Playhouse Opera:

Concert two Thursday 16 February

Concert three Thursday 23 February

DURBAN: The glorious KZN Philharmonic begins its year with a six-concert Summer Symphony Season taking place every Thursday in the Playhouse Opera.

The orchestra moves back to the Playhouse for this year – performing in the magnificent Opera House.

The soloists selected for this season represent some of the most exciting vibrant talent of the new generation of global music makers – marrying rock-star appeal and accessibility with heavy weight music credentials, applauded virtuosity. All have recently won major international music competitions.

The second concert (16 February) sees Canadian born Trinidadian conductor Kwamé Ryan return to the podium for a second week. The programme opens with Mikhail Glinka’s Overture to Ruslan and Ludmilla followed by the South African premiere of Italian composer Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari’s violin concerto and closes with Dvořák’s Symphony No.8 in G major.

The soloist is renowned Italian-American violinist Francesca Dego on violin, making her debut with the KZN Philharmonic.  It is her first visit to Durban and to South Africa. Dego is quickly developing into one of the most sought-after young violinists on the international scene. Signed by Deutsche Grammophon since 2012, she regularly appears with the world’s leading orchestras and is the winner of numerous national and international competitions. Dego will be performing a violin concerto by a relatively unknown Italian-German composer, Ermanno Wolf Ferrari. Dego is passionately a fan of his work.  She has written a compelling article about him for the respected BBC Music Magazine. His violin concerto was inspired by a young American virtuoso Guila Bustabo (a 27 year old violinist) with whom Wolf Ferrari fell hopelessly in love at the age of 70!

Speaking about the concerto, Dego comments:One day I would love to see the Wolf-Ferrari Violin Concerto as part of standard violin repertoire. It’s practically never performed and I think it is a beautiful piece that deserves to be heard. Wolf-Ferrari developed a strong attachment to Guila Bustabo (who was coincidentally the same age as me when she gave the world premiere). This probably explains the predominant tone of rather intense, lyrical yearning. It’s like being immersed in an Italian Opera written for the violin!

This season sees Francesca Dego perform on all six inhabited continents.

The KZN Philharmonic’s associate guest conductor Daniel Boico joins us for the following two concerts. On 23 February he conducts multi award-winning young pianist Daniel Ciobanu from Rumania – winner of the 2015 UNISA international piano competition and the 2014 Scottish international piano competition in Glasgow. Ciobanu has been described as “impetuous” – with a love of the classical repertoire.

Booking is through www.computicket.com / 0861 915 8000 / Shoprite Checkers Money Market Counters. It is cheaper to subscribe: for subscriptions contact 031 3699438.

Morning tea and symphony: Catch the final rehearsal on the morning of the scheduled concerts every Thursday during season at 10am for a nominal charge. Contact KZN Philharomic offices for bookings and for more info: bookings@kznphil.org.za / 031 369 9438.

To better appreciate the music ahead of the concert: pre-concert lectures take place in the Alhambra Room at the Playhouse from 6 until 6.40pm prior to the concert every Thursday.