KZNPO’S thrilling 2019 Summer Season

Violinist Alexander Gilman


The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (KZNPO) proudly announces details of its four-concert 2019 Summer Season. This runs in the Durban City Hall every Thursday from 14 February to 7 March, each concert starting at 19h30. The season continues to uphold the tradition of the acclaimed World Symphony Series (WSS), which launched in Durban 23 years ago.


“We are proud to launch our 2019 World Symphony Series this Summer Season with a spectacular line-up of international talent on our roster, who will join us in taking the experience of concert going for our audience to a new level,” says KZNPO Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Bongani Tembe.


“We welcome our dedicated subscribers back to the Durban City Hall, as we do those enthusiasts who prefer to cherry pick their musical outings from the season’s line-up. Our finely curated programmes include a judicious mix of well-loved pieces along with some enticing but less familiar masterworks, which you are sure to enjoy discovering!”


The acclaimed young Cape Town conductor Brandon Phillips launches the season on 14 February, opening his programme with Glinka’s dashing Overture to his opera, Russlan and Lyudmila. This will be followed by an exciting debut from one of Europe’s frontline new generation stars, the acclaimed young soloist Alexander Gilmann, who will give a rare account of Erich Korngold’s dazzling 1947 Violin Concerto. Two contrasting works by Sir Edward Elgar take up the second half of the evening, his rarely performed Froissart Concert Overture, and his ever welcome Enigma Variations.


Bernhard Güller takes the KZNPO podium for the second concert of the season on 21 February. This opens with two Olympian works written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The magnificent Overture to his last opera, Die Zauberflöte, and his Jupiter Symphony, completed in 1788. ‘After intermission, the acclaimed Indian-American pianist Pallavi Mahidhara, a longstanding favourite with Durban audiences, takes on the challenges of Brahms’s powerfully evocative B flat Major Piano Concerto.

Conductor Brandon Phillips


After an absence of some years, Russian-born Victor Yampolsky returns to the KZNPO podium on 28 February to delight his audience with a stirring programme made up of Robert Schumann’s much-loved Fourth Symphony, followed by a selection of operatic show-stoppers in the second half. This opens with Richard Wagner’s resplendid Overture to his three-act Romantic masterwork, Tannhäuser. After this, Cape-Town-trained soprano Cecilia Rangwanasha, winner of the 2018 UNISA International Singing Competition, steps into the spotlight as the evening’s soloist to launch her contribution to the evening’s programme with another item from this famous opera, the ecstatic  “Dich teure halle”, popularly known as  ‘Elisabeth’s Greeting’. Leavening the ‘big-gun’ content of the programme with some Italian melodrama, the heart-rending Intermezzo from Mascagni’s hugely popular one-acter, Cavalleria Rusticana, paves the way for another operatic tear-jerker – ‘Ebben ne andro lontana’ from Alfredo Catalani's brooding, verismo opera, La Wally. And what better way to round off the evening than with two items from one of Giuseppe Verdi’s most thrilling masterpieces, the Overture and the soprano solo, ‘Pace, pace mio Dio’ from La Forza del Destino, an experience sure to send Durban’s audience home on a high.


Daniel Boico, KZNPO’S dynamic Israeli-American Associate Guest Conductor, is at the helm for the last programme of the season on 7 March, opening with Grieg’s ever popular Peer Gynt Suite No 1, followed by a performance of the same composer’s celebrated Piano Concerto in A minor, with Russian virtuoso Olga Kern in the spotlight. Dvořák’s rarely heard Symphony No 1 in C minor, a youthful work bursting with youthful vigor evocative of Beethoven and Mendelssohn promises to end the season on a high.


Season tickets for the KZN Philharmonic’s World Symphony Series 2019 Summer Season are available through Computicket. Call 0861 915 8000 or book online at  For more information visit, email or call 031-369 9438 (office hours).


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