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Sunday, May 12, 2019


A wonderful evening showcasing highly talented young people who undeniably have a bright future ahead of them. – Caroline Smart

The KZN Young Performers concert was held on May 11, 2019, in the Playhouse Drama featuring the most promising young performers from the province under the direction of Naum Rousine and accompanied by the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra.

The concert was presented by the KZNPO in association with the South African Society of Music Teachers.

In the programme notes, Bongani Tembe, CEO and Artistic Director of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic, says: “For music students, the lessons, the daily practice and the preparation for examinations become so much more relevant when there is a special event to prepare for – especially if it is a performance with an orchestra. The collaboration between conductor, musicians and students takes on a magical quality which is never forgotten. The KZN Philharmonic’s Young Performers concert provides one of those platforms where this magic can happen. Promising young musicians can interact with professionals, and experience the joy of making music together. Parents, teachers and friends, sit back and enjoy the talent on stage of this evening’s Young Performers.”

And the audience did exactly that – supporting the young talent with enthusiasm and vigorous applause.

There were 13 young artistes chosen through auditions conducted by a panel from the KZNPO and SASMT. The programme featured a wide selection of works from Handel, Mozart and Vivaldi to Binge, Rieding, Peskanov and Accolay. The orchestra therefore altered in size from 18 to over 35 players with additional members joining the orchestra to suit the scoring of the works.

It must have been an exhilarating experience for those players who had never played with an orchestra behind them before. Some of the players already have extensive performance experience despite their young age while others perform in school orchestras and choirs. Each performer exhibited a highly professional stage presence and if there were nerves, they didn’t show!

The performers were

Leah Amy Parry (12), violin - taught by Violeta Osorhean playing Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto in G Major, Mvt 1.

Chanel Bates, soprano – taught by Dr Ros Conrad singing Mozart’s Vedrai Carino from Don Giovanni.

Rebecca Grace Nortje (13), recorder – taught by Sandra Breschi playing Baston’s Concerto for Recorder No. 6 in D Major.

Bulelwa Msane (25), mezzo-soprano – taught by Lionel Mkhwanazi singing Handel’s He was Despised from Messiah.

Tracey Le Roux (14), saxophone - taught by Maxine Matthews playing Binge’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone, Mvts 2 & 3.

Nilashri Santusthi Naidoo (11), violin - taught by Violeta Osorhean playing Rieding’s Violin Concertino in Hungarian Style, Op. 21, Mvt 1

Weien Amy Luo (11), piano – taught by Philippa Greenwood playing Polunin’s Piano Concertino in a minor. She also played Accolay’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in a minor. Her violin teacher is Violeta Osorhean.

Xizhi Aiden Luo (7), piano – taught by Philippa Greenwood playing Peskanov’s Piano Concerto, No. 10, Mvt. 3.

Josias Hallé-Giesken (18), voice – taught by Amina Carini sang De Curtis’ Torna a Surriento.

Esihle Mthethwa (14), flute – taught by Janine Theron playing Mozart’s Flute Concerto, No.1, Mvt 2.

Benjamin Burton (15) and Gemma Coleman (15), violin duo playing Bach’s Concerto for 2 Violins in d minor, Mvt 1. Benjamin Burton is taught by Petya Koleva while Gemma Coleman is taught by Lykele Temmingh.

Alida Esterhuizen (16), piano taught by Dr Liezl-Maret Jacobs playing Liszt’s Fantasie über ungarische Volksmelodien, S.123 (Hungarian Fantasy).

While all the performers exhibited a highly impressive level of talent, there were several stand-outs including Leah Amy Parry, Tracey Le Roux and Rebecca Grace Nortje. Sister and brother - Weien Amy Luo and Xizhi Aiden Luo – astounded the audience with their command of the piano despite their diminutive height.

However, the undoubted highlight of the evening was Alida Esterhuizen whose performance of the Hungarian Fantasy had the audience enthralled with her dexterity, feeling for emotional passages and power when it was required. A truly remarkable performance.

A wonderful evening showcasing highly talented young people who undeniably have a bright future ahead of them. Looking forward to next year! – Caroline Smart

For all Education and Development Projects or Community Engagements contact the KZN Philharmonic on 031 369 9438 or email:

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