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UP Arts

Its Symphonic, Seriously!

By Hennie Jansen van Nieuwenhuizen

Posted on 08 March 2010

UP Arts presents the University of Pretoria Symphony Orchestra’s kick off to their 2010 series of concerts with a new programme entitled, “Seriously Symphonic” on 26 March 2010.

Starting the concert will be Ravel’s acclaimed Bolero. Notoriously difficult for orchestra, UPSO will entice its audiences expertly with this masterpiece set in a sultry Mediterranean style. Originally intended as a ballet, the listener just has to allow the pictures of sound to wash over them as the orchestra dances to the steady Latin beat. 

Liszt’s Totentanz, played by local classical and jazz icon, Charl du Plessis. Enjoying over 40 weeks on top of Classic Fm’s charts with his Piano Man album, Charl du Plessis is one of the most sought after pianists, in any style, South Africa has ever enjoyed. He has been ranked amongst the top great pianists such as Martha Argerich and Alfred Brendel being a Steinway Artist and his rendition of this deathly dance is not to be missed. The Totentanz is a set of variations for soloist and orchestra and is based on the Dies Irae theme from the 14th century. 

To top this formidable programme will be Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, the Pathetique. The symphony is amongst the greatest in the Romantic literature canon for orchestra and conflicts in its actual name points to deeper meanings and hidden mysteries. Originally dubbed the Pathetique, Tchaikovsky considered calling it the Programme Symphony, suggesting that it is based on a story or text. Not wanting to disclose his motivation for creating this masterpiece, he kept to the original title. The shattering truth behind the final composition will be revealed.  It is the work of an absolute genius in the prime of his life and one of the greatest symphonies of all time.  It is monumental, unnervingly personal, certainly unique and devastatingly tragic. All will be revealed, the enigma can only be fathomed from the mists of its sound!

Under the esteemed baton of Eric Rycroft the concert will be held at 20:00 on 26 March 2010 at the Musaion, University of Pretoria Main Campus, Hatfield. Tickets will be available at the door at R80.00 for adults and R50.00 for students, scholars and pensioners. For more information please contact 012 420 4183/2947 or mail

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