Book Now: Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s Summer Symphony Season 2024

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The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO) is back with their Summer Symphony Season for 2024, running from 22 February to 14 March.

This four-week classical music event in Johannesburg once again promises a fresh lineup of internationally acclaimed conductors and soloists, familiar faces and exciting debut performers.   

This year the musical programme leans heavily on iconic German and Slavic works, as well as well-respected compositions by Grieg, Saint-Saens and more

Here is the full season lineup not to be missed:

Summer Symphony Season
Benedict Kloeckner and Talia Ilan

Week 1

Keen to deepen your understanding of classical music? Discover one of the most elemental and magical incidental music ever written with Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Opus 21. One of chamber music’s leading next-generation cellists, Benedict Kloeckner is in Johannesburg for a live cello performance. Kloeckner reimagines the romantic Concerto in B minor by Dvořák which is widely regarded as a treasured work of the cello literature.

Also on the programme is Schumann’s Symphony No. 3, Op. 97 in E-flat Major which is heavily influenced by the composer’s fascination with the Rhine River in Germany. It’s an elegant work that evokes elements of fantasy, joy and a touch of darkness. 

Guest conductor for this evening is Tana Ilan, who has led many Israeli orchestras and devotes her time to in-depth research about women composers, as well as the forgotten treasures of their compositions.

Cost: R170pp, book via Quicket

When: Thursday, 22 February at 7:30pm
Where: Linder Auditorium, 27 St Andrews Road, Parktown, Johannesburg

Emmanuel Siffert and Jan Gottlieb Jiracek von Arnim

Week 2

What makes the headline performance of Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin so special is that each of the pieces is a musical vignette of friends he lost during the First World War. Eminent pianist Jan Jiracek von Arnim will perform his interpretation of the work on Thursday, 29 February. The German-born soloist was described by BBC Music Magazine as one of the leading pianists of his generation and won the first prize at the Steinway Competition in Hamburg at the tender age of ten. 

Also on the programme is the Piano Concerto No. 23, K.488 in A Major by Mozart with timeless sounds that feel both ancient and completely modern at the same time.

Swiss conductor Emmanuel Siffert is coming to Johannesburg and will lead the orchestra for one of Tchaikovsky’s more familiar works, the bold and optimistic Symphony No. 2, Op. 17 in c minor which for the most part is built on Ukrainian folk music

Siffert currently holds the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director role at the National Chamber Orchestra of Chile in Santiago. As a ballet conductor, he worked with the English National Ballet, Royal Ballet Covent Garden, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Ballet St.-Gallen, and the National Ballet of Ecuador, among others.

Cost: R170pp, book via Quicket

When: Thursday, 29 February at 7:30pm
Where: Linder Auditorium, 27 St Andrews Road, Parktown, Johannesburg

Hyeyoon Park and Bernhard Gueller

Week 3

Conductor Bernhard Gueller needs no introduction. As principal guest conductor of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and a regular fixture for Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s Symphony Season concerts, Gueller is renowned for his profoundly energetic interpretations on the podium.

Violinist, Hyeyoon Park from Seoul, is bringing her signature panache and impeccable talent to Tschaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, Op. 35 in D Major, the only violin concerto ever written by the Russian composer. Expect a show a joy and a euphoria.

The Holberg Suite, Op. 40 by Edvard Grieg is bound to mellow guests with mildly romantic harmonies for a confident introduction to 18th-century music styles. To round out the concert, Schumann brings some lightness, optimism and cheerfulness to the evening with Symphony No. 5, D. 485 in B-flat Major. The work serves as an antidot to the composer’s short and tragic life that was riddled with sickness, disappointment, and suffering of different degrees.

Cost: R170pp, book via Quicket

When: Thursday, 7 March at 7:30pm
Where: Linder Auditorium, 27 St Andrews Road, Parktown, Johannesburg

Daniel Boico, Nina Schumann, and Megan-Geoffrey Prins

Week 4

Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s Summer Symphony Season cannot conclude without conductor Daniel Boico gracing the podium. Described by critics as ‘Dynamic, vigorous, exciting and imaginative – an undisputed star who combines magnetic charisma with a skilled technique’ Boico is the Artistic Director and CEO designate of the Free State Symphony Orchestra and a regular collaborator with JPO’s concerts.

Chamber music highlights for the evening include Saint-Saëns’ Le Carnaval des Animaux (The Carnival of Animals) which is a tour de force of classic composition that creates imagery through music.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s lavish use of wind instruments alongside cinematic strings for Symphony No. 38, K.504 in D Major comes heavily influenced by the ancient city of Prague. Following in the Bohemian vein is Czech Suite, Op. 39 in D Major by Dvořák. The work is made up of five movements, three of which are traditional Czech dances, and two are descriptive of the Bohemian countryside which inspired much of Dvořák’s music.

Visiting soloists for the evening are Nina Schumann and Megan-Geoffrey Prins. Schumann was born into a musical family and has over 140 concerto performances with orchestras in South Africa, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Armenia and the U.S.A. to her credit, and some 40 concertos in her repertoire.

Prins hails from Riversdale in the Western Cape and has featured in many local and international piano competitions and currently serves as a full-time piano lecturer on the faculty of the University of Pretoria.

Cost: R170pp, book via Quicket

When: Thursday, 14 March at 7:30pm
Where: Linder Auditorium, 27 St Andrews Road, Parktown, Johannesburg

Arrive early for the informative Pre-Concert Talks 

Plan your evening carefully and be sure to join the Pre-Concert Talks that run before each concert at 6:30pm. Deano Maduramuthu, previously from the Morning Drive on Classic 1027 hosts an informative and engaging way to learn about the music before your concert. 

The talks touch on music theory, guided listening and the program’s historical and cultural context. Entrance to the talks is free and all patrons are welcome.   

27 Degrees restaurant right next to Linder Auditorium serves dinner from 5pm and secure and convenient parking is available. 

Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra

More about JPO

The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO) is a not-for-profit company that is invested in identifying and nurturing local talent and skills in the city’s creative community. Their seasonal concerts and regular collaborations are prime markers of using classical music to bring people together.

When: From 22 February to 14 March 2024, every Thursday from 7:30pm
Where: Linder Auditorium, 27 St Andrews Road, Parktown, Johannesburg

Website: jpo.co.za
Email: info@jpo.co.za
Tel: 011 484 0446
Facebook: @JohannesburgPhilharmonicOrchestra
Instagram: @johannesburgphilharmonic

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