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Sunday, August 19, 2018


(Perry So)

The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra opens its 2018 Early Spring Season - the latest leg of the Orchestra’s renowned World Symphony Series (WSS) which runs in the Durban City Hall each Thursday, between August 23 and September 13, starting at 19h30.

“We are delighted to be renewing ties with our loyal family of music lovers as we welcome them to our Early Spring Season,” says Bongani Tembe, the Orchestra’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director. “In keeping with the proud traditions of our World Symphony Series, our roster of guest artists includes two remarkable conductors from the international circuit, as well as frontline soloists who will share the stage with a number of our young vocal stars and leading choirs. The season runs hand in glove with our ongoing endeavours in the spheres of community engagement and skills transfer among new generation artists and learners.”

The Orchestra’s renowned World Symphony Series (WSS) was launched in Durban 22 years ago.

(Alessandro Taverna)

The gifted young Hong Kong born conductor Perry So makes his bow on the podium to open the season on August 23 with a programme that includes Mozart’s colourful Il Seraglio Overture and his iconic Symphony No 40 in G minor. The Italian virtuoso Alessandro Taverna is the soloist in Chopin’s Piano Concerto No 1 in E minor in the second half of the programme.

Perry So returns for the second programme on August 30. This opens with the delightfully off-beat L’ile de Tulipatan Overture by Jacques Offenbach. The prizewinning young German violinist Alissa Margulis is the soloist in Mendelssohn’s much-loved E-minor Violin Concerto and the evening ends with Brahms’s monumental Symphony No 1.

The acclaimed Russian maestro Daniel Raiskin makes a welcome return to the KZN Philharmonic podium on September 6 to conduct a richly eclectic programme. This includes Richard Strauss’s early concert masterpiece, Don Juan; Liszt’s dazzling Piano Concerto No 2 (spotlighting Vitaly Pisarenko a soloist); and Smetana’s evocative The Moldau / Vltava from his deeply patriotic symphonic poem, My Homeland.

The programme rounds off with the fascinating inclusion of Durban’s own, Warren Bessey’s Symphonic Fantasy, Inkosazane Mkabayi. This 25-minute work focuses on one of the most powerful figures in 19th Century Zulu history – King Shaka’s formidable aunt, the Princess Mkabayi Kajama – whose dramatic entrance into life foreshadowed not only the shape of her own destiny but also that of the Zulu nation forever.  She is remembered as a highly intelligent leader and fierce defender of the Royal Household.

The Early Spring Season ends in traditional style on September 13 with the KZN Philharmonic’s Resident Conductor Lykele Temmingh on the podium for the annual National Youth Concerto Festival, which showcases the cream of young South African talent taking the stage to perform with seasoned professionals. This year’s event will be dedicated to the memory of the Orchestra’s founding conductor, Dr David Tidboald, who died recently at the grand old age of 92, having spent a lifetime dedicated to fostering the careers of young musicians and promoting musical excellence.

Season tickets and bookings for individual concerts are through Computicket. For more information call 031 369 9438, email or visit

Listings: Concerts take place in the Durban City Hall at 19h30

Concert ONE
Date: Thursday August 23, 2018
Conductor: Perry So
Soloist: Alessandro Taverna
Featured instrument: Piano
Programme: Mozart: Il Seraglio Overture
Mozart: Symphony No 40 in G minor.
Chopin: Piano Concerto No 1 in E minor

Concert TWO
Date: Thursday August 30, 2018
Conductor: Perry So
Soloist: Alissa Margulis
Featured instrument: Violin
Programme: Offenbach: L’ile de Tulipatan Overture
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto E-minor
Brahms: Symphony No 1.

Concert THREE – Heritage Month Concert
Date: Thursday September 6
Conductor: Daniel Raiskin
Soloist: Vitaly Pisarenko and members of Clermont Community Choir
Featured instrument: Piano and Voice
Programme: Richard Strauss: Don Juan
Liszt: Piano Concerto No 2
Smetana: Vltava from Ma Vast.
Warren Bessey: Symphonic Fantasy, Inkosazane Mkabayi.

Concert FOUR – National Youth Concerto Festival
Date: Thursday September 13, 2018
Conductor: Lykele Temmingh
Soloist: various
Featured instrument: various
Programme: pieces by: Mozart; Rossini; Krommer; Gounod; Mozart; Dubois; Saint-Saens; Lalo; Bellini; Shostakovich