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Making Music Together – Photo exhibition

A visual diary of the KZN Philharmonic’s Community Engagement Programmes.

Making Music Together: an exhibition of 30 black and white prints journaling the extensive community, education and outreach of the busy KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, will be on display at the Durban Art Gallery from 17 March until 30 April 2016.

“So often one associates the orchestra with performing sublime concerts in our magnificent Durban City Hall during our Symphony Seasons, not realising that although the Symphony Seasons are our flagship programme, they represent a fraction of the overall activities of the orchestra. The majority of the orchestra’s time is spent presenting performances, workshops, master-classes and mentoring programmes which take place in community venues, school halls, rehearsal rooms, old age homes and informal spaces across the length and breadth of the KZN province,” says Bongani Tembe, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the KZN Philharmonic.

Working closely with the Durban Art Gallery, an exhibition has been created to give gallery visitors special insight into some of these activities. The Print Room in the gallery has been transformed into a mock orchestra rehearsal room, with 30 carefully chosen black and white prints displayed on music stands. The photos have all been taken over roughly a two-month period during December last year and February this year, by photographers Val Adamson; Gcina Ndwalane and Rogan Ward to create a storyboard which begins to capture some of the special moments, connections and nuances of these community engagement programmes.

The exhibition is curated by Illa Thompson; designed by Peter Court and photographic consultant is Val Adamson.

Dedicated to promoting orchestral music in South Africa, the KZN Philharmonic has an active relationship working with choirs and supporting new music initiatives: recently, the orchestra performed for three separate world-premiers of bold new works. The orchestra also performs in old age homes, prisons and various institutions as part of their Symphony of Hope campaign to stage free concerts to the city’s marginalised. Every year the orchestra performs to schools throughout the province – playing in the cities, the suburbs, the rural communities and the townships, touching the lives of more than 30,000 scholars in a specially-devised music introduction programme.

Making Music Together - Photo exhibition
KZNPO at Doone Village in Pinetown as part of the Symphony of Hope Concert initiative. Photograph by Val Adamson

In keeping with their transference of skills initiative, Summer Season visiting conductors and soloists conducted master-classes for up-and-coming stars, enabling them to learn from some of the world’s best. Of special mention was a morning conducting master-class during which four conductors with backgrounds in the choral music tradition had the opportunity to conduct the KZN Philharmonic under the watchful eye of internationally acclaimed conductor, Wolfram Christ.

The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra is nearing the end of its six-week Summer Symphony Season performing an extraordinary programme of beautiful orchestral music showcasing some of the finest musical talents from South Africa and the world.

The exhibition is particularly useful for school groups. An option could be for schools to visit the exhibition on a Thursday morning and then attend the morning Tea and Symphony final rehearsal at 10am in the City Hall / Playhouse. Scholar tickets are R10.

For more information about the KZPO, visit  or contact 031 369 9438 or e-mail

Making Music Together can be seen at the Durban Art Gallery (DAG) until the end of April. DAG is open seven days a week: Monday to Saturday from 8.30am until 4pm, and Sundays from 11am until 4pm. Entry is free and all are welcome! For more info, contact the Gallery on 031 311 2264/9 or (weekdays)

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