Spring season and a celebration

The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, based in Durban.


THE opening concert of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra’s Spring Symphony Season, on October 19 at the Durban City Hall, will be a special one for resident conductor Lykele Temmingh.

The concert will be a celebration marking the Netherlands-born, South African-raised musician’s 30th year as a KZN Philharmonic conductor.

After completing his B.Mus (Performers) at the University of Stellenbosch, Temmingh began his career as a violinist with orchestras in Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Durban. He joined the second-violin section of the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra during its inaugural season in 1983 and was later appointed co-principal of the section.

In 1991 he was appointed as the orchestra’s assistant conductor. In the same year he was the recipient of the SAA Performing Arts’ Award for his services to music.

As assistant conductor, and as a freelance conductor, Temmingh has conducted a wide range of music: educational programmes, symphony concerts, outdoor popular programmes, major choral works, opera and ballet. The numerous musicals he has conducted include The Sound of Music, Showboat, Evita, Oliver, Annie and The Wizard of Oz.

Conductor Lykele Temmingh will be celebrating his 30th year with the KZNPO this month.

Now, as resident conductor of the KZN Philharmonic, Temmingh appears regularly on the orchestra’s concert podium.

In 2004 he proudly accepted the role of selector and conductor of the National Youth Concerto Festival. Temmingh was appointed artistic director and conductor of the KZN Youth Orchestra in 2006.

The orchestra’s spring season continues until November 16, and includes a performance in Johannesburg to perform alongside the Johannesburg Philharmonic in concerts on October 25 and 26 at the Linder Auditorium.

The spring season features top South African and international musicians in an eclectic programme of music.

“We are committed to bringing the highest quality symphony concerts to Durban, thereby enriching the city and province through music,” says Bongani Tembe, chief executive and artistic director of the KZN Philharmonic.

Talent on the bill will include one of the best cellists in the world, Zuill Bailey; the multi-award-winning violinist Rafał Zambrzycki-Payne; Ukrainian-American pianist Valentina Lisitsa, whose videos on social media have attracted more than 50 million views; and, the orchestra’s co-principal cellist, Aristide du Plessis, says Tembe.

The season opens on October 19 with Lykele Temmingh on the podium in a programme featuring three works – Emil von Reznícek’s Donna Diana Overture, Antonín Dvorák’s Cello Concerto in B minor, and Saint-Saëns Symphony No 3 in C minor, Op. 78 (Organ). The soloist will be Grammy Award-winning American cellist Zuill Bailey.   

There is no concert the following week, on October 26, as the KZN Philharmonic will be performing in Johannesburg as part of their commitment to working with the JPO, performing two concerts.

The second Durban concert will take place on November 2, under the baton of  German maestro Justus Frantz. The programme will be devoted to tragically short-lived giants of the early Viennese school – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) and Franz Schubert (1797-1828). Performing Mozart’s A Major Concerto will be violinist Rafał Zambrzycki-Payne, the winner of numerous prizes, including the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition.

The November 9 concert will feature Smetana’s Má Vlast/My Country, a set of six symphonic poems composed between 1874 and 1879; Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor ; and Dvorák’s Ninth Symphony. Soloist is YouTube sensation, Ukrainian-American Valentina Lisitsa.

The spring Season ends on November 16 with a concert celebrating cello and voice, conducted by Daniel Boico.  Rossini’s Semiramide Overture opens the programme. One of the two featured pieces is Camille Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in a minor.  It offers a solo platform for the KZN Philharmonic’s Associate Principal Cellist, Aristide du Plessis.

Grammy Award-winning American cellist Zuill Bailey – who will be guest soloist at the October 19 concert.

Haydn’s masterwork and paean to nature, The Creation, will be performed by a stellar line-up of vocalists, and the Clermont Community Choir which celebrates its 25th anniversary with the orchestra.

Refreshments and light snacks may be bought in the foyer before the concert and during interval. Single tickets are available from www.computicket.com, 0861 915 8000, or from Shoprite Checkers Money Market counters. It is cheaper to subscribe – for subscriptions contact 031 3699438.

The morning rehearsals for the early Spring Symphony Season concerts are open to the public and provide a glimpse into the preparation needed for a symphony concert.

These are held at 10am every Thursday in the Durban City Hall. Entrance for adults is R30 (R10 for students) which includes a cup of tea or coffee during the interval.

The final rehearsal is the perfect opportunity to introduce students to symphony concerts and also provides great outings for community groups and retirement homes.

Contact the KZN Philharmonic to enquire about special rates and to make arrangements for groups. Contact bookings@kznphil.org.za or call the bookings office on 031 369 9438.

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