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Tuesday, March 14, 2023



The third concert of the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra’s Summer Season features classical favourites not to be missed by fans of powerfully evocative musical scores.

A reminder of this Season's heavily discounted ticket prices, due to the minor inconvenience caused by the temporary yet comfortable seats the Playhouse Opera Theatre has provided during their renovation.

The remainder of the Season's musical offerings are included below for your perusal.

“Looking forward to being moved by superb music with you this Thursday,” says Bongani Tembe, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra.


Playhouse Opera Theatre

Conductor: Bernhard Gueller

Soloist: Shannon Thebus, French horn


Mendelssohn: Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture

Strauss: French Horn Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat Major

Brahms: Symphony No. 4, Op. 98 in e minor


The music scholar Donald Tovey hailed Mendelssohn’s magnificent concert overture as “the greatest marvel of early maturity that the world has ever seen in music”. Written in 1826 after the 17-year-old composer had read a German translation of Shakespeare’s play, he later incorporated the famous overture into incidental music for a production of the play in 1841, near the end of his life. As a stand-alone showpiece, the overture continues to enchant concert audiences as one of the marvels of the repertoire, noted for its striking instrumental effects, such as the emulation of scampering ‘fairy feet’ at the beginning, and the delightful braying of Bottom as an ass.

Richard Strauss was 18 when he wrote his first horn concerto. His father, Franz Strauss, was one of the leading horn players of his day, and the sound of the horn at home led Strauss to explore the horn as both a solo and orchestral instrument. The concerto premièred in 1885 at Meiningen with Hans von Bülow conducting. Strauss conducted the work at least three times: in Vienna in 1921; Mannheim in 1929; and Hannover in 1931. Strauss later wrote a second horn concerto in 1942, towards the end of his life. Embraced by the world’s leading horn players through the decades, including the legendary Dennis Brain, the concerto has long been accorded ‘celebrity status’, secure on its pedestal of honour.

Schoenberg described Brahms’ Fourth Symphony as “an exquisite synthesis of heart and mind; its elegance suggesting a mathematical equation whose deceptively simple formula expresses new, startling and complex concepts.” He was not alone. Hanslick described the last movement as exhibiting “an astonishing harmonic and contrapuntal art never conspicuous as such and never an exercise of mere musical erudition.” Indeed, Brahms’ absolute mastery of form is revealed in this music of profound depth and power, making his mighty ‘Fourth’, a giant among giants.


Don't Miss The Final Concert Of The Summer Season

March 23, 2023, at 19h00 in the Playhouse Opera Theatre

Conductor: Daniel Boico

Soloist: Luis Magalhães, piano


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)


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, Saki Macozoma, and ably led for the past 25 years by Bongani Tembe, an accomplished Juilliard School trained singer and distinguished arts manager. 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.

The next concert takes place in the Playhouse Opera on Thursday, March 16, 2023, at 19h00. Save 15-20% on single tickets through the KZNPO offices by emailing or by calling on 031 369 9438. Bookings can also be made online via Quicket