The University of Pretoria has maintained a symphony orchestra since the establishment of the Department of Music in 1961. The orchestra has been under the esteemed guidance of many well-known conductors and has reached new heights since Gerben Grooten took up the baton. Zamile Mzizi was appointed permanent orchestra manager in 2014. The University of Pretoria Symphony Orchestra is the only large-scale orchestra in Pretoria that regularly performs a symphonic repertoire.
Since 2003 the orchestra has performed Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (2004), Strauss’s Die Fledermaus (2005), Orff’s Carmina Burana (2006), Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang (2008), Gounod’s Saint Cecilia Mass (2009), Dvořák’s New World Symphony (2014), Beethoven’s Egmont Overture (2014) and Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave (2014). The orchestra performs annually with some of South Africa’s most popular artists and has shared the stage with Laurika Rauch, Amanda Strydom, Nataniël, Stef Bos, CH2, Joseph Clark and Charl du Plessis. In 2013, the orchestra was nominated for two Kanna Awards at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (KKNK). This year the orchestra will not only be performing a symphonic repertoire, but will also delight audiences with South African popular music by Mango Groove, Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse and Lucky Dube, to name a few.
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