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Saturday, May 27, 2023


The Playhouse Opera: Thursdays from June 8 to 19, 2023.

The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2023 World Winter Symphony Season, featuring a superb line-up of international and local talent, runs in The Playhouse Opera every Thursday from June 8 to 19, each World Symphony Series concert starting at 19h00.

 June 8: Concert 1 

Anna Sułkowska-Migoń, the brilliant young Polish conductor who won last year’s prestigious La Maestra competition in Paris, opens the season. She opens her superbly curated programme with Gustav Mahler’s Blumine, which first appeared as the second movement of his first symphony. After three performances, the composer removed it. Originally written as part of incidental music for a play by von Scheffel, it evokes lovers exchanging their tender feelings in the stillness of night. At the time, Mahler, infatuated with a blonde soprano Johanna Richter, described it as a "love-episode."

This charming curtain opener is perfectly matched by Chausson’s delightful Poème for Violin and Orchestra, a graceful debut vehicle to introduce to the audience the opening concert’s soloist, the gifted young Dutch violinist, Rosanne Philippens. Ms Philippens remains the spotlight to perform Sarasate’s flamboyant Zigeunerweisen. Mendelssohn’s much-loved Symphony No 3 Scottish, makes for a rousing second half to the evening’s musical fare.


 June 15: Concert 2

The renowned Japanese maestro Yasuo Shinozaki makes a welcome return to the podium for the second concert on June 15. He opens his programme with one of the world’s concert warhorses, Vltava from Smetana’s Má vlast (My Fatherland). Vltava, one of the world’s most graphically descriptive works, evokes the mighty Moldau River in all its tumultuous energy and majesty.

The dazzling young Bulgarian virtuoso Emmanuel Ivanov, winner of the Busoni Piano Competition, takes centre stage to perform Rachmaninoff’s iconic Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini as the evening’s centrepiece. The second half of the evening is given over to one of the world’s most lavishly exotic music creations, Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherazade, based on the eastern fable of Arabian Nights.


 June 22: Concert 3

Daniel Boico takes the podium for the third concert on June 22. Boico opens with Liszt’s First Mephisto Waltz known for its passion, sensuality, and powerful emotional impact. Liszt’s ferociously taxing Piano Concerto No I is the evening centrepiece, showcasing the virtuosic prowess of North Korea’s keyboard wizard, Yeon-Min.

The evening closes in an uplifting mood with Dvořák joyous Symphony No. 8, cheery and lyrical ethos draws its inspiration from the Bohemian folk music the composer loved.


 June 29: Concert 1

Conductor Lykele Temmingh brings the curtain down on the KZN Philharmonic’s Winter Season with a programme that is bookended by two concert favourites, while offering listeners a rare encounter a major composition by his brother, the renowned South African composer, Roelof Temmingh. Beethoven’s rugged Egmont Overture needs no introduction as the evening’s curtain raiser. The ‘discovery’ of the evening is Roelof Temmingh’s exquisitely scored Clarinet Concerto expressly written for Maria du Toit, South Africa’s foremost clarinettist of her generation.

The programme closes with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1, Winter Dreams as a touching and appropriate final salute to the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra’s Winter season audience.


KZN Philharmonic Season tickets, and bookings for individual concerts, are available at Quicket outlets.

There will be Tea and Symphony concerts for the final rehearsal every Thursday morning at 10h00 in the Playhouse Opera. Tickets R50 adults and pensioners (R30 children 5 years and older), which includes a complimentary cup of coffee / tea.

The bars are no longer open at the Playhouse; however, tea and coffee can be purchased prior to concerts and during interval.

For more information call 031 369 9438, email or visit

To link direct to the orchestra’s site, click on the KZNPO advert at the top right-hand side of this page.