Classical music fans are in for treat at this year’s Hilton Arts Festival

Christopher Duigan

Christopher Duigan

CLASSICAL music fans will be spoilt for choice at the Hilton Arts Festival, which runs from September 15 to 17 at Hilton College.

The weekend’s music will start with Sundowner Classics, featuring the talented young musicians of the KZN Youth Orchestra. They will be performing in the Falcon tent at 6.30 pm on Friday, September 15.

The programme includes as the Swan Lake Theme, the chorus of the Hebrew Slaves and ‘Eine Kleine Nacht Music’ from composers JS Bach, Mozart and Tchaikovsky.

Grant Bell of the Gee Jays fame will then join the orchestra to sing pop and jazz classics including What a Wonderful World, Yesterday, Sway, Doobee Doo and New York, New York.

The 50-piece orchestra consists of young musicians from all around KwaZulu-Natal. They are aged between 12 and 22.

Earlier this year they performed a side-by-side concert with the KZNPO and Natalie Rungan and had a sold out concert with the Drakensberg Boys Choir at the Music in the Mountains Festival in April.

The orchestra is conducted by Lyk Temmingh and Cathy Peacock. Tickets are R130.

‘Maritzburg’s very own Christopher Duigan will be playing an exhilarating programme of his favourite classical piano masterpieces at 10 am on Saturday, September 16 in the Chapel.

These uplifting and positive compositions have formed a major part of his repertoire over the past 20 years under the banner of Music Revival.

Established in October 1997, Music Revival has grown from a series of small intimate concerts to a highly regarded series of more than 100 concerts presented across South Africa.

The programme will include George Frederic Handel’s Chaconne in G HWV 435, Ludwig van Beethoven’s exhilarating “Waldstein” Sonata op 53, music by Claude Debussy “Reflets dans l’eau” (Reflections in the water) and the “Heroic” Polonaise in A-flat Op 53 by Frederic Chopin. Tickets are R150.

Andrew Warburton

Andrew Warburton.

In Piano, Violin and Horn: Music for Spring by two Titans of the Romantic era, concert pianist Andrew Warburton and KZN Philharmonic Orchestra musicians, Violeta and Sorin Osorhean, will perform works from the solo and chamber repertoire.

Warburton opens the concert with Beethoven’s set of 6 Bagatelles Op.126 for piano. Originally a ‘bagatelle” was a short character piece for piano based on folkloristic roots, but the pianist paints a far richer canvas in these pieces.

The concert, which takes place in the Chapel at 2 pm on Saturday, September 16, includes Beethoven’s much loved “Spring” sonata for Violin and Piano, Op.24, and Brahms’ Trio for Piano, Violin and Horn Op. 40.

Both Violeta and Sorin Osorhean grew up in Romania. They relocated to Durban in 2005 to take up leading positions in the KZN Philharmonic. Warburton has played concertos with every South African orchestra since 1982. He lectures piano, and heads Western Classical Performance Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Tickets for the concert are R120.

Sandile and Lara

Sandile Mabaso and Lara Kirsten.

At 5 pm on Saturday, September 16, the Chapel will play host to Sandile Mabaso (tenor) and Lara Kirsten (pianist). Together they will perform A Poet’s Love: Dichterlieber, uThando lweMbongi.

The recital programme consists of beautiful German art songs composed by Schubert, Beethoven and Schumann. Mabaso will be singing the songs in German. Tickets are R100.

Following their acclaimed, sold-out performances at the eighth Wakkerstroom Music Festival in Mpumalanga earlier this year, pianists, Carin van Graan and Chanie Jonker, bring their programme of Johannes Brahms’s (1833-1897) beautiful Waltzes and Hungarian Dances to the Hilton Arts Festival at 9.30 am on Sunday, September 17.

Brahms referred to the 16 Waltzes as “innocent little waltzes in the style of Schubert”. They are mostly in a Viennese or Austrian vein, but some have a slightly more Hungarian feel. The Hungarian Dances are based on gypsy themes and are among Brahms’ most popular works. Tickets are R120.

Duigan returns to the Chapel at 11.30 am on Sunday, September 17 for Songs My Mother Taught Me.

For this concert he turns his hand to a selection of light classics that evokes a bygone world of nostalgia, often associated with salon music and evenings round the family piano.

The programme will include Beethoven’s ‘Minuet in G’, Brahms’s ‘Waltz in A-flat’, Dvorak’s ‘Humoresque’, Rubenstein’s ‘Melody in F’ and ‘The Maiden’s Prayer’. Tickets are R150.

To book your seats for any of these concerts go to


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s