national Arts Festival Banner

Monday, November 19, 2018


(Conductor: Daniel Boico)

Daniel Boico, Associate Guest Conductor of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic, makes a dynamic return to the podium to round off the Spring Season on Thursday, November 22, 2019.

He opens his programme with Felix Mendelssohn’s popular “Scottish Symphony”, composed intermittently over 15 years. Mendelssohn was initially inspired to compose the work during his first visit to Britain in 1829. After a series of concert performances in London he embarked on a walking tour of Scotland, visiting the ruins of the chapel at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, where he received his initial inspiration for the piece. He struggled to complete the symphony due to a series of interruptions caused by other commitments, setting it aside in 1831. By 1842, however, he had eventually completed this fifth and final masterwork of his symphonic oeuvre, which unfailingly evokes the composer’s close association with the wild romantic landscapes of Britain’s northern region.

Maestro Boico’s choice of Balakirev’s rarely heard Overture on Three Russian Themes, as the evening’s centrepiece is an inspired piece of programming. Written in 1858, this first purely orchestral work to be based on Russian folk songs is a remarkable composition for a young man in his early 20s. Not merely a pot-pourri of folk themes but the earliest example of the successful reconciliation of Russian folk materials with sonata structure, it represents something which Balakirev’s predecessor, Glinka, never achieved but which inspired his successor, Rimsky-Korsakov, to accomplish a similar creative feat.

(Soloist: Olga Scheps, piano)

Claiming centre stage the celebrated young German-Russian pianist Olga Scheps is set to take the Durban City Hall audience by storm as the evening peaks with one of the international concert-going public’s best loved war horses, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in c minor. Composed between the autumn of 1900 and April 1901, this enduringly popular work established his fame as a concerto composer.

The concert takes place at 19h30 on November 22, 2018, in the Durban City Hall. Booking is through Computicket.