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Brahms Violin Concerto
Brahms Violin Concerto
20.09.2012 19.30 - 21.30
Odeion - Bloemfontein
Symphony Concert


Conductor: Bernhard Gueller

Soloist: Harriet Mackenzie (violin)

Programme: Brahms Violin Concerto in D maj Op. 77

Schubert Symphony No. 8 in B minor ("Unfinished")

Bookings: Computicket

The Soloists

Harriet web1

Harriet McKenzie

Harriet Mackenzie has toured Europe, America, China, South America and Japan as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Harriet made her highly acclaimed Purcell room debut as part of the Park Lane Young Artists Series. Since then she has given recitals worldwide in prestigious venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw and the Expo Dome in Japan. She premiered Robert Fokkens violin concerto, written and dedicated to her, at the South Bank Centre, London. Harriet regularly performs concertos both in England and abroad. She has broadcast recitals 'live' for BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and for Hungarian National Radio. Harriet graduated from the Royal Academy of Music with First Class honours, M.Mus, and a DipRAM.

A keen chamber music player, her groups include Retorica – a two violin duo with violinist Philippa Mo,  the Sutherland Duo  with Christina Lawrie (winners of the Enterprise Music Scotland Award 2012). 'In Accord' with accordionist Milos Milivojevic and with Kosmos - an innovative, unique string trio. 

Harriet is passionate about contemporary music.  Composers who have written and dedicated pieces to Harriet and her groups include Robert Fokkens, David Matthews, John McCabe, Jim Aitchison, Gareth Williams, Cecilia MacDowall, Dmitri Smirnov, Robert Fokkens, Paul Pellay, Ben Oliver and Ben Ellin and she has collaborated with composers such as Anthony Payne, Paul Patterson, Mauricio Kagel and Gyorgy Kurtag. 

2011 saw Harriet performing in the top concert halls in China including the Beijing NCPA and the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre with Retorica. In 2012 Harriet will be releasing four CDs: Retorica's debut CD for two violins on the NMC label with a lauch concert at LSO St Luke's in September, John McCabe's double violin concerto on the Dutton Label, the Sutherland Duos’s debut CD and the second CD by Kosmos. Other highlights in 2012 include the performance of a new violin concerto written and dedicated to Harriet by Graham Coatman at the Swaledale Festival, Retorica will be the group in residence at the  Prestiegne Festival 2012 including recital and concerto performances and Retorica will also be recording the double violin concertos by Holst, Paul Patterson and Malcolm Arnold.

 “Searing intensity... a performance full of panache... captivating” -The Strad

The Conductor


Bernard Gueller

Bernhard Gueller is principal guest conductor of the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra and has been music director of Symphony Nova Scotia since 2002.  

Well known to audiences internationally for the passion, mastery and drama he brings to the concert hall podium, Gueller is also acclaimed for his “profound interpretations”, the “stunning responses he gets from musicians” and the excitement he elicits. He is celebrated  by musicians, critics and audience for his musical purity and continually garners praise for the fresh approach he brings to the podium. 

He has served as music director and principal conductor with various orchestras, including the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, a position he relinquished last year.

Gueller has collaborated with many leading soloists such as cellists Daniel Mueller-Schott, Maria Kliegel, Claudio Bohorquez and David Geringas; pianists Anton Kuerti, Ivo Pogorelich, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Lars Vogt, Peter Donohoe and Wayne Marshall, violinist James Ehnes , trumpeter Maurice Andre and entertainers Lionel Ritchie and  David Foster.

With a reputation for his mastery of contemporary works, Gueller has commissioned several concerti for Symphony Nova Scotia. These include a concerto for accordion, for oboe and one for piano. He has also given the first performance of works by composers such as the German composer Werner Egt and is the dedicatee of several works.

His career has taken him to many top concert halls from America and Australia to Russia, Japan, China, Korea, South Africa and Brazil, as well as countries in Europe such as Spain, Italy, France, Norway and Sweden and his native Germany.   

Beginning his career as a cellist, Gueller won the United German Radios Conducting Competition in 1979 and for nearly 20 years ran tandem careers, deputing for the legendary conductor Sergiu Celibidache who regarded Gueller as his best “pupil”. Gueller also attracted the attention of the renowned arts administrator Ernest Fleischman who "was deeply impressed by his extraordinary musicianship, his marvellous ability to communicate with the musicians, and… his charismatic impact on the audience".   

He has made many recordings for national and international broadcast. His CD, Dancing in the Light, of works by contemporary Canadian composer, Christos Hatzis, with Symphony Nova Scotia,  was released to critical acclaim. This followed a CD with mezzo soprano Hanneli Rupert and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and others with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, German Brass and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra.  

In the past season, he made lauded appearances with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in America and the Victoria and Calgary symphony orchestras in Canada. 




The Odeion is an intimate theatre on the campus of the University of the Free State with ideal accoustics for chamber music and symphony concerts.