The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra Winter Symphony Season 2017

Playhouse Opera Theatre : 1–22 June
The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra returns to the Playhouse Opera Theatre for its four-week Winter Symphony Season of sublime world class music from 1 June until 22 June 2017.
Special features of the season include visits by two groups from the USA: the acclaimed Yale University Glee Club Choir and the DECODA Ensemble, an Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, New York; and a premiere of a new work entitled Drop by South African composer, Matthijs van Dijk.
The KZN Philharmonic continues its primary mission of bringing excellence in music making to the province of KZN. The Winter Season features top South African and international musicians in an eclectic programme of amazing music. “We are committed to bringing the highest quality concerts to Durban thereby enriching the city and province through music,” says Bongani Tembe, CEO and Artistic Director of the KZN Philharmonic.
The season opens on Thursday 1 June at the Playhouse Opera Theatre with a very special bumper concert! The acclaimed Yale University Glee Club Choir from the USA led by Dr. Jeffrey Douma, professor of choral conducting at the Yale School of Music, performs Beethoven’s splendid Mass in C major, Op. 86.
The Yale Glee Club is an 80-voice chorus of undergraduate men and women based at Yale University and is currently in its 155th season. It is one of the world’s most travelled collegiate choruses, having appeared before enthusiastic audiences in every major US city and abroad, on six continents.
Glee Clubs, the name given to musical or choir groups, have become an American school and university tradition made globally popular through the popular TV series, Glee, which follows a group of students from the fictitious McKinley High School.
The Yale Glee Club will be joined by four vocalist soloists: Nozuko Teto, Violina Anguelov, Wayne Mkhize and Mthunzi Nokubeka.
With Naum Rousine on the podium, Belgian pianist Liebrecht Vanbeckenvoort, a laureate of the prestigious Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition and celebrated Steinway artist, takes the spotlight as the season’s first soloist performing Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op.15.
KZN Philharmonic associate guest conductor Daniel Boico takes to the podium for the second concert of the season on 8 June which features French violinist and recording artist, Philippe Graffin, currently professor at the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique and guest professor at the Brussels Conservatoire Royal. He has established a particular reputation for his interest in rare and contemporary works and has rediscovered original settings of classics and in so doing has championed forgotten violin concertos. Graffin performs Spanish violinist Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole – homage to the French intellegencia’s appreciation of all things Spanish during the latter part of the19th century. Also on the programme is a rare performance of Alexander Glazunov’s imposing Overture solennelle and Shostakovich Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93.
The third concert on 15 June, under the baton of Daniel Raiskin will see Czech pianist Lukas Vondracek perform the Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, Op. 40 – a major work by Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. Opening the concert is Carl Maria von Weber’s exhilarating Overture to Euryanthe. Closing the concert is Czech composer Antonin Dvořák’s visceral Symphony No. 7 in D minor.
The Winter Season of the 2017 World Symphony Series comes to a close on 22 June with an eclectic four-work programme. Daniel Raiskin returns to the podium to conduct the DECODA Ensemble – an Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, New York, which join the KZN Phil to premiere a new work entitled Drop, which is an original composition of South African composer, Matthijs van Dijk which derives its nuances from the 21st century sound of electronic music.
Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski’s Dance Preludes buoyantly represents 20th century accentuation and tonality. DECODA return to the stage to perform in Haydn’s ebullient Sinfonia Concertante in B flat major Op.84 which boasts solo parts for violin, cello, oboe and bassoon pitted against a large orchestra. Ludwig van Beethoven’s iconic Fifth Symphony brings a grand sense of closure to the KZN Philharmonic’s Winter Season.
Refreshments and light snacks may be purchased in the foyer before the concert and during interval. Single tickets are available from, 0861 915 8000, or from Shoprite Checkers Money Market counters. It is cheaper to subscribe. Subscribers can save up to 20%. For subscriptions contact 031 369 9438.
The final rehearsals for the Winter Symphony Season concerts are open to the public and provide a glimpse into the preparation needed for a symphony concert. Join us each Symphony Season on Thursday at 10am in the Playhouse Opera Theatre. Entrance for adults is R30 / R10 for scholars, which includes a cup of tea. The final rehearsal is the perfect opportunity to introduce scholars to symphony concerts and also provides great outings for community groups and retirement homes. Please contact the KZN Philharmonic to enquire about special rates and to make arrangements for groups or schools. Please note that there are no morning rehearsals for choral or operatic concerts. Contact or call the bookings office on 031 369 9438.
You can gain a deeper understanding of the music you are about to hear by attending the Friends of Music’s Pre-Concert Lecture in the Alhambra Room at the Playhouse starting at 6pm and entry is R10.
So come and join us for another amazing season of glorious music!
For more information, contact 031 369 9438 or email
Concert 1 / opening
Date: 1 June
Conductor: Naum Rousine
Soloists: Yale University Glee Club and soloists, and Liebrecht Vanbeckenvoort
Featured instruments: voice and piano
Programme: Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op.15; Beethoven Mass in C major, Op. 86
Pre-concert lecture by Michael Green
Concert 2
Date: 8 June
Conductor: Daniel Boico
Soloist: Philippe Graffin
Featured instrument: violin
Programme: Glazunov Overture Solennelle, Op. 73; Lalo Symphonie Espagnole in D minor, Op. 21; Shostakovich Symphony No.10 in E minor, Op. 93
Pre-concert lecture by Michael Green
Concert 3
Date: 15 June
Conductor: Daniel Raiskin
Soloist: Lukas Vondracek
Featured instrument: piano
Programme: Weber Overture to Euryanthe; Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, Op. 40; Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 in D minor
Pre-concert lecture by Dr Teddy Pillay
Concert 4 / final
Date: 22 June
Conductor: Daniel Raiskin
Soloist: DECODA Ensemble: an affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall in New York.
Featured instrument: various
Programme: Van Dijk Drop Lutoslawski Dance Preludes; Haydn Sinfonia Concertante in B flat major, Op. 84 and Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
Pre-concert lecture by Dr Teddy Pillay

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