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Tuesday, November 12, 2019


(Left: Roderick Cox: conductor)

Spring rains and sublime music are welcome companions! This Thursday is the third concert in the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2019 Spring Season, which runs in the Durban City Hall every Thursday until November 21, starting at 19h30.

Winner of the 2018 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Roderick Cox takes to the conductor’s podium on November 14. 

The rising young German-based American conductor opens his programme with Maurice Ravel’s neo-baroque masterpiece, Le Tombeau de Couperin. The six movements are each dedicated to the memory of a friend who died fighting in World War 1.

(Right: The imposing Cenotaph honouring the war dead over the ages, stands alongside Durban City Hall)

Cox was born in Macon, Georgia, and attended the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University, and then later attended Northwestern University graduating with a master’s degree in 2011. Highlights among recent engagements as a guest conductor include debut subscription concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, his opera debut with Houston Grand Opera (Bizet’ Pêcheurs de Perles) as well as further debuts with Sinfonia Varsovia, BBC Scottish Symphony and with London’s Philharmonic Orchestra at the Brighton Festival.

Durban concert-goers will then be introduced to one of the most dazzling gifted young pianists to come out of Russia in decades, when the multi award-winning Dmitry Shishkin takes centre-stage to perform Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s B-flat minor Piano Concerto.

(Left: Dmitry Shishkin: soloist)

Tchaikovsky had crafted the Piano Concerto for Nikolai Rubinstein, arguably one of the greatest Russian pianists of the era, who criticised the piece heavily, but later renounced all previous criticisms to go on to champion the work.

After the intermission, the programme rounds off on a sublime final note, Johannes Brahms E minor Fourth symphony. Brahms composed the Fourth Symphony in the summers of 1884-85 in the mountains southwest of Vienna, unfortunately the public’s response to the Fourth symphony was not encouraging. It has established itself since its creation as a well-known standard on concert programmes, thoroughly enjoyed by audiences.

“As we usher in our exciting Spring Season programme, we encourage all our loyal supporters to introduce new friends, family members, peers and associates, to the wonderful experience of sharing great music with each other”, says Bongani Tembe, the Orchestra’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director. “The City of Durban is blessed with the finest acoustic venue in this country. The KZN Philharmonic is proud to have the iconic City Hall’s spacious facilities as our main-stage concert platform, enabling us to present many of the world’s leading musicians for the delight of our audience.”

Season tickets, and bookings for individual concerts in the KZN Philharmonic’s star-studded Spring Season, are available at Computicket outlets. Call 0861 915 8000, or book online at For more information call 031-369 9438 or email

(To link direct to the KZN Philharmonic’s website click on the orchestra’s banner advert on the top of the page or visit