WSS Winter Season Concert 1
Date(s) - 21/05/2015
Durban City Hall
“Celebrate Africa !”
7:30pm, Durban City Hall
Conductor : Bernhard Gueller
Soloists: Bernard Woma Ensemble
Dvorák Slavonic Dances, Op. 46, Nos. 1-4
Woma, arr. Rogers G yil Jumbie Concerto
Woma, arr. Rogers G yil Yeru Concerto
Bernstein West Side Story: Symphonic Dances
Celebrate Africa and cultures around the world with the Winter Season opening concert of the 2015 World Symphony Series. The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic welcomes the Bernard Woma ensemble from Ghana to Durban for an unforgettable performance of traditional African music mixed with ethnic-themed classical music from Europe and America.
The concert, conducted by Bernhard Gueller, opens with the first four of Antonín Dvorák’s Slavonic Dances. While not based on actual Slavonic themes, Dvorák rather created completely original works that evoked his homeland through the use of rhythmic and melodic features of traditional music.
The orchestra is then joined by the Bernard Woma Ensemble, which consists of two Ghanaians, Bernard Woma and Kofi Ameyaw, and one American, Mark Stone. The group performs on the traditional Ghanaian instrument the gyil — a pentatonic-tuned xylophone with resonator gourds underneath the keys. These instruments are rarely heard outside of Western Africa and it is a treat to have this world-class ensemble perform with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic. The ensemble will perform two short concertos written by Bernard Woma: the Gyil Jumbie Concerto and the Gyil Yeru Concerto.
The evening that celebrates Africa and multiculturalism closes with Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. This suite of dances from the musical comprises all of the elements of music that Bernstein was exposed to living in New York City. From African-American jazz to Latin sambas to rock and roll, this work represents
the combination of musical cultures from around the world.