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Friday, March 23, 2018


(William Charlton-Perkins. Pic by Clinton Marius)

 (Andrew Warburton stars in SASMT’s Gala Concert at Howard College Theatre on April 5. Photo by Val Adamson)

Celebrating musical diversity

A range of artists headed by Durban's star pianist Andrew Warburton appear in a Gala Concert to be presented by the South African Music Teachers’ Association (SASMT) at UKZN’s Howard College Theatre on Thursday April 5. The programme includes masterpieces by Beethoven, Ravel and Brahms. The SASMT gala event, presented in collaboration with UKZN’s School of Music, starts at 19h30. Tickets are R130 (R100 for students and pensioners).

The concert opens with Warburton playing Beethoven’s challenging Bagatelles Opus 126, before being joined onstage by soprano Vanessa Tait-Jones for a performance of Brahms’ Zigeunerlieder (Gypsy Songs). The second half of the evening sees Warburton collaborating with fellow pianist, Christopher Cockburn in a rendition of the original two-piano version Ravel’s La Valse. The programme concludes with another masterpiece, Brahms’ Trio in E flat Major opus 40 for Piano, Violin and Horn, in which Warburton teams with Violeta and Sorin Osorhean (KZNPO Acting Concertmaster and Principal Horn respectively).

The Gala Concert is part of the SASMT’s Centenary Conference, which runs in a number of Durban venues between April 5 and 7, under the banner, The Passion of Music – Celebrating Diversity.

SASMT was initiated 100 years ago to create a network for the promotion of a high standard of professional competence in music teaching and to promote the continuous development of music educators. SASMT invites all music teachers, musicians, students and lovers of music to join it for this year’s inspiring and informative national conference.

Says Dr Rosalie Conrad, current National President of SASMT and convenor of its 2018 Conference: “In keeping with the theme and title of this year’s landmark event, we are delighted to have on board a strongly representative range of leading music academics, teachers and practitioners, who will cover the comprehensive programme we will be presenting during the three-day event.

“Our roster of distinguished specialists and their topics includes:  Dr Patricia Opondo (African Music); Dr Liezl-Marét Jacobs (The Music Teaching Environment); Ronél Perks (Chamber Singing); Priscilla Crundwell (Writing Music Textbooks); Andrew Warburton (Chamber Music with Piano); Vanessa Tait-Jones (Vocal Health); Sue van Blerk (Business Ethics); Prof Chatradari Devroop (Contemporary Music Education); Dr Liezl-Marét Jacobs (South African Piano Music); John Walton (KZNPO Outreach); Iqbal Naroth (Indian Music); Marijke de Bruin (Music and Emotional Intelligence); Dr Andrew-John Bethke (Sociology of Music); Richard Haslop (Steel Guitar); and William Saunderson-Meyer (Jaundiced Eye) Gala Dinner guest speaker.”

For information regarding presentation dates, times and venues, full programme details, entrance rates and profiles of the speakers, visit For further enquiries, contact Heidi van Schoor telephonically on 071 604 7056 or email

Pianist Christopher Duigan is currently performing a recital programme titled The Magical Musical World of Claude Debussy, in recognition of this month’s centenary of the French composer who died in Paris on March 25 1918. Duigan performs iconic items such as Clair de lune, Reflections on the Water, The Girl with the Flaxen Hair, Arabesque No 1, Reverie and The Sunken Cathedral tomorrow (Saturday March 24) and on Saturday March 31 at 'Casa Mexicana', 35 Montgomery Drive, Athlone in Pietermaritzburg. His programme will be reprised at the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday (March 25) at 11h30; at St Agnes Church in Kloof on Tuesday March 27 at 19h30; and at Amber Auditorium, Howick on Thursday March 29 at 19h00. Booking is via email at or on 083 417 4473 (sms or WhatsApp only). For more information visit

Two choral masterworks are coming up on the Durban music scene. This Sunday (March 25), the Durban Symphonic Choir and the KZNPO perform Dvorak’s Mass in D in St Joseph’s Cathedral, Mariannhill. Conducted by Naum Rousine, the performance starts at 15h00. Tickets are R130, available on, or at the door.

On Easter Sunday (April 1) The Playhouse Company presents Handel’s Messiah in the Playhouse Opera at 15h00. Directed by Ralph Lawson, this grandly staged production features popular soloists - Khumbuzile Dhlamini (soprano), Violina Anguelov (mezzo), Thabiso Masemene (tenor) and Aubrey Lodewyk (baritone) - with the Playhouse Chorale and members of KZNPO performing under the expert baton of British conductor Tim Murray, who is a Baroque music specialist.

Composed in 1741, Messiah was first performed in Dublin in April 1742. After what was described as a ‘modest’ initial public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity to the extent that it has long been one of the most frequently performed choral works in Western music.

Highlights include magnificent choral items such as the renowned Hallelujah Chorus, along with equally splendid numbers such as For Unto Us A Child Is Born, And The Glory of the Lord and many more, as well as benchmark solos such as Every Valley, He Was Despised, I Know That My Redeemer Liveth, O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings To Zion, Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion, The Trumpet Shall Sound and Why Do The Nations So Furiously Rage Together, to name but a few.

Booking for Messiah is at Computicket outlets. Book now to avoid disappointment. Call 0861 915 8000 or book online at Alternatively call Playhouse Box Office on 031-369 9540 (office hours). - William Charlton-Perkins