Share this article

The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra will be celebrating Gustav Mahler, Amadeus Mozart and other musical geniuses in its first season of 2011 next month.

Joburg residents will be treated to a musical extravaganza when the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO) performs two of Gustav Mahler’s symphonies to commemorate his death 100 years ago.


NataliaRussian pianist Natalia LavrovaBoth works will form part of the JPO’s first and second season of symphony concerts for the year which starts on Wednesday, 9 February. All the concerts will be on Wednesday and Thursday at the Linder Auditorium in Parktown with selected programmes being repeated at Unisa’s ZK Matthews Hall in Pretoria on Sunday afternoons.

The JPO will start the first season of the 2011 line-up with Rossini’s Semiramide: Overture and Mozart’s Symphony No. 36, K.425 in C major (Linz). Highly acclaimed English pianist Michael Roll will play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 58 in G major.  The repeat of this programme will be on Sunday, 13 February at Unisa’s ZK Matthews Hall in Pretoria.

Emil Tabakov, the award-wining Bulgarian conductor, composer and double bass player, will lead the JPO and soloists for the first three weeks of the season. Tabakov has been a guest conductor in over seven countries and works with a variety of styles featuring classical, romantic and contemporary genres.

On Wednesday, 16 and Thursday, 17 February classical music lovers will be treated to the performance of another Mozart composition, The Impresario Overture, K486, together with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4, Op. 60 in B-flat major. The 25-year-old Belorussian cellist and winner of the Unisa International String Competition, Georgi Anichenko, will perform Haydn’s Cello Concerto, Hob. V11b:2 in D major.

On Wednesday, 23 and Thursday, 24 February the audience will get a taste of Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture, Saint-Saens Introduction & Rondo capriccioso, Op. 28, and Rimsky Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol, Op. 34. Highly decorated Bulgarian violinist Svetlin Roussev will make a special appearance to perform Ravel’s Tzigane, Rapsodie de Concert for Violin & Ochestra. The repeat of this performance will be on Sunday, 27 February at the ZK Matthews Hall in Pretoria will start.

The JPO’s principal guest conductor, Bernhard Gueller, will take over the conductorship on 2 and 3 March for the rest of the season. Russian pianist Natalia Lavrova will join the JPO to play Mozart’s Piano Concerto, No. 9, K.271 in E-flat major (Jeunehomme). Respighi’s Antiche danze ed arie (Ancient Airs and Dances) Suite 1, and Bizet’s Symphony No. 1 in C major will feature in the concerts.
Winner of the 2009 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, Taiwanese pianist Chin-Yun Hu will appear with the JPO on 9 and 10 March and in Pretoria on 13 March to perform Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto, No. 1, Op. 23 in B-flat minor.  This performance will include Liadov’s Eight Russian Folk Songs, Op. 58, and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 6, Op. 60 in D major.

The final performances of the first season will be on 16 and 17 March when Kelebogile Boikanyo, a young soprano who recently appeared in Opera Africa’s La Boheme and La Traviata and will be featured in the upcoming production of Carmen, sings Das himmlische Leben from Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 in G major. The JPO will also perform the Nachtgesang, Prelude and Liebestod from Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde.

The Wednesday and Thursday night shows at the Linder Auditorium will start at 8pm and the Sunday concerts at Unisa’s ZK Matthews Hall will start at 3pm. Entrance fees range from R135 to R220 per person. Tickets are available at Computicket or at the door. For more information, call 011 789 2733, email or visit
Related stories: 

On Wings of Song
Dance Umbrella seeks funder
JPO scholarships open
Romantic start to spring season
Donations boost ballet group