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KZNPO WORLD SYMPHONY SERIES (article first published : 2005-02-7)

The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra’s World Symphony Series (WSS) is renowned for featuring an impressive line-up of international artists and the cream of South Africa’s classical musicians. The forthcoming Summer Season, which begins on February 10, is no exception and the seven concerts which make up the season simply sizzle with exciting music.

“The momentum of the KZN Philharmonic’s successful and historic tour of Europe, towards the end of 2004, continues to inspire us – thus ensuring that our highly anticipated World Symphony Series 2005 Summer Season starts on a high note,” said Bongani Tembe, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the KZNPO. I am delighted that this 2005 Summer Season will also showcase the work of Qinisela Sibisi, an active participant in our New Music initiative which is a programme designed to highlight the talents of local composers. The world premier performance of Sibisi’s moving Zulu Mass in B Flat will mark yet another historic milestone in the life of this leading orchestra.”

Russian Romanticism: The unique opening drum rolls of Rossini’s melodic overture La gazza ladra announce the start of the season on February 10, which begins on a high note with gifted Russian siblings Olga and Vladimir Kern. Olga makes a welcome return to the KZNPO stage for a double bill of Rachmaninov concertos, Piano Concerto No. 2 and Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini both of which showcase the skill and technical mastery of composer and soloist. Scalzone’s Revolution Square completes the programme.

German Grandeur: Accomplished conductor Omri Hadari begins his three-concert engagement in grand style on February 17, preparing to carry the audience along on the glorious tide of sound created by the lyrical drama and sweeping grandeur of extraordinary works by Bruch and Bruckner. Lauded for her expressive and rich tone, violinist Sarah Oates joins the maestro on stage for this, her debut concert with the KZNPO. She will perform Bruch’s Violin Concerto No.1, whilst the second half will be filled by the glorious sounds of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 “Romantic”.

Polyphony of Sound: On February 24, Tchaikovsky amplifies the scale and emotional range of the classical concerto and provides a fitting debut for dynamic young Israel-based pianist Boris Giltburg, who will perform his Piano Concerto No.1. The orchestra is then set the challenge of Mahler’s monumental Fifth Symphony, which calls on every technical and musical resource of the musicians.

Sublime Mozart: Making a welcome return to Durban on March 3 is internationally renowned pianist Melvyn Tan. In a concert featuring the brilliance of Mozart, it opens with the solemn Divertimento KV334, followed by the lyrical second movement of the composer’s demanding Piano Concerto No.21 and concluding with the robust spirit of Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter”.

Zulu Footprints: Accomplished conductor Adrian Sunshine, conductor of The London Chamber Players, launches his two-concert engagement on March 10 with a programme that showcases the abundant talents of South African artists. The KZNPO’s New Music Initiative bears fruit with the world premier performance of Qinisela Sibisi’s interesting Zulu Mass. The soloists are Zenhlanhla Cibane (soprano), Thulile Hadebe (mezzo-soprano), Mhlonishwa Dlamini (tenor) and Bongani Vilakazi (baritone). They will be accompanied by the award winning East Coast Choristers. The concert opens with Vivaldi’s Opus 3, No.8 in A minor and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No.5 “Reformation” is featured in the second half.

Pulsating Tempo: Music that combines irrepressible romance with a streak of witty mischievousness provides Francois du Toit, who is undoubtedly among the finest of South Africa’s pianists, with a challenging platform for his return to the Durban stage on March 17 when he will perform Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No.2. Conducted by Adrian Sunshine, the programme opens with Ravel’s Ma mere I Oye (Mother Goose) Suite and is completed with Prokofiev’s grandly patriotic Fifth Symphony.

Artistic Inspiration: The final concert of the Summer Season on March 24 will bring the curtain down in pictorial fashion. The KZNPO’s principal horn player Katie Pryce takes centre stage and, under the baton of the highly regarded Victor Yampolsky, explores the technical and expressive possibilities of the horn with Strauss’s Second Horn Concerto. Wagner’s Flying Dutchman: Overture sets the scene of the evening. The second half begins with Wagner’s glorious opera Siegfried Idyll and Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler: Symphony provides a fitting end to the concert with its picturesque themes.

The KZN Philharmonic is always mindful of the prevailing economic situation and as such, have kept ticket prices at an affordable level. Depending on the choice of subscription package, audiences can benefit from significant savings on single ticket prices by booking for multiple concerts. Readers interested in taking out subscriptions can do so by phoning 031 369 9404/369 9477 or by email on bookings@kznpo.co.za Public booking for individual concerts in the above season is now open at Computicket.

Every WSS concert is preceded by a musically illustrated introductory talk presented by the KZNPO in association with the Friends of Music. These talks are designed to enlighten and entertain, and each speaker is an authority on their subject. The admission price of R20 per person includes light refreshments. The Pre-Concert lectures take place at the Royal Hotel at 18h15. (See separate article)

Click on the KZNPO advert on the main pages and this will take you straight to the orchestra's website.




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