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Wednesday, February 24, 2016


(Choral conductor, Khulekani Khumalo, takes guidance from Maestro Wolfram Christ. Pic by Val Adamson)

Four conductors with backgrounds in the choral music tradition lived their dream on the weekend when they had the opportunity to conduct the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra under the watchful eye of internationally-acclaimed conductor, Wolfram Christ, during a special once-off conducting master-class.

For a conductor not experienced in working with a full orchestra, to be given the opportunity of conducting the KZNPO while being tutored by such a respected and admired conductor as Maestro Christ, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. All four candidates were hugely grateful and appreciative of being part of this new initiative.

“First the most important thing is to serve the composer; then the most important thing is to listen; to remember to be precise .... and not to stare at the music!” guided Christ.

Wolfram Christ, long-time first Principal Viola with the Berlin Philharmonic, Principal Viola of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Professor at Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, has become highly regarded as a conductor epitomising sincerity and musical integrity.

Participating in the masterclass were Msizi Mnyandy (Clermont Choir); Monty Manamela (Kopano Chorus in Gauteng); Khulekani Khumalo (Prince Mshiyeni Choir in Umlazi) and Vumile Nomanyama (SA Singers).

“Change the World: Teach Music,” is a timeless mantra of music teachers everywhere and is an integral part of the core philosophy of the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra. Outside of the World Symphony Seasons and the high-profile public concerts, the KZN Philharmonic has an extensive and far-reaching programme of teaching and mentoring, as well as performances in schools, institutions and homes in order to nurture new generations of music audiences and performers.

“While serving South Africa with distinctly professional orchestra performances, the KZN Philharmonic also dedicates much of its time and energy to enriching the community through its education and development programme. Today’s conducting session is in keeping with this transference of skills which allows visiting conductors and soloists to present master-classes for our up-and-coming stars, enabling them to learn from some of the world’s best,” explains Bongani Tembe: Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the KZN Philharmonic.

The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra is currently in its Summer Symphony Season performing an extraordinary programme of timeless, beautiful music showcasing some of the finest musical talents from South Africa and the world. For more information, click on the KZN Philharmonic’s advert at the top of the page or contact 031 369 9438 or email