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WORLD SYMPHONY SERIES (article first published : 2003-10-24)

The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra’s World Symphony Series Spring Season comes to a close this month after a period in which the KZNPO celebrated its 20th Anniversary, having first performed on October 22 1983.

On November 6, talented artist Adam Aleksander takes centre stage. Critics have hailed his playing as having "rare finesse … gorgeous sonority and nimble fingers … generous of feeling, mood and tonal resources." This accomplished Canadian-born pianist will perform Chopin's Piano Concerto No.1, under the leadership of South African-born composer and conductor Bongani Ndodana, who is based in Canada as the Artistic Director of Ensemble Noir. Bongani will make history by becoming the first black South African to conduct one of the KZN Philharmonic’s symphony concerts and will conduct his own composition, Praise Music for Madiba.

On November 13, brilliant African-American conductor Leslie Dunner returns to lead a programme that boasts the talents of gifted and versatile South African pianist, Lara Jones. She made her orchestral début with the then Natal Philharmonic at the age of 11 and for this concert she plays Mozart's last piano concerto. The programme also includes two dynamic pieces by Strauss, Don Juan and Der Rosenkavalier Suite.

The programme on November 20 brings the 20th Anniversary season to an end with a concert that highlights the outstanding vocal and choral talents of South Africa. Sibongile Mngoma, Zanele Gumede, Delwynne Windell, Bongani Vilikazi and the Drakensberg Boys' Choir, sing Mozart’s Requiem. Direct from their tour of the United States of America, the internationally acclaimed Drakensberg Boys' Choir will join the KZNPO to capture all the pathos, anger and quiet beauty of this work. It is an intense work in parts, and is undoubtedly Mozart's most powerful music.

Concerts take place at the City Hall at 19h30 and lectures are held beforehand in the Royal Hotel. These are presented by the Friends of Music and are conducted by leaders in their respective fields.

Book for concerts at Computicket. More information from Janet Welch on 031 369 9453, fax: 031 369 9559 or e-mail: kznpomar@iafrica.com For more details on the orchestra’s activities visit www.kznpo.co.za




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