AKA and Durban’s KZNPO

AKA (in white shirt) with KZN Philharmonic musicians Simiso Radebe (first violin), Ayanda Makulwane (cello), Siyolise Nyondo (double-bass) and Sue Phil Petersen (2nd violin). Picture by Val Adamson.


THE worlds of hip-hop and classical music will meet on Saturday, November 2, in a concert teaming the talents of recording artist AKA and musicians of the KZN Philharmonic.

The event, scheduled for Durban’s ICC Arena, follows AKA’S successful show with the same orchestra in March, at the Sun Arena Times Square, Menlyn.

The AKA Orchestra, as the event is billed, will see the popular South African rapper, songwriter, record producer, singer and entrepreneur performing his greatest hits. Surprise special guests are also planned, says a spokesman. Doors open at 4pm and no under-18s are permitted to attend.

“Teaming up with Durban’s very own Afrotainment and urban events promoter Vertex Events, AKA will masterfully bring the worlds of hip hop and classic music with the talents of the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra which is widely regarded as one of Africa’s premier orchestras,” adds the spokesman.

German maestro Wolfram Christ returns to the Durban City Hall podium to launch the KZN Philharmonics’s Spring Symphony season tonight (October 31). Picture by Reiner Pfisterer.

Says Cape Town-born AKA, whose real name is Kiernan Jarryd Forbes : “I am excited to be bringing my Orchestra Show to eThekwini. This is my favourite city in the world to perform in. I love the energy of the people – they show love and it’s so easy to reciprocate.”

Tickets are available at Computicket outlets.

Meanwhille, the KZN Philharmonic’s Spring Symphony Season at the Durban City Hall starts tonight (October 31) and runs until November 21. All performances are at The Durban City Hall at 7.30pm on Thursdays.

“As we usher in our exciting spring season programme, we encourage all our loyal supporters to introduce new friends, family members, peers and associates to the wonderful experience of sharing great music with each other”, says Bongani Tembe, the orchestra’s chief executive and artistic director.

“The city of Durban is blessed with the finest acoustic venue in this country. The KZN Philharmonic is proud to have the iconic City Hall’s spacious facilities as our main-stage concert platform, enabling us to present many of the world’s leading musicians for the delight of our audience.”

Celebrated German maestro Wolfram Christ returns to the podium to launch the season today (October 31). An evening of Mozart concert gems opens with Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, one of the best-loved of all classical compositions.

The programme’s centrepiece is the Violin Concerto No 5 in A Major. Performed by Avigail Bushakevitz, its popular ‘Turkish’ soubriquet derives from the exotic middle section of its third movement. Symphony No 39 K543 in E-flat, one of the trilogy of works that crowned the great Austrian composer’s symphonic oeuvre in 1788, concludes the programme.

Violinist Avigail Bushakevitz.

Daniel Boico takes the podium for the second concert of the season on  November 8, with a boldly curated programme. This juxtaposes Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in E Flat, spotlighting young British virtuoso Matilda Lloyd as soloist, against an eclectic mix of choral highlights which showcase the golden sounds of some of Durban’s leading choirs.

Joining forces with each other, the Clermont Community Choir, Durban Symphonic Choir; SA Singers, and Joyful Sounds perform a selection of music by Handel, Haydn and Mendelssohn, alongside select musical highlights by acclaimed home grown composers such as Koapeng, Sibisi, Moerane and Hofmeyr.

Roderick Cox makes his bow on November 14.  The young, German-based American conductor opens his programme with Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin.

Durban concert-goers will then be introduced to one of the most gifted young pianists to come out of Russia in decades, when the multi-award-winning Dmitry Shishkin takes centre-stage to perform Tchaikovsky’s B-flat minor Piano Concerto. After intermission, Brahms’s Symphony No 4 brings the evening to a close.

Rounding off the season on November 21, conductor Conrad van Alphen opens his programme on a celebratory note with Dvořák’s Carnival Overture. Chopin’s Piano Concerto No 2 in F minor heralds the arrival on  Durban’s concert scene of South African pianist, Megan-Geoffrey Prins, this year’s Standard Bank Young Artist for Music, and the evening closes on a high with Dvořák’s New World Symphony.

Season tickets and bookings for individual concerts in the KZN Philharmonic’s Spring Symphony Season are available at Computicket outlets.

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