national Arts Festival Banner

Tuesday, November 2, 2021


(Annamaria D’Andrea (viola), guest soloist: Georgian / Russian pianist Georgy Tchaidze & Ralitza Macheva (second violin). Photo by Val Adamson

(All three musicians in the photo are fully vaccinated and all consulted to take their masks off for the photographs – taken outdoors.)

LeFrak, Tchaikovsky and Dvořák for final special 2021 KZN Philharmonic Spring Season concert

The second of two very special KZN Philharmonic Orchestra Spring Seasons, will take place on Thursday November 4, 2021, at the Playhouse Opera featuring Karen LeFrak’s Gravity, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Dvořák’s Symphony No.6.

“We are delighted to be back on stage, performing for a live audience again - our first of two World Symphony Season concerts in 19 months!” enthuses KZN Philharmonic Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Bongani Tembe. “The mighty KZNPO has been busy throughout lockdown with recorded concerts and special events, but we have missed our signature World Symphony Season concerts. We are so happy to be back to bring beautiful music to our loyal audiences for this short two concert season special. Audience numbers are reduced, so we suggest booking early to avoid disappointment – especially as the first concert last week was sold out!”

(Right: Conductor Daniel Boico. Pic credit Riehan Bakkes)

Conductor for this second concert will be KZN Philharmonic’s Associate Guest conductor, Daniel Boico. Born in Israel to musician parents and raised in both Paris and USA, Boico was initially trained as a singer. Since 1995, he has performed in world-renowned halls with some of the greatest orchestras in the world. He is Artistic Director and CEO designate of the Free State Symphony Orchestra. He was editor, producer and conductor in a recording project with Karen LeFrak – whose work, Gravity, opens the concert on Thursday.

Gravity is a four-minute musical journey for strings, evoking nostalgic images of early summer mornings in New York when the air is velvety and humid, but still quiet and calm. Karen LeFrak is an author, composer, and philanthropic New Yorker. Her involvement in the arts as a composer and board member of the New York Philharmonic made her the perfect fit to introduce children to the worlds of music and dance in two children's books.

(Guest artist: Georgy Tchaidze)

Tchaikovsky - Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor will be performed by celebrated Russian-Georgian pianist Georgy Tchaidze who is known for his “fine sensibility and perfectly honed technique” and for being a “sensitive collaborative pianist”. Since becoming First Prize Laureate of Honours in the International Piano Competition in 2009, he has performed throughout Europe, North America and Asia to great critical and public acclaim.

Classic FM, in their composers’ notes, remind us that all three movements of this deeply expressive concerto are sublimely romance. The expansive, sweeping opening movement is showy, the middle movement, meanwhile, contains soulful melodies with some beautiful interplay between the soloist and orchestra, and the edge-of-your seat finale is an electrifying thrill from start to finish. 80 years later, it became the first piece of classical music to sell a million records!

The third piece to be performed is Dvořák’s Symphony No.6 in D Major, which (according to Dvořák biographer, Ondrej Supka) appeared within a mere seven weeks in late summer and autumn 1880, is the sixth of Dvorak’s nine symphonies. The work is distinguished for its rich, lyrical melodies, great diversity, lively rhythms and also for its full, colourful orchestral sound. The symphony is the consummate result of the influence of classical forms combined with what was now a crystallised, distinctive compositional style.

The Playhouse is fastidious about COVID protocols, and great thought and care has gone into ensuring all protocols are being observed. Obviously masks have to be worn at all times – in public foyers and for the duration of all performances. There is ample social distancing within the Opera Theatre auditorium with alternate rows remaining empty and seat allocations carefully spaced out. To minimize the gathering of people, complimentary tea and coffee stations are located within the Playhouse foyer for the audiences. Regrettably, the bar will not be open.

Bring some money with you to support the Denis Hurley Centre’s booksellers!

Concert tickets for the KZN Philharmonic’s World Symphony Series 2021 Special Spring Season final concert are available through Quicket.

For more information visit, email or call 031-369 9438 (office hours). Or click on the KZNPO advert at the top right-hand side of this page to connect direct to their website.

NB: The concerts are normally held at the City Hall but the move to the Playhouse was necessary because the state of the City Hall roof poses a safety threat to audiences. If there is load-shedding, no worries – the Playhouse has its own generator!