Pianist Anna Dmytrenko is the soloist for the first concert on February 22
Pianist Anna Dmytrenko is the soloist for the first concert on February 22
The KZN Philharmonic in front of Durban's City Hall. Picture: Val Adamson
The KZN Philharmonic in front of Durban's City Hall. Picture: Val Adamson

Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra has an exciting four-week programme lined up for its Summer Season which runs in the Playhouse Opera Theatre between February 22 and March 15

Bongani Tembe, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of both KwaZulu-Natal and Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestras, said: “I am delighted we can attract the finest international conductors and soloists to our concerts, along with leading South African artists.”

For the opening concert on 22 February, Israeli-American conductor Daniel Boico returns with a blockbuster programme that includes Liszt’s Les Préludes, Saint-Saëns’s dazzling Piano Concerto No 2 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 4. Often referred to as the  Russian composer’s ‘Fate symphony’, it bears fascinating synergistic aspirations to Beethoven’s Fifth. Acclaimed young Ukrainian Anna Dmytrenko is at the keyboard.

Canadian-Caribbean conductor Kwamé Ryan returns on March 1 with a programme of French classics. Gabriel Fauré created his Masques et Bergamasques Suite as a musical homage to the world of the 18th century fêtes galantes.

Soloist Liesl Stoltz performs two short works for flute and orchestra. Cécile Chaminade's 1902 one-movement Flute Concertino in D major has a highly decorative solo part, followed by François Borne’s Fantaisie brillante, based on themes from Bizet’s opera Carmen. The concert includes Claude Debussy Prelude a L’apres-midi d’un fauneby and concludes with the Symphony in D minor by César Franck.

Dutch maestro Arjan Tien conducts the final two concerts of our summer season. The first  on March 8, features two Beethoven masterworks, his Violin Concerto, and the Symphony No 3 ‘Eroica’. The great German composer’s only violin concerto is sometimes dubbed his ‘Everest’. The work’s premier by Franz Clement in 1806 was unsuccessful and the piece languished in obscurity, until revived in 1844 by Joseph Joachim. Since then it has become one of the best-known violin concertos. Soloist, Daniel Röhn, is no stranger to the work.

Beethoven dedicated his Third Symphony to his friend and patron, Prince Lobkowitz. It was originally conceived to honour the French general, Napoleon Bonaparte, whose rise to fame the composer had followed with admiration and interest. Beethoven wrote to his publisher in August 1804 telling him he was naming the work, ‘Bonaparte’, but was subsequently enraged when Napoleon betrayed his revolutionary ideals by declaring himself Emperor of France. He tore the original title page from his score, renaming it Sinfonia eroica.  

Tien closes the season to on March 15 with a dynamic programme that includes Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni Overture before father-and-son duo, Max Baillie (violin) and Alexander Baillie (cello), perform Brahms’s A minor Double Concerto. Sibelius’s Second Symphony concludes the evening.

Pre-concert lectures will be held at the Alhambra Room in the Playhouse from 6pm to 6.40pm preceding the concert. Cost is R15. Speakers include pianist Andrew Warburton, Ted Brien and Dr Teddy Pillay

The public can join the orchestra for the final rehearsal at 10am on the Thursday in the Playhouse Opera. Entrance s R35 adults/ R15 for scholars, which includes a cup of tea or coffee during the interval.

Concerts are in the Playhouse Opera at 7.30pm. Booking through Computicket at 0861 915 8000 or online at www.computicket.com. For more information call the Playhouse boxoffice at 031 369 9438