national Arts Festival Banner

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


(Mariam Batsashvili)

The glorious KZN Philharmonic Orchestra is half-way through its six-concert Summer Symphony Season which is currently taking place every Thursday in the Playhouse Opera.

The orchestra moves back to the Playhouse for this season – performing in the magnificent Opera House.

The soloists selected for this season represent some of the most exciting vibrant talent of the new generation of global music makers – marrying rock-star appeal and accessibility with heavy weight music credentials, applauded virtuosity. All have recently won major international music competitions.

The KZN Philharmonic’s associate guest conductor, Israeli-American Daniel Boico conducts the March 2 concert.

It features Mariam Batsashvili on piano as the soloist performing Franz Liszt’s virtuosic Piano Concerto No. 1 – a 20 minute piece Liszt composed over a over a 26-year period: the main themes of which were written in a sketchbook dated 1830, when Liszt was 19 years old.

At only 23 years old, Mariam Batsashvili from Tbilisi, Georgia, already ranks among the most promising young pianists of her generation. She won the 10th international Franz Liszt competition, and was nominated by the European Concert Hall organisation as the Rising Star for the 2016 / 17 season.

Respected German newspaper SZ (Die Süddeutsche Zeitung) had this to say of one of her performances: “A thousand great moments, Batsashvili creates a dark poetry which always feels natural and accurate. Her magical moments are always consistent and her virtuosity is each time paired with feeling... her performance displays an objective wisdom. 

Also on the mixed bag programme will be Mendelssohn’s The Hebrides Overture Fingal’s Cave, Rajna’s Adonai Ma-Adam Chorus No.1 and Brahms’ Symphony No.1 in C minor.

For the final two concerts of the Summer Season the baton is in the hands of Japanese conductor Yasuo Shinozaki. He opens the March 9 concert with Edvard Grieg’s Holberg Suite. The featured piece for the evening is the Trombone Concerto for Orchestra by Danish composer Launy Grøndahl. Soloist is principal trombone player with the KZN Philharmonic, Italian trombonist Andrea Balocco – a master’s graduate from the Geneva University of Music.

The evening climaxes with Beethoven’s Symphony No.7 in A major – one of the composer’s most revered masterworks. It is a paean to heroic patriotism.

Booking is through / 0861 915 8000 / Shoprite Checkers Money Market Counters. It is cheaper to subscribe: for subscriptions contact 031 369 9438.

Morning tea and symphony: Catch the final rehearsal on the morning of the scheduled concerts every Thursday during season at 10h00 for a nominal charge. Contact KZN Philharmonic offices for bookings and for more info: / 031 369 9438.

To better appreciate the music ahead of the concert: pre-concert lectures take place in the Alhambra Room at the Playhouse from 18h00 until 18h40pm prior to the concert every Thursday.