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Wednesday, July 7, 2021


(Left: Conductor Jeremy Silver. Pic Joan Ward Photography)

With the KZNPO and the Cape Town Philharmonic sharing streaming times so as not to overlap and encourage their audiences to support the other, it’s good to know they are sharing musicians as well - along with KZN musicologist Dr Martin Goldstein (soon to move to the Eastern Cape) who writes reviews for both orchestras.

Several ad hoc players such as Annelise de Villiers, clarinet, and Eriel Huang, violin, who perform in the CPO have links to Durban. de Villiers was formerly co-principal clarinet with the KZNPO from 2014 to 2017 when she joined  the CPO, resigning last year to join her husband in France before returning to the city where they both freelance and teach.

Huang still plays as an ad hoc for both orchestras, flying first from Johannesburg to Durban, and now from Cape Town to Durban. A violinist with a social conscience, she has been involved internationally with creative leadership and educational projects even while she plays her violin. She is also on the board of the SA Strings Convention.

(Clarinetist Annelise de Villiers.
 Joan Ward Photography )

Then there’s conductor Jeremy Silver, who has a long history in Durban and Pietermaritzburg, and now - as head of the Opera School at UCT - conducts both the KZPO and the CPO. He is conducting one concert in this season, with pianist Luis Magalhaes. The CPO’s principal guest conductor Bernhard Gueller, a frequent conductor of the KZNPO prior to Covid, is conducting the other three in the season.

The CPO’s principal percussion Eugene Trofimczyk is actually a man with a foot in both camps – he grew up in Durban, completed two years of orchestral studies at what was then the Natal Technikon (now Durban University of Technology) and then went to Stellenbosch University. In Durban at present, visiting his mother, his only regret is that the KZNPO is also on holiday, and he can’t freelance for them as he has in the past when he is needed. He used to spend his time travelling between gigs in the two cities.

Missing from the CPO line-up is bassoonist Charl du Toit who was a regular ad hoc player with the CPO and the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra before taking up a position with the KZNPO.

The Winter Cyber Symphony season runs from July 8 to August 3, 2021.

Here’s the line-up: The first concert will feature Bernhard Gueller on the podium in the Schubert Symphony no 5 followed by the Elgar Cello Concerto with Peter Martens; the second concert features the Haydn Cello Concerto in C with Anmari van der Westhuizen, and the Eroica Symphony by Beethoven, conducted by Gueller. This concert begins streaming on July 15.

On July 22, Jeremy Silver conducts the 3rd Symphony by Brahms, followed by Luis Magalhães’s interpretation of the 1st Piano Concerto by Tchaikovsky. The season is brought to an end on July 29 with Gueller on the podium and Megan-Geoffrey Prins performing the 3rd Beethoven Piano Concerto. Also on the programme is the Symphony no 40 by Mozart.

All the concerts are on line for four days only. Tickets at R440 for a subscription and R140 a single ticket are available at Quicket at