Classical Notes: 25 September 2014

25 Sep 2014


The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra presents its Heritage Day Concert at the Durban City Hall this evening at 7.30pm. The concert forms part of the Spring Symphony Season and its programme highlights African orchestrated pieces in our musical heritage.


The concert opens with Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony “From the New World” - its key heritage theme heralding works to follow that celebrate South Africa’s rich cultural diversity.  Some of South Africa’s notable exponents of choral music, representing some of the best composers the country has, will be honoured.


The programme includes works by Qinisela Sibisi, Psalm 47, Wathobisa abantu phansi kwezizwe zonke and Unwel’olude Mahatma Gandhi. Also featured is Tozama Matshikia’s Hamba kahle/ Amathamsanqa, Mzilikazi Khumalo’s Kwa dedangendlale and Izibongo zika Shaka, as well as Phelelani Mnomiya’s Prelude to Themba lethu.


These works will be sung by a massed choral force combining  the Clermont Community Choir, SA Singers as well as African Chorus. A highlight of this concert sees  various choral conductors, mostly with no formal training in orchestral conducting, being  given an opportunity to work with and conduct the KZN Philharmonic, creating a significant  two-way transfer of knowledge and skills.


Tickets are available through Computicket with special discounts for groups of ten or more.  The KZN Youth Wind Band will give a free performance outside the City Hall from 6.30 – 7.15 pm before Thursday’s concert.


On Saturday (September 27), the KZN Youth Orchestra perform their Gala concert at the Durban Music school’s new Music concert hall from 5.30pm. The KZN Youth Orchestra have recently taken up residence at the Durban Music School-home to the  KZN Youth Wind  band . Their rehearsals are now held there weekly on Fridays.  Hats off to Kim Matthews, champion of DMS, and a recent recipient of an Ethekwini living legend award . She has  made facilities openly available to the Youth Orchestra.


The KZN youth Orchestra consists of young musicians ranging from 12-23 years of age from all around KZN. The gala concert will feature music of the 40 piece orchestra from the Renaissance and baroque periods through to contemporary classic, jazz and pop genres.

Any youngsters wishing to join the orchestra may make an appointment to audition by emailing Auditions will be held the last weekend in October. They will be  at Hilton College and also at Durban Music school. Young musicians should attend the Gala performance to see what the orchestra entails.  The Gala concert is free but donations will be welcomed. For more information call Amanda on 0825550527 or visit the website on .


Next Thursday (October 2) sees the KZN Philharmonic’s spanning three centuries of Viennese classics  on its Spring Season concert bill, to be conducted by Kenneth Slowik, an acclaimed conductor, cellist and musicologist from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. Opening with one of Joseph Haydn’s well-loved  Symphony No 88, completed in 1787, the evening’s programme is followed by Anton Webern’s Passacaglia Opus 1, written as his graduation piece in 1908.


After interval, the KZN Philharmonic’s concertmaster, American violinist Joanna Frankel, a local concert favourite, steps into the solo spot to perform Brahms’s hugely demanding Violin Concerto in D Major, one of the giants of the repertoire.


This monster of the concerto repertoire almost acts as a symphony s it fills both virtuosic and intellectual roles. Frankel has deservedly  a name for herself with  concert goers in  Durban since she took up her position in February 2013, touring extensively throughout KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa and dedicating her time to promoting artistic outreach efforts in the Durban.


Looking ahead on our chamber music front, Friends of Music’s next recital at the Jewish Centre is on October 28, when  the widely admired Bushakevitz Duo, comprising  Israeli born siblings Avigail Bushakevitz (violin ) and Ammiel Ammiel Bushakevitz  (piano)  perform works by Respighi, Mozart,  Saint-Saëns, Vieuxtemps, Schubert and others. Booking is through Computicket.


Courtesy The Mercury

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