Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates UNISA’s 150th anniversary

The Mzansi Philharmonic performing in Durban during their National Tour in December 2022

The Mzansi Philharmonic performing in Durban during their National Tour in December 2022

The Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra will join UNISA in celebrating their 150th Anniversary this Saturday, 25th March 2023, at 7pm at the ZK Matthews Hall in Pretoria.

The landmark concert will feature a special jazz quartet showcasing national and international artists including Hans Vroomans (Netherlands), Karen Devroop (South Africa), Hein van de Geyn (Netherlands), Kevin Gibson (South Africa), and string players from the Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Mzansi Philharmonic has been praised for its energy and passion, with a certain esprit de corps that one would expect from South Africa’s National Orchestra. “UNISA holds a special place in South Africa as an institution committed to excellence and the development of our country’s greatest asset: our people. These are values also held by the  Mzansi Philharmonic, and it is our great joy to perform together,” said Bongani Tembe, Mzansi Philharmonic Chief Executive and Artistic Director.

The concert will launch the Unisa Music Foundation 150-year CD. This album features a superb list of artists including Hans Vroomans on piano (Metropole Jazz Orkestra and Amsterdam Conservatory of Music), Europe’s legendary jazz bassist Hein van de Geyn who has toured and recorded with iconic artists such as Chet Baker, Lee Konitz, Dee Dee Bridgewater, John Abercrombie and many others and rounding off the quartet is South Africa’s leading drum kit player Kevin Gibson. The concert will feature the quartet with the Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra performing all tracks off the CD that have been rearranged for jazz quartet and string orchestra by Trino Jimenez and Dan Selsick

Unisa’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Puleng LenkaBula said that “UNISA has a longstanding tradition of benchmarking excellence in South Africa’s music ecosystem and creating pathways for successful music careers. Therefore, UNISA is proud to be collaborating with the Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra to commemorate its 150th Anniversary. Celebrating together on evenings like this one shows us the value of UNISA’s contribution and the return on our investment.”

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