Conductor Lykele Temmingh launches the Late Spring Season of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2017 World Symphony Series in the Durban City Hall on Thursday (October 19). The occasion marks 30 years since Temmingh’s first appearance on the KZNPO podium in October 1987.
A spectacular programme chosen to celebrate the event opens with the rousing Donna Diana Overture by the Austro-Czech composer Emil von Řezníček. This will be followed by Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B minor, one of the concert repertoire’s most passionate and challenging show-pieces for a virtuoso cellist. The Grammy-Award winning American artist Zuill Bailey is the evening’s soloist.
Despite the Durban City Hall’s long-defunct pipe organ remaining merely a disgracefully mute backdrop to the magnificent venue’s concert stage, Temmingh decided ingeniously to bring his programme to a climax with a performance of a work long absent from our local concert repertoire - Camille Saint-Saëns’s splendid Symphony no 3 in C minor, popularly known as his Organ Symphony, as two of its four sections deploy a grand scale pipe organ.
“My father and both my brothers were professional organists,” says Temmingh. “I was raised listening to music of the world’s great organ composers, JS Bach, Buxtehude and Widor. My father had a recording of Saint-Saëns’s Organ Symphony which our family played repeatedly. To this day the work remains close to my heart. So with the agreement of our Artistic Director, Bongani Tembe, we will be performing the piece, using a state-of-the-art Allen digital pipe organ, played by Dr Christopher Cockburn, with sense surround speakers creating the virtual illusion of a real pipe organ.” A treat for local concert goers to look forward to.
German maestro Justus Frantz returns to the podium on October 26 with a programme opening with Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro Overture, followed by his Violin Concerto No 5 in A Major K219, performed by BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition winner, Rafal Zambrzycki-Payne. The evening concludes with Schubert’s ‘Great’ Symphony No 9 in C Major. The KZNPO’s symphony concerts start at 7.30pm. Booking is through Computicket. To secure season subscriptions at reduced rates, call 031-369 9348, or email email@example.com.
Durban’s 2017 Last Night of the Proms Concert, presented as ever by the British Cultural and Heritage Association (BCHA), takes place in the Playhouse Opera Theatre on Sunday, October 22, starting at 3pm. Richard Cock will be at the helm of the KZN Philharmonic, flanked by the Durban Symphonic Choir, and the combined choirs of Danville Girls High, Durban Girls High and Northwood Boys High Schools. The solo spots fall on violinist Amy Luo, and flautist Tatiana Thaele, and also featured on the programme are proms stalwarts, the KZN Pipes and Drums, and Celtic dancers Melissa and Samantha Wood from the KZN Academy of Celtic Dance.
Classical items on the mixed bag programme include show-stopping items such as: Rimsky-Korsakov’s Dance of the Tumblers; the Concerto Alla Ungarese by Oscar Ries; Bizet’s Carmen Fantasy; O Fortuna from Karl Orff’s Carmina Burana, the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah; Sir Henry Wood’s Sailor’s Hornpipe, Parry’s Jerusalem and Sir Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No 1 – along with a wealth of popular ever-greens. Tickets for this fun event range from R140 to R210. Early booking is advised. Booking is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000 or online at www.computicket.com. Alternatively, call the Playhouse Box Office on 031 369 9540 or 031-369 9596 (office hours).
Finally, note that Friends of Music’s recital at the Durban Jewish Centre, 44 KE Masinga Road on Tuesday, October 17, features the Austrian pianist Philipp Richardsen in a programme that includes Schubert’s Sonata in A major, D 959; Chopin’s Ballade no. 1 in g minor, op. 23; Halfdan Kjerulf’s Idyll (from Pieces op. 4, no. 2); and Ferruccio Busoni’s transcription of the Chaconne in d minor (from Violin Partita no. 2, BWV 1004 by Johan Sebastian Bach. Ticket at the door are R80 (members) and R100 (non-members).