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Wednesday, March 6, 2024


The next concert in the KZNPO’s current Summer Symphony Season series takes place tomorrow (March 7, 2024, at 19h00) in the Playhouse Opera Theatre:

 Emmanuel Siffert, conductor

Jan Jiracek von Arnim, piano


Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23, K.488 in A Major

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2, Op. 17 in c minor


Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin (Memorial to Couperin) was originally a piano suite composed between 1914 and 1917. Each movement was dedicated to the memory of a friend of the composer who had died in World War I. Ravel then produced an orchestral version of the work in 1919. He skilfully evoked the sensibilities of the Baroque French keyboard suite. This is reflected in the piece’s structure, which imitates a Baroque dance suite. Its biographical and courtly historical perspective aside, the work forms a superb prelude to symphonic concert programmes such as here, ushering in Mozart’s great A Major Piano Concerto No. 23, best described as ‘the queen’ of the Austrian genius composer’s piano concertos.

Completed on March 2, 1786, two months prior to the première of his opera The Marriage Figaro, Mozart performed it at one of three subscription concerts given that spring. The work’s joyous first movement, written in sonata form, and its dazzling third movement rondo finale, bookend the hauntingly beautiful second movement. This foreshadows that of the composer’s immortal A Major Clarinet Concerto, written in the last months of his life.

Tchaikovsky composed his Symphony No. 2 in 1872. One of his most joyful compositions, it was a success right from its première, and won the favour of the group of nationalistic Russian composers known as “The Five”, led by Mily Balakirev. Because Tchaikovsky used three Ukrainian folk songs to great effect in this symphony, it was nicknamed the “Little Russian” (Ukraine was at that time frequently called “Little Russia”). Despite its initial success, Tchaikovsky was not satisfied with the symphony, and revised it extensively in 1879–80, substantially rewriting the opening movement and shortening the finale. This revision is the version of the symphony usually performed today, as it is here in the KZNPO’s second concert of the current season.

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.

The concert takes place at 19h00 in the Playhouse Opera Theatre. Booking is at Quicket

To link direct to the KZNPO website, visit or click on the KZNPO advert at the top right-hand side of this page.


Forthcoming Concerts:

14 March, 2024, 7pm. Playhouse Opera Theatre

Leon Bosch, conductor

Hyeyoon Park, violin

Grieg: Holberg Suite, Op. 40

Schubert: Symphony No. 5, D. 485 in B-flat Major

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, Op. 35 in D Major


21 March 2024, 7pm. Playhouse Opera Theatre

Daniel Boico, conductor

Nina Schumann/Megan-Geoffrey Prins, piano duo

Dvořák: Czech Suite, Op. 39 in D Major  

Saint-Saëns: Le carnaval des animaux

Mozart: Symphony No. 38, K.504 in D Major