national Arts Festival Banner

Saturday, October 3, 2015


(Christopher Cockburn will perform on the magnificent Pietermaritzburg City Hall pipe organ)

It’s all systems go in preparation for one the highlights of the local music calendar, the Last Night of the Proms concert to be presented by Parklane SuperSpar in the Pietermaritzburg City Hall on October 10.

Richard Cock will conduct the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, while the Pietermaritzburg Proms Choir will lead the audience in raising the rafters of the City Hall.

For this year’s concert, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Proms in KwaZulu-Natal, Cock has promised the best of the best in this special compilation. The soloists include the KZN Philharmonic’s distinguished principal players, Russian-born cellist, Boris Kerimov, and Romanian French-horn player, Sorin Osorhean.
Sharing the spotlight with them will be the outstanding young tenor Lukhanyo Mayoke, principal tenor at Cape Town Opera, pipers and Christopher Cockburn at the City Hall organ.

Proms attendees can look forward to a bumper programme of concert favourites, including O Fortuna from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Nessun dorma from Puccini’s Turandot, Va pensiero (the hugely popular Chorus of Hebrew Slaves) from Verdi’s Nabucco, Glazunov’s Reverie, Finlandia by Sibelius and Leroy Anderson’s ever-green, Blue Tango.

Other items to be enjoyed include O sole mio, the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah, as well as Proms fixtures such as Parry’s Jerusalem, Thomas Arne’s Rule Britannia and Sir Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No 1.

Cock will be in the city a few days early to lead the specially-massed choirs in their final preparation of these last items for the evening.

As locally-based seasoned ‘prommers’ will know, this event is modelled on the wildly exuberant last night culmination of Britain’s world-renowned BBC Promenade Concert series, which were founded in 1895 — although the term ‘Promenade concerts’, predated this as they had existed in London’s pleasure gardens since the mid-18th century.

The Proms, as they are known today, have long been entrenched in British culture, attracting thousands of followers from all corners of the globe, who enjoy the eight-week summer season of daily orchestral classical music concerts and other events held annually in venues across Britain, predominantly in London’s Royal Albert Hall. When the total number of BBC Proms concerts reached 100 for the first time in 2009, Czech conductor Jirí Belohlávek described the Proms season as “the world’s largest and most democratic musical festival.”

The 2015 Last Night of the Proms will take place on October 10 at 19h30 in the Pietermaritzburg City Hall. Tickets range from R120 to R260. Early booking is strongly advised to avoid disappointment. Tickets are available exclusively from Parklane SuperSpar on 033 342 3487. Secure parking is provided in the City hall precinct.

The Last Night of the Proms in Pietermaritzburg is presented and sponsored by Parklane SuperSpar and supported by The Witness, Msunduzi Municipality, CPW Printers, and Music Revival.