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Wednesday, October 31, 2018


(Conductor: William Eddins)

The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra offers the morning rehearsal for the forthcoming opening concert of the symphony season with entry at just R35 for adults and teachers (R15 for scholars/children in school uniform). The rehearsal takes place tomorrow (Thursday, November 1, 2018) at the Durban City Hall.

American maestro William Eddins, Music Director Emeritus of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, returns to the KZN Philharmonic podium to launch the season. The conductor makes his bow alongside the evening’s soloist, violinist Rachel Lee Priday. Acclaimed for her beauty of tone and riveting stage presence, Priday immediately transports the audience into the heart of the evening’s programme, immersing herself in Brahms’ magnificent Violin Concerto in D Major. Brahms dedicated his three-movement magnum opus to his friend, the violinist Joseph Joachim, whose advice during its creation had been welcomed. Joachim famously declared the work one of four great German violin concerti (sharing this iconic status with its sibling masterpieces by Beethoven, Max Bruch and Mendelssohn). The reverence conferred on it by posterity endorses its reputation as a work of sublime artistry.

The second half of the evening sees the orchestra paying homage to one of the best loved works of Jean Sibelius, his three-movement Fifth Symphony. Sibelius was commissioned to write this work by the Finnish government in honour of his 50th birthday, which was declared a national holiday. Originally composed in 1915, it was revised in 1916 and again in 1919. During the composition phase, Sibelius wrote in his diary: “It is as if God Almighty had thrown down pieces of a mosaic from heaven’s floor and asked me to find out what was the original pattern.” While feeling compelled to move with the times which saw radical changes in works being composed by masters such as Ravel and Debussy, the composer knew he had to be true to himself. He wrote, “I wished to give my symphony a more human form. More down-to-earth, more vivid.” The success of the final outcome is reflected in the Fifth Symphony’s popularity to the present day.

For more information on the forthcoming symphony season link direct to the KZN Philharmonic’s website by clicking on the orchestra’s banner advert on the top of the page or visit