamic production. Freschi sings Neapolitan songs including O sole mio and Santa Lucia accompanied by James Grace on the mandolin. In Granada he teams up with Salleras whose accompanying improvisations bring authentic Spanish flavour. Grace and Duigan play a selection from their popular Together Again programme including Duigan's popular Indigo. They join Salleras in the flamenco inspired La Fiesta and Spain. An unbeatable selection played by four outstanding performers.

Sunday September 21
Piano maestro, Christopher Duigan, and accomplished performer, Anthony Stonier, bring the well-loved tale of Sparky to life. This is a production with a difference. It was created in 1947 when entertainment for little people was largely listening to the wireless or a gramophone! So, in an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of a bygone age, we blindfold our young audience in telling the tale of a little boy reluctant to practise the piano! A wonderful story which also acts as a splendid introduction to classical piano music. Learn to listen!

The four principal string players of the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra have recently joined forces to create a string quartet. Led by new Concertmaster Joanna Frankel, this quartet, in their second performance together, play music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart K. 457 The Hunt and Felix Mendelssohn's String Quartet No 2. Joanna Frankel (violin) Violeta Oserhean (violin) David Snaith (viola) and Boris Kerimov (cello) play sublime masterworks in an ideal acoustic for this music.

16h00: THE SONGS WE LOVE - Federico Freschi and Christopher Duigan (piano)
For over a decade, baritone Federico Freschi and pianist Christopher Duigan have thrilled audiences nationwide with their particular blend - at once elegantly sophisticated and engaging - of classical and popular music. From the vocal gymnastics of Rossini to nostalgic, old-world operetta, to popular songs and hits from Broadway musicals this programme never fails to delight. With a wealth of repertoire to draw from, the programmes are tailored to suit the audience and context.
This concert is free, sponsored by Marriott, The Income Specialists. Normal booking procedures are to be followed.

The Music Revival series will be held in The Chapel at Hilton College Excluding free concerts, tickets are R100 except the FREE Concerts where normal booking applies.