national Arts Festival Banner

Monday, October 16, 2017


(Lykele Temmingh celebrates 30th years as a KZN Philharmonic conductor. Photo Val Adamson)

The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra returns to the Durban City Hall for its four-week late Spring Symphony Season of sublime world class music from October 19 until November 16.

Special features of the season include celebrating Lykele Temmingh’s 30th year as a conductor of the KZN Philharmonic, and the 25th anniversary of regular collaborators, Clermont Community Choir. This season, the KZN Phil returns to Johannesburg to perform alongside the JPO in a glorious concert on October 25 and 26 at the Linder Auditorium.

The KZN Phil continues its primary mission of bringing excellence in music making to the province of KZN. The Late Spring Season features top South African and international musicians in an eclectic programme of amazing music. “We are committed to bringing the highest quality symphony concerts to Durban thereby enriching the city and province through music. In true World Symphony Season tradition, we are happy to offer you a stellar mix of international and local talent, both on our podium and on our roster of soloists. I am proud to say our line-up of soloists this season puts focus on a slew of acclaimed new-generation stars. These include one of the best cellists in the world today, Zuill Bailey; the multi-award winning violinist Rafał Zambrzycki-Payne, the phenomenal Ukrainian-American pianist, Valentina Lisitsa, whose videos on social media have attracted more than 50 million views; and, by no means least, our own co-principal cellist, Aristide du Plessis,” says Bongani Tembe CEO and Artistic Director of the KZN Philharmonic.

The season opens on October 19 with Lykele Temmingh in the podium in a programme featuring three works much loved by concert-goers the world over. Emil von Reznícek (1860-1945) remembered for his Donna Diana Overture will open the programme. Antonín Dvorák’s Cello Concerto in B minor was his last solo concerto and has become the signature piece of many of the world’s great cellists. Not least among these was the lamented Jacqueline du Pre. It will be performed by internationally acclaimed Grammy Award-winning American cellist Zuill Bailey.

Camille Saint-Saëns wrote his Symphony No. 3 in c minor in 1886, popularly known as the “Organ Symphony” which makes a welcome return to the KZN Philharmonic’s repertoire. Regrettably the magnificent City Hall organ is still out of commission, so it will be performed on a state of the art organ brought down from Pretoria specially, by Allen Organs.

There is no concert the following week, on October 26, as the KZN Philharmonic will be performing Johannesburg as part of their commitment to working with the JPO doing two concerts on 26 and 27.

The second concert will take place the following Thursday, on November 2, under the baton of German maestro Justus Frantz. The programme is devoted to those tragically short-lived giants of the early Viennese school, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) and Franz Schubert (1797-1828). Performing Mozart’s A Major Concerto will be violinist Rafał Zambrzycki-Payne, winner of numerous prizes including the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition.

The third concert is on November 9. On the menu will be Smetana’s Má Vlast / My Country - a set of six symphonic poems composed between 1874 and 1879, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor and Dvorák’s Ninth Symphony. Soloist is you-tube sensation, Ukrainian-American Valentina Lisitsa.

The Late Spring Season ends on November 16 in a concert celebrating cello and voice, conducted by Daniel Boico. Rossini’s Semiramide overture opens the programme. One of the two featured pieces is Camille Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor. It offers a superb solo platform for the KZN Philharmonic’s Associate Principal Cellist, Aristide du Plessis.

Haydn’s masterwork and paean to nature, The Creation, a score infused with a life force that swiftly ensured its honoured place in the annals of choral singing. It will be performed by a stellar line-up of vocalists, and the Clermont Community Choir which celebrates its 25th anniversary with the orchestra.

Refreshments and light snacks may be purchased in the foyer before the concert and during interval. Single tickets are available from, 0861 915 8000, or from Shoprite Checkers Money Market counters. It is cheaper to subscribe: For subscriptions contact 031 3699438.

The morning rehearsals for the early Spring Symphony Season concerts are open to the public and provide a glimpse into the preparation needed for a symphony concert. Join the orchestra each Symphony Season Thursday at 10h00 in the Durban City Hall. Entrance R30 (R10 scholars) which includes a cup of tea or coffee during the interval. The final rehearsal is the perfect opportunity to introduce scholars to symphony concerts and also provides great outings for community groups and retirement homes.

Contact the KZN Philharmonic to enquire about special rates and to make arrangements for groups. Contact or call the bookings office on 031 369 9438.