Magical Musical Mix


It was heartening to be part of the exuberant throng of enthusiasts who filled the Playhouse Opera auditorium recently at the British Cultural and Heritage Association’s traditional Last Night of the Proms concert.  With Richard Cock’s urbane podium presence well to the fore, a  special highlight of the popular Sunday afternoon event was the knock-out performance by the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra’s virtuoso principal clarinetist, Junnan Sun (pictured left). Sun dispatched Rossini’s bravura Introduction, Theme and Variations for Clarinet and Orchestra with consummate technical mastery, enlivened by joy of music-making of the highest order that provoked a storm of applause, leaving one eager for more solo work from this remarkable artist.   

A reminder that this Sunday sees Baroque 2000 presenting its sixth concert of the year at the Church of the Mariannhill Monastery. One of the works to be featured on the programme, which starts at 11.30am, is Vivaldi’s Concerto for Bassoon in A minor RV498, spotlighting the KZNPO’s newly appointed Principal Bassoonist, Sandra Bailey (pictured below), as soloist. Other works include Vivaldi’s Concerto of Paris RV114, and his Concerto for Strings in G minor RV155, as well as Galuppi’s Concerto a Quattro No.1 in G minor and Locatelli’s Sinfonia Funebre. Tickets are R140 at the door, ample safe parking is provided, and refreshments are available at the tea garden adjoining the venue, both before and after the concert.

A reminder too, that following last Sunday’s performance at St Thomas’s Anglican Church in Musgrave, the Durban Chamber Choir reprises its engagingly titled concert programme, The Great Mystery,  at the Lutheran Church in Hayfields, Pietermaritzburg, at 3pm this Sunday (Nov 6). The concert offers a thrilling selection by choral items collated and directed by Christopher Coburn, ranging from the 16th century to contemporary items, which have retained their hold over listeners through the ages. Tickets are R70 at the door (concessions for students and pensioners R40). School choir groups may attend for free, by prior arrangement. Contact 

Durban’s Friends of Music Association (FOM) presents its next recital at the Jewish Centre in KE Masinga Road on Tuesday November 8. This will feature Pietermaritzburg pianist Christopher Duigan performing a selection of music by Chopin. Duigan will also share some of the insight he gained into Chopin's life and his music while on a trip to Warsaw, Poland, and the Chopin Museum last year. 

On Tuesday November 15 violinist Christoph Seybold and pianist Liezl-Maret Jacobs  appear in recital for FOM in performances of Beethoven’s Piano and Violin Spring Sonata No 5 in F Major Opus 24 (‘The Spring Sonata’), Mozart’s Violin Sonata No. 21 in E minor, K. 304, and Richard Strauss’s Violin Sonata in E flat major, Opus 18. 

FOM concerts start at 7.30pm Tickets are R80 for members, R100 for non-members and orchestral players and R20 for students. They can be bought at the door. Pre-booking is through Computicket and safe parking is provided.

Finally, a note that the Pietermaritzburg City Orchestra is hosting its annual festive season concert, Noel 2016, in collaboration with the Midlands Chamber Choir, at 7 pm on Saturday, November 26, at the Hilton College Theatre. This will be the second time that the choir and orchestra have joined forces in what will hopefully become a standard for Pietermaritzburg and the KZN Midlands.

Audience members can expect favourite tunes, including Leroy Anderson’s Christmas Festival and Sleigh Ride, as well as beautiful carols like John Rutter’s Shepherd’s Pipe Carol and The Very Best Time of Year. This year also marks the third time to feature a new composition by the orchestra’s own Peter van der Merwe, with his 15 Variations on St Thomas Wake, an old English carol, which is sure to delight audience members with an appreciation for music with a more classical feel.

The concert promises to be a delight to both old and young, and would be a perfect opportunity to introduce the little ones to orchestral music. Tickets for Noel 2016 are R120 for adults, R100 for pensioners and R50 for children under the age of 12. Book online at or by contacting the theatre box office at 033 383 0126. The venue has secure parking, and refreshments will be on sale during the interval.



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