KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsKwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra
Where? 29 Acutt Street, Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
How? Call +27 (0)31 369-9438
The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (or KZNPO) is a testimony to the talent and art that emanates from a country that has a deep and poignant heritage, as it produces music to soothe, educate, stir up and entertain. The KZNPO is a professional orchestra that was established in 1983. Back then, it was called the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra. It has always been situated in the tourist and urban hotspot of Durban.
This orchestra is recognised by many professionals and music enthusiasts the world over as the premier orchestra on the continent. This is, no doubt, for a few reasons. The KZNPO has been running successfully for more than three decades, delighting generations of South Africans and international visitors that appreciate the finer things in life. Mr Bongani Tembe is the Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the orchestra, and aptly so as he was trained at the acclaimed Julliard School, from where he graduated. He joined the team in 1994, when apartheid was being ousted and the Rainbow Nation proudly established.
Another possible reason for the success and global acclaim that the KZNPO enjoys is its multi-faceted members, all of which have superior training and qualifications. There are 70 full-time professional musicians that make up the bulk of the orchestra. These ones come from more than 20 countries around the world, injecting an international air into the performances.
The orchestra is committed to using its position and the power of its performances in educating the community and playing their part in improving the lives of other South Africans. As a result, the orchestra is part of a number of community projects and initiatives. This gives those in the communities the unique opportunities to interact with artists and performers of a different kind. The KZNPO visits the eThekwini schools, making direct contact with more than 30 000 learners every year.
The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra receives financial aid from a number of official bodies. These comprise the eThekwini Municipality, South African Department of Arts and Culture, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Department of Arts and Culture, the South African National Lottery, the National Arts Council of South Africa, and the Rupert Music Foundation. In addition, there are a number of individual donors that have this organisation and its initiatives at heart.
Local South Africans and tourists to this magnificent country can look forward to three annual symphony seasons. To date, these have showcased the likes of Lynn Harrell, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Elizabeth Connell, James Galway, Shlomo Mintz, Vadim Repin, Joanna MacGregor, Renée Fleming, Andrey Boreyko, Sarah Chang and Joshua Bell. However, these are just the foreign stars. There are also a host of South African gems that are given their global platform through this orchestra.
Durban is home to the King Shaka International Airport, which is the gateway into South Africa for millions of international visitors every year. There are also many historical, cultural, culinary and natural attractions here that continue to lure guests back year after year.