Classical Notes: Music for all ages

 American pianist Spencer Myer gives three recitals in KZN this month as part of a national tour


Music lovers are spoilt for choice with the KZN Philharmonic back in symphony concert mode for its Winter Season which opened last night in the Playhouse Opera theatre. Next Thursday’s concert sees Cape Town-based conductor Brandon Philips on the podium with a programme of 19th Century German and French repertoire, opening with the Overture to Schumann’s only opera, Genoveva. The acclaimed young Russian cellist Alexander Buzlov takes the solo spot in Lalo’s Cello Concerto in D minor, and the evening ends a performance of the Brahms Symphony No 3.


Conrad van Alphen will be on the podium on 21 June for a programme that includes Mendelssohn’s enchanting Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sibelius’s Violin Concerto (with another new-generation Russian star, Nikita Boriso-Glebsky, as soloist) and the programme rounds off with the Dvorák Symphony No. 5 in F Major, Op. 76.


On the recital front, Music Revival in association with Friends of Music presents the distinguished American pianist Spencer Myer in KZN this month. Since winning the First Prize in the 2004 UNISA International Piano Competition, Myer has appeared in South Africa six times, in tours of recital and orchestral appearances.  A native of Cleveland, Ohio, and a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and the Juilliard School, Mr. Myer has established a long and respected career as a recitalist, concerto soloist, lieder accompanist and chamber musician. Winner of the UNISA International Piano Competition in 2004, Myer has since been a regular visitor to South Africa.  Recent highlights include recitals in venues such as the  Wigmore Hall in London. 


Myer’s whistle stop recital tour of KZN will see him performing on Saturday 16th June @ 15h00 at   Tatham art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg, on  Sunday 17th June @ 15h00  St Agnes Church, Kloof  and  Monday 18th June @ 19h30  Durban Jewish Centre, Durban.  Tickets (Available at the door) R100 (Members) R120 (Non-Members).  Myer’s programme will include the Sonata in E Major, Hob. XVI: 31 by Haydn, Debussy’s Estampes, D’un cahier d’esquisses   and Masques L’isle Joyeuse and Chopin’s Four Scherzi. For more information contact Chris (Music Revival) 083 417 4473 (SMS or WhatsApp only) or Keith (Friends of Music) 071 505 1021 


 The KZN Youth Orchestra perform Sundowner Classics next Friday


June is youth month and the KZN Youth Orchestra has a ‘Sundowner Classics’ concert coming up on Friday June 15th at Mt Edgecombe country club in the Sandpiper room from 6-7pm. Well-known classical favourites include themes such as Poncihelli’s ‘Dance of the Hours”, Schubert’s’ “ Unfinished symphony” and ‘The anvil chorus’ by Verdi. The popular orchestral items include such pieces as “Take 5”, movie music from Harry Potter and a fun version of “Tequila”. The orchestra comprises young musicians from all around KZN province. The organisers advise that the hour long concert will be played by the 40 piece ‘A’ orchestra but a couple of pieces will include their feeder Shadow orchestra members as well. The conductors are Lykele Temmingh and Cathy Peacock. Tickets are R150 and include some delicious snacks. There is a cash bar. Patrons are encouraged to get to the concert early in order to partake of the drinks and snacks. Bookings are through


And looking ahead, more enticing engagements are on the horizon when pianist Christopher Duigan renews ties with the popular Spanish saxophonist, David Salleras. They will be performing as part of the monthly concerts series as promoted by Music Revival on Tuesday 26 June at St Agnes Church in, Kloof, on Friday  29 June at Duigan’s  home studio Casa Mexicana in Pietermaritzburg  and on  Sunday 1 July at the Tatham Art Gallery (11h30) also in Pietermaritzburg,  and  with baritone Federico Freschi  for Friends of Music on Tuesday 3 July at the Durban Jewish Centre. Full details of these events will be included in the next edition of this column. Meanwhile, readers can log onto 

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