KZNPO’s winter season line-up

2009-05-21 00:00

CLASSICAL music fans can look forward to six weeks of music from some of the best soloists and conductors in South Africa and the world during the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra’s World Symphony Series Winter Season.

All the concerts take place on Thursday evenings, between today and July 2, in the Durban City Hall — except June 4 when the orchestra presents its popular Starlight Pop Opera concert.

Opening the season today is conductor Arjan Tien from the Netherlands, who joins the orchestra for the eleventh consecutive year and conducts the first two concerts of the season.

The programme opens with Grieg’s much-loved Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, followed by his Piano Concerto in A Minor, which provides the ideal vehicle for popular Cape Town-based virtuoso Francois du Toit, who is replacing Lukás Vondrácek, as the first soloist of the season.

Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 concludes the evening’s fare.

Tien’s programme on May 28 comprises Smetana’s Bartered Bride Overture, Dvorák’s Cello Concerto, featuring the acclaimed cellist Suren Bagratuni, and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2.

The orchestra’s concert on June 11 sees popular U.S. maestro Leslie B. Dunner returning to the KZNPO podium for the first of two concerts. He opens with Haydn’s Surprise Symphony No 94, as a fitting bicentennial salute to the great Austrian composer’s death in 1809.

Virtuoso pianist Boris Giltburg takes the solo spot in Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2, and the KZNPO concludes its programme with a performance of Dvorák’s Symphony No. 8.

More Haydn opens the June 18 concert, with a performance of his Symphony no 81, and Juilliard graduate Bryan Wallick, a gold medallist of the Vladimir Horowitz International Piano Competition, debuts with Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in the second half of the evening’s programme.

Victor Yampolsky returns for the final two concerts of the season. His June 25 programme stars South African violinist Zanta Hofmeyr, another Juilliard graduate, performing Britten’s Violin Concerto No 1 and the evening opens and closes with two highly romantic works, Weber’s Euryanthe Overture and Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 in D minor.

Glazunov’s Valse de Concert no. 2 opens maestro Yampolsky’s second programme, which showcases Durban’s own star pianist, Andrew Warburton, in a performance of Tchaikovsky’s magnificent Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Major, and Sibelius’ Symphony No 1 provides a fitting finale to the season.

Before each concert there are talks in association with Durban’s Friends of Music at 6.15 pm at the Royal Hotel, with the concert following at 7.30 pm. Safe parking is available at the Royal Hotel on concert nights.


The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra’s World Symphony Series Winter Season runs from today until July 2 at the Durban City Hall at 7.30 pm. To book phone Computicket at 083 915 000. Inquiries or to subscribe to the season, phone 031 369 9404, 031 369 9498 or visit

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