Behind the scenes with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra

The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO) continues to go from triumph to triumph and if you still haven’t been to see them performing live at Linder Auditorium, make sure to book for one or more of their Summer Season of World Symphony concerts which run from February 12 to March 7.

We caught up with the orchestra at the grand Linder Auditorium in Parktown as they prepared to perform their opening concert, a romantic Valentine’s gala of classical favourites, on Wednesday February 12, Thursday February 13 and Friday February 14.

Each week of concerts in the season is led by a different guest conductor, with special guest international soloists joining the 60-piece orchestra, making these rehearsals an especially memorable occasion for the conductor and musicians who are often performing alongside each other for the first time.

For the first week of the Summer Season the orchestra is led by guest US conductor William Eddins with South African soprano Zandile Mzazi joining the orchestra to sing arias from popular operas including Jules Massenet’s Manon.

This is not Mzazi’s first time singing with the orchestra and her previous performances have made her a crowd favourite. Excited to be joining the orchestra again Mzazi says “I will be accompanied by the best orchestra in the world and a wonderful conductor from America… I am looking forward to a team effort!”

Here’s a sneak peek at Mzazi rehearsing with the orchestra.

For the opening week the orchestra will also be joined by the outstanding Montenegran classical guitarist Goran Krivopakić. Watching Krivokapić skillfully manoeuvring his guitar strings during rehearsals with the orchestra was quite simply breathtaking – this is a Summer Season guest soloist that you absolutely don’t want to miss!

Krivokapić, who is no stranger to performing with major international orchestras, makes his Joburg debut at the Valentine’s Variety concert, and his inclusion in the Summer Season is an exciting boon for the orchestra. A particular highlight of the Valentine’s programme will be Krivokapić’s performance of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra, which we were lucky enough to watch the orchestra rehearsing. The performance is stunning! Check out the video below for a glimpse of what’s in store.

The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s opening week Valentine’s Variety Gala will be performed on Wed Feb 12, Thu Feb 13 and Fri Feb 14. Tickets start from R150 and are available on Computicket.

The Summer Season continues with performances every Wednesday and Thursday until March 5 at Linder Auditorium, with a special Saturday night performance on Saturday March 7 closing the season.

Find out more about the Summer Season programme and book tickets here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *