Frontline KZN pianists and a feast of symphonic classics feature in the weeks ahead.
Pianist Andrew Warburton gives his PHD recital at UKZN’s Howard College Theatre on Friday 24 August (photo by Val Adamson)
The UKZN School of Arts, Discipline of Music presents a red letter event at Howard College Theatre on Friday 24 August. Durban’s star pianist Andrew Warburton gives his long-awaited PHD recital, performing an epic programme of concert show-stoppers. This includes a group of late Beethoven masterworks, the Bagatelles Op 126 and the profoundly beautiful Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Opus 109. This will be followed by Ravel’s Sonatine and Alborado del gracioso, the fourth movement from his powerfully poetic and vividly descriptive five-movement piano suite, Miroirs. The evening climaxes with the barn-storming Allegro de concierto by Enrique Granados, the bravura showpiece the Spanish composer submitted for a composition competition of the Royal Conservatory in Madrid in 1903. Admission is free to this not-to-be-missed event, which starts at 7.30pm. Enquiries to Thulile Zama on 031 260 3385 or email email@example.com.
Also on the solo piano front, KZN audiences can enjoy Christopher Duigan performing a programme of music by the ultimate piano virtuoso, Franz Liszt. Duigan’s programme includes a stellar selection of celebrated compositions, including the popular Liebestraum, La campanella, Hungarian Rhapsody No 2, and Un sospiro, in an engaging introduction to the life and music of the great Hungarian composer. Duigan’s recital itinerary includes performances in a number of venues, among them Grace Hall, Ashton International College, Albertina Way in Ballito on Wednesday 22 August at 7pm; the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 26 August at 3pm; and St Agnes Church in Kloof on Tuesday 28 August at 7.30pm. Book at firstname.lastname@example.org or 083 417 4473 (SMS or WhatsApp preferred).
The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra’s Early Spring Season runs in the Durban City Hall each Thursday between 23 August and 13 September, starting at 7.30pm. The young Hong Kong-born conductor Perry So opens the season with a programme that includes Mozart’s colourful Il Seraglio Overture and his iconic Symphony No 40 in G minor. The Italian virtuoso Alessandro Taverna is the soloist in Chopin’s Piano Concerto No 1 in E minor in the second half of the programme.
Perry So conducts the first two concerts of the KZNPO’s Spring Season in the Durban City Hall this month
Perry So returns for the second programme on 30 August. This opens with the delightfully off-beat L’ile de Tulipatan Overture by Jacques Offenbach. The prizewinning young German violinist Alissa Margulis is the soloist in Mendelssohn’s much-loved E-minor Violin Concerto and the evening ends with Brahms’s monumental Symphony No 1.
Acclaimed Russian maestro Daniel Raiskin makes a welcome return to the podium on 6 September to conduct a richly eclectic programme. This includes Richard Strauss’s early concert masterpiece, Don Juan; Liszt’s dazzling Piano Concerto No 2 (spotlighting Vitaly Pisarenko a soloist); and Smetana’s evocative The Moldau.
The programme rounds off with the fascinating inclusion of Warren Bessey’s Symphonic Fantasy, Inkosazane Mkabayi. This 25-minute work focuses on one of the most powerful figures in 19th Century Zulu history – King Shaka’s formidable aunt, the Princess Mkabayi Kajama – whose dramatic entrance into life foreshadowed not only the shape of her own destiny but also that of the Zulu nation. She is remembered as a highly intelligent leader and fierce defender of the Royal Household.
The KZNPO’s early spring season ends in traditional style on 13 September with Lykele Temmingh on the podium for the annual National Youth Concerto Festival. As ever, this showcases the cream of young South African talent performing with seasoned professionals. This year’s event is dedicated to the memory of the Orchestra’s founding conductor, Dr David Tidboald, who died recently at the grand old age of 92, having spent a lifetime dedicated to fostering the careers of young musicians.
Season tickets and bookings for individual KZNPO concerts are through Computicket. For more information call 031-369 9438, email email@example.com or visit www.kznphil.org.za.