Education and Development


The treasured orchestra that resides in eThekwini wears many hats. While serving South Africa with distinctly professional orchestra performances, the KZN Philharmonic also dedicates much of its time and energy to enriching the local community through its Education and Development programme. In between World Symphony Series seasons, the orchestra becomes a travelling band visiting schools in townships, suburbs and rural areas. These concerts provide children with the unique gift of music performed by South Africa’s top musical talent.

A key commitment of the KZN Philharmonic’s philosophy is to enrich the cultural life of South Africa’s diverse audiences. Introducing music to children at an early age sows the seeds of musical appreciation for a lifetime. The Orchestra’s comprehensive education and community engagement programmes have, over the years, proved how an early interest in music can lead to the desire to learn to play an instrument.

The aim is to inspire learners to respect the discipline and work hard at their chosen instrument, in order to conquer their musical goals. This is achieved by the professional musicians of the Orchestra transferring their skills, through training, to the future generation of professional musicians in this country.

Schools Programmes

Music is something that is acquired, something that is taught, it is a process of learning, a discipline of passion and dedication and everyone starts at the beginning.

We therefore find it of the utmost importance that we give learners the opportunity to learn about the workings of a symphony orchestra, highlighting the various instruments that make up the different sections of the orchestra, as well as how these instruments work and sound.

The orchestra visits schools in and around the eThekwini Municipality, performing educational programmes to over 30 000 learners annually. Most learners have never seen an orchestra perform live, so for many of them this is a start to appreciating classical music. The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra has worked with several schools including Sakhelwe High School, Northlands Primary, JG Zuma High, Crawford Schools and the Open Air School, where special concerts featuring learners from each school are presented.

Rural Residencies

Rural Residency Programmes take place twice a year whereby the orchestra spends a week with local communities from different rural areas. During this time, the orchestra performs in school education concerts, choral workshops, as well as community concerts featuring local artists and choirs. This provides many people from the local communities with an opportunity to see and hear the orchestra for the first time.

Previous residencies have included visits to Ladysmith, Vryheid, Felixton, Mkuze, Hluhluwe, Richards Bay, Inkandla, St Lucia, Greytown, eSikhaweni, Kokstad, Matatiele, Ixopo, Umlazi, Ulundi and the University of Zululand.

Omnibus Concerts

Omnibus Concerts, which are themed educational concerts in a professional theatre environment, take place bi-annually to showcase the combined talents of youth ensembles, such as the KZN Youth Orchestra and KZN Youth Wind Band.
The last Omnibus Concert also included a trainee choral conductors’ workshop.

Young Performers

We call all the up-and-coming stars onto the stage. In conjunction with the South African Society of Music Teachers (SASMT), auditions are held throughout the KwaZulu-Natal province to find the best young soloists. In May, the finalists each perform their chosen work in concert with the KZN Philharmonic at the Playhouse Theatre, Durban.
This is most times their first opportunity to perform with a professional orchestra and is often the springboard to their future musical careers.

Download the 2020 Application Form here.


National Youth Concerto Festival

National Youth Concerto Festival

For all the blossoming stars around the country, we haven’t forgotten about you. In May the National Youth Concerto Festival auditions take place, to select the top young South African musicians nationwide. Their reward is to perform in a concert with the KZN Philharmonic, presented as part of the Spring Symphony Concert season.

Please download the 2019 application form – click here.

National Cadetship Programme

In an effort to improve the standard of playing by young, aspirant South African orchestral musicians, the KZN Philharmonic started the National Cadetship Programme. It addresses the limited representation of, and increasing demand for, local artists in the pool of present and future full-time musicians within our country’s orchestras. The programme is open to all young South African musicians (although disadvantaged students receive preference).

Each year successful candidates are placed and funded annually, as full time cadets with the KZN Philharmonic. Cadets experience first-hand, the role of playing in a professional orchestra, through training in conjunction with local universities. Cadets receive weekly lessons from the principal players of their sections, in addition to on-going rehearsals and performances with the full orchestra. The Orchestra currently has seven cadets. This aspect of our Education and Development programme forms a key building block in nurturing young South African talent towards securing jobs as professional musicians. The programme has produced more than thirty professional musicians who are employed in South Africa and abroad.

Qualifications Required:

1) Previous orchestral performance experience
2) Currently studying or have completed a relevant tertiary qualification
3) Must be willing to live and work in Durban

To apply to be a cadet, please supply a full CV, recorded audition pieces on CD, video or similar and contact details including a fax number with your application to:
The Artistic Administrator
Ms Sizekile Shuba


KZN Philharmonic Orchestra
P O Box 5353, Durban, 4001

(031) 369 9403 (facsimile)

Youth Orchestra

The KwaZulu-Natal Youth Orchestra is assembled from a group of young and talented musicians who audition every year for the opportunity to participate in a classical orchestral environment that is conducive to their aspirations for musical excellence.


On a one-to-one basis, as well as in groups, young talent is fostered through training by the KZN Philharmonic and its members, who teach at schools, tertiary institutions or privately. Tuition is also given to students of community-based art projects, with which the Orchestra has formed links. This therefore grooms many of our young upcoming musicians into the classical field of music.

For further information contact our office on (031) 369 9438