Concert: Enjoy africa’s only full-time orchestra

2008-06-19 00:00

The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra (KZNPO) is the headline act at the annual Concert in the Park at the Pietermaritzburg Botanical Gardens on Sunday.

With its component of some 70 professional players on full-time call, the KZNPO is Africa’s only permanent symphony orchestra. As such, it is a priceless resource, providing a wide range of top-class entertainment ranging from fully fledged symphony concerts to school education programmes.

Since each player comes with at least 10 years’ training, including graduating from leading national and international music conservatoires, the KZNPO represents a body whose professional expertise counts for some 700 years of accumulated skills.

“There’s nothing to beat the excitement of hearing Africa’s premier orchestra showing their talents in a programme that has something for everyone,” says Concert in the Park presenter and organiser Chris Hodgkins.

“They will perform on a spectacular 20-metre-wide stage, their music being amplified from nine-metre-high sound towers. We tend to take this sort of thing for granted, so it’s important to know where the orchestra comes from, and what they are all about, and just what an eclectic line-up of entertainment the Concert in the Park offers.”

Artists appearing with the orchestra include American-born international singer, pianist and performer Joseph Clark, Idols finalist Melanie Lowe, guitarist Rowan Stewart and leading South African concert pianist Christopher Duigan.

Also featured on the programme are the cast from the Maritzburg College and Epworth School’s The70s Show and the Pietermaritzburg Caledonian Pipe Band. The fourth Concert in the Park follows the phenomenal success of the previous three years’ musical extravaganzas, which generated more than R150 000 for charity. This year’s event, once again, supports the Thandanani Children’s Foundation in Pietermaritzburg.

With Russian-born conductor Naum Rosine back on the podium, the bumper programme embraces a wide mix of popular music, as well as well-loved songs and a hot list of classics from the orchestra’s choicest repertoire.

Tickets are R80 for adults, R70 for pensioners and R35 for children under 16. Bookings can be made through Pearl at Parklane Super Spar at 033 342 3487.

Picnic hampers containing wine, soft drinks, cold meats, cheeses, breads, biscuits, pate´s and more can be ordered for R135 (for two people).

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