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Tuesday, March 21, 2023



The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra’s final concert in the Summer Season series takes place on March 23, 2023.

Bongani Tembe, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the KZPO states: “Our Summer Season concludes this Thursday. The evening begins with two masterpieces by Beethoven: the Fidelio Overture, and his Piano Concerto No. 6 in D Major - deftly brought to life by the noted South African-Portuguese pianist Luis Magalhães.

“Bringing our 2023 World Symphony Series Summer Season to a resounding close, it is my incredible pleasure to welcome back to our concert platform, that indefatigably prolific composer maestro Warren Bessey. Together with a distinguished line-up of solo singers and a massed choir, the KZN Philharmonic will première Mr Bessey’s final addition to his Royal Trilogy, iNkosi uShaka: Umbono, Isizwe, Isiphetho.

“This is the last chance to take advantage of the heavily discounted ticket prices, available only for the Summer Season as a token of our appreciation for your support during the Playhouse Opera Theatre's renovations. Looking forward to closing out a Season of superb music with you.”

Save 15-20% on single tickets through the KZNPO offices by emailing or by calling 031 369 9438. Bookings can also be made online via Quicket

The concert takes place at 19h00 in the Playhouse Opera Theatre on March 23, 2023.

The conductor will be Daniel Boico with piano soloist Luis Magalhães.

The programme includes:

Beethoven: Fidelio Overture

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 6 in D Major

Bessey: iNkosi uShaka: Umbono, Isizwe, Isiphetho

(King Shaka: A Vision, A Nation, A Destiny)


Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, underwent numerous revisions before the composer arrived at the final version we know today. The overture to the opera underwent even greater transformations. All of them popular in the concert hall, the first three are called Leonore (Nos. 1, 2 and 3), after the original title of the opera, and the fourth is known as Fidelio, Beethoven’s final title. As can be heard here, the latter piece makes a wonderful curtain raiser, superbly crafted, tautly constructed, and pulling a great punch in its dramatic impact.

In 1807, Muzio Clementi acquired the English publishing rights for six of Beethoven’s works, including his recently-composed violin concerto. Clementi asked Beethoven to arrange it for piano, thinking that it would maximise the commercial potential of the publication. Beethoven complied with this request. In February 1816, its manuscript was presented by Beethoven himself to Charles Neate, English pianist and one of the founders of the Philharmonic Society in London. After a succession of private and public sales, it was bequeathed to the British Museum Library (predecessor of the British Library) in 1953. It has come to be known during its infrequent public outings as the composer’s Piano Concerto No. 6.

Of special note after intermission is the much-anticipated world première performance of South African composer Warren Bessey’s latest magnum opus: iNkosi uShaka: Umbono, Isizwe, Isiphetho (King Shaka: A Vision, A Nation, A Destiny). Conceived on the grandest of scales, this monumental work for vocal soloists, chorus and orchestra, forms a proud new edition to the growing symphonic literature dedicated to the proud heritage of the Zulu Nation, and as its title indicates, centres around the iconic historic person of the mighty warrior King Shaka, also embracing a coterie of other historic figures such as the beautiful Queen Nandi, Shaka’s adored mother.

The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra is a not-for-profit company and a public benefit organisation with a committed board of directors consisting of prominent business people and community leaders.

The Orchestra is chaired by business luminary, Mr Saki Macozoma, and ably led for the past 25 years by Mr Bongani Tembe, an accomplished Juilliard School trained singer and distinguished arts manager. Mr Tembe’s strong vision fosters high artistic values and a commitment to engaging with the diverse communities of South Africa.

A comprehensive education, development and community engagement programme exposes more than 30,000 urban and township learners per year to music educational concerts, whilst the Orchestra also spends part of the year in the rural areas working with local schools and communities. In addition, the Orchestra presents its flagship World Symphony Series (WSS), which features four seasons of symphony concerts at the Durban City Hall and the Playhouse Opera Theatre.

For more information on the KZNPO click on the advert at the top right-hand side of this page.