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KZN Philharmonic’s 2024 Winter Season

… with a spectacular roster of classical music luminaries

The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2024 Winter Season, featuring a spectacular roster of classical music luminaries, takes place in The Playhouse Opera every Thursday from June 6 to June 27, with each World Symphony Series concert starting at 19h00.

Bongani Tembe, KZN Philharmonic’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director, says: “We are delighted to invite our special community of music lovers to join us for our four-concert Winter Symphony Season of 2024, and pick up on the grand traditions of our long-running World Symphony Series in which celebrated guest stars join our dedicated orchestral musicians in creating many hours of musical enchantment.

“The season dovetails with our continued commitment to community engagement and skills transfer among new-generation artists and learners,” he adds.

Cape Town conductor Brandon Phillips returned to the KZNPO podium to open the season on June 6. His curtain-raiser, Haydn’s high-energy Symphony No. 59, dubbed the ‘Fire Symphony’, delighted concertgoers. Making his local debut, the distinguished Czech pianist Jan Bartoš – lauded by BBC Music Magazine as ‘an ideal interpreter, providing abundant brilliance without sacrificing poetry’ – took centre-stage in a performance of Mendelssohn’s bravura Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor. Beethoven’s towering Fifth Symphony, one of the cornerstones of western music, brought the evening to a rousing climax in the second half of the concert.

Japanese maestro Yasuo Shinozaki, a longstanding favourite with KZN Philharmonic audiences, takes the podium for the second concert of the season on 13 June. In the first half of his programme, he shares the spotlight with Durban-born, US based lyric soprano Bronwyn Forbay, in a compilation of favourites by Bizet, Gounod, Faurė and Cilea. Forbay’s legions of fans will be delighted to welcome her ‘back home’ – especially to perform a selection of arias superbly suited to her lovely voice. Tchaikovsky’s five-movement Symphony No 3 will round off the evening on a high note.

SA-based Israeli American conductor Daniel Boico appears for the third concert of the season on June 20 with a programme that opens with Sir Edward Elgar’s much-loved Serenade for Strings. The celebrated American oboist James Austin Smith appears as soloist in Richard Strauss’s Oboe Concerto. Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony, regarded by many critics as among the greatest symphonies in classical music, will bring the evening to a close.

The Russian-born maestro Daniel Raiskin will be on the podium for the closing concert of the season on June 27 with an eclectic programme that opens with the rarely heard Concert Overture by the Swedish composer Elfrieda Andrėe (1841–1929). South African pianist Ben Schoeman appears as a soloist in Beethoven’s richly nuanced Piano Concerto No. 4.

Best known for his Peer Gynt and Holberg Suites and his iconic A minor piano concerto, Edvard Grieg’s rarely performed Symphony in C minor, which closes the programme, is a work of considerable mystique and vast sonic contrasts. It may well prove to be the revelation of the season.

Single Tickets are available at Quicket and Season Tickets are available through the KZN Philharmonic Offices by emailing info@kznphil.org.za or calling 031 369 9843. For more information call 031-369 9438, email info@kznphil.org.za or visit www.kznphil.org.za

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