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KZNPO CALENDAR (article first published : 2002-09-3)

Nietzsche once said, “without music life is a mistake”. Don’t make that mistake -subscribe now and save a substantial amount on ticket prices for the KZN Philharmonic’s World Symphony Series 2002 Spring Season which runs from September 5 to November 21. You also stand the chance of winning a prize of a weekend away for two people at any Southern Sun Hotel.

Concerts take place weekly – usually on Thursdays - at 19h30 in the Durban City Hall. In addition to the orchestra’s eleven subscription concerts, the season also includes a non-subscription concert on November 9 (see below). The line-up of soloists and conductors features several front-ranking artists from the international circuit as well as some of South Africa’s finest musicians.

Opening the season on September 5 is soloist Wolfgang Sengstschmid who will display his considerable skills playing Beethoven’s lyrical and poetic Violin Concerto using a violin from Joseph Guarneri del Gesu, Cremona 1731. This concerto will be directed by En Shao, the charismatic London-based Chinese conductor, who is a firm favourite with Durban audiences. The opening programme rounds off with Beethoven’s Symphony No 6.

The following Wednesday (please note the change of day) September 11 sees En Shao return to the podium to conduct the Overture from Rossini’s Semiramide after which Boris Kerimov, KZN Philharmonic’s principal cellist, will perform Lalo’s romantic cello concerto. The Symphony No 1 by Walton concludes this programme and this piece has been selected to commemorate John Walton’s 100th Anniversary.

En Shao will make his last appearance for this visit with the KZN Philharmonic on September 19 when he conducts the Marriage of Figaro Overture and Symphony No 40 by Mozart and the Firebird Suite (1945) by Stravinsky.

As part of the Celebrate Durban events, the world-famous Lucerne Festival Strings Ensemble will form part of the line-up of a bumper evening on September 26. Achim Fiedler has been the Artistic Director of the Lucerne Festival Strings since 1998 when he took over from Rudolf Baumgartner who founded the Ensemble in 1956 and he will be the conductor for the evening. The programme opens with Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings. Also appearing will be the soloist Patrick Demenga who will play Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major. Completing the line-up is the Ethekweni Massed Choir who will sing Emdubane by Mnomiya. Rounding off a wonderful evening will be the Symphony No 7 by Dvorák.

October 3 sees KZN Philharmonic Conductor Laureate David Tidboald on the podium for the KZNPO’s National Youth Concerto Festival performance. This year’s line-up of South Africa’s emergent concert soloists offers a programme with something for everyone. This concert will be the first of the “Friends” Concerts” when subscribers are encouraged to invite friends, preferably those who have not been to any of the concerts before, at very much reduced prices.

On October 10, Dr Tidboald conducts the award winning 27 year-old pianist Jan Gottlieb Jiracek described by Die Welt as “simply a marvelous young pianist – certainly one of the most talented in the world” and the BBC Music Magazine as “one of the leading pianists of his generation”. The programme will open with the Symphony No 3 by Schubert, followed by Mendelssohn’s Concerto No 2. Falla’s Nights in the Garden of Spain and Peter Grimes’s Four Sea Interludes by Benjamin Britten make up the second half.

The second of the “Friends’ Concerts” takes place on September 17 when Israeli pianist Ilan Rogoff, renowned for his interpretations of the romantic composers, teams up with Justus Frantz, Leonard Bernstein’s prodigy in a power house programme of Brahms and Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky called his Pathétique Symphony the “very best, and in particular the most sincere of all my compositions ….. I love it as I have never loved any of my musical children”. Rogoff will open the programme with the Piano Concerto No 2 by Brahms.

On October 24, audiences are invited to rediscover the genius of Mozart as internationally acclaimed pianist/conductor Justus Franz shares his interpretation of Mozart’s delightful yet profound works – The Magic Flute Overture, the Piano Concerto No 21 and Symphony No 39.

The internationally accomplished Finnish pianist Laura Mikkola makes her debut with the KZN Philharmonic on October 31 in a Scandinavian inspired programme, featuring one of the most popular piano concertos, conducted by the brilliant African-American conductor Leslie Dunner. The concert opens with Finlandia by Sibelius and the first half concludes with Grieg’s Piano Concerto. Symphony No 4 (“The Inextinguishable”) by Nielsen fills the second half. In this symphony, Nielsen expressed his belief that the world would survive the devastations of WW1. “Soon the plants would begin to multiply, the breeding and screaming of birds would be seen and heard, human aspirations and yearning would be felt. These forces, which are inextinguishable, are what I have tried to represent.”

Elgar’s Cockaigne opens the programme on November 7 with Durban-based conductor Lyk Temmingh on the podium. He comes together with the brilliant and prodigious talent of award-winning Russian cellist Grigory Alumyan who will play Elgar’s Cello Concerto. Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances concludes the evening’s programme.

A non subscription concert takes place on November 9 when the KZN Philharmonic conducted by Robert Maxym will proudly present Khumalo’s Ushaka KaSenzangakhona. Soloists Lwazi Ncube (soprano), Sibongile Khumalo (mezzo soprano), Sipho Langa (tenor) and Michael Mkhize (bass baritone) together with the Durban Serenade Choral Society, will perform this powerful and dramatic work which depicts the life of the revered King of the Zulu nation. The Durban Serenade Choral Society has recently returned from a triumphant tour of London where they presented Ushaka KaSenzangakhona to great public acclaim.

Internationally acclaimed French baritone, Francois Leroux, joins forces with South Africa’s leading operatic duo, Linda Bukhosini and Bongani Tembe in the final subscription concert of the World Symphony Season Spring Season on November 21. The colourful programme will feature operatic arias, duets and ensembles from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Bizet’s The Pearl Fisher, and Gounod’s Faust, plus much more.

For full details regarding subscription ticket prices and preferred seating, contact the orchestra’s infoline on 031 369-9404, fax 031 369-9559 or email kznposubs@iafrica.com Booking for non subscriptions is also available through Computicket.




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