Symphonic summer delights

2011-01-11 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic orchestra has a bumper programme of exciting music-making in the year ahead.

Featuring a stellar roster of guest artists, the 2011 World Symphony Series Summer Season will get under way in the Durban City Hall on February 10 and run until March 17.

Speaking at the launch of the 2011 season, the orchestra’s chief executive and artistic director, Bongani Tembe, said that gifted Russian siblings, pianist Olga Kern and conductor Vladimir Kern, would be travelling to Durban to launch the six-concert summer season with a dazzling programme of works by Rachmaninoff, Liszt and Tchaikovsky.

They will be followed by popular Japanese maestro Yasuo Shinozaki who will take the podium on February 17 and February 24 before he makes way for much sought-after conductor, Emil Tabakov, who will conduct the orchestra for the three Thursday evening concerts in March.

Soloists appearing during the summer season include pianist Florian Uhlig and Pietermaritzburg pianist, Christopher Duigan; cellist Georgi Anichenko; and the KZNPO’s principal trombonist, Anthony Boorer.

The season’s finale on March 17 promises big-scale performances of Handel’s Water Music Suite No 2 and Bach’s Magnificat, featuring a high-profile quartet of soloists and the combined Clermont Community, Durban Symphonic Orchestra and Durban Chamber Choirs.

Brahms’s towering Symphony No 4 in E minor will bring down the curtain on a climatic note.

Tembe was also delighted to announce that the KZNPO has signed a three-year contract to appear at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Its 2011 festival engagements will include a concert with French cellist, Jerome Pernoo, to reprise last season’s show-stopping performance of Offenbach’s spectacular Concerto Militaire.

The orchestra is also scheduled to partner South African concert pianist, Ben Schoeman, the Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winner for Music, at this year’s National Arts Festival.

Preceding its performances in Grahamstown, the KZNPO’s Winter Season 2011 will run in the Durban City Hall from May 19 to June 16, with conductors Omri Hadari, Thomas Sanderling and Lykele Temmingh sharing the podium. Guest artists slated to appear during the season include the distinguished violinist Roman Simoniv, cellists Dmitri Kouzov and Nicholas Altstaed, Durban-born London-based pianist Jonathan Oshry, and Bloemfontein’s Bochabela Strings.

And, previewing the third leg of the World Symphony Series, which will run from September 15 to November 3, Tembe said German conductor Justus Franz will return to open the season with concert pianist Petronel Malan as soloist.

The season will also include the annual National Youth Concerto Festival conducted by Lykele Temmingh on September 29, and return appearances by conductor Arjan Tien.

Other plans for the year include a trip to Maputo for the International Music Festival from May 11 to May 14 and a performance at the State Theatre in Pretoria in April, in collaboration with the South African composer, Bongani Ndodana-Breen.

Back in Durban, the KZNPO will perform African Songbook in association with Cape Opera and The Playhouse Company at The Playhouse in July, and at the Teatro at Montecasino in August.

• For season subscriptions at attractive discounted rates, phone 031 369 9404 or e-mail book ings@kznpo.co.za

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