About Us

The Durban City Orchestra has around 50 members, made up of amatuer, experienced and professional musicians from diverse backgrounds that reflects South Africa’s rainbow nation. Our repertoire combines the classical and symphonic genres with popular and contempory styles, often incorporating instrumental and vocal soloists, as well as choirs. We frequently perform at schools, exposing learners to orchestral music and providing accompaniment to school choirs and budding soloists.

The orchestra has been in existence since 1888 when it was formed as the Durban Philharmonic Society. Comprising musicians from various backgrounds, it provides a platform for amateurs, scholars, and students to perform within an orchestral environment. It is the second oldest symphony orchestra in South Africa, although it has been known under various aliases during this time: Durban Municipal Orchestra, the Durban Symphony Orchestra and Gateway Philharmonic Orchestra. It is a registered non-profit organisation and is currently self-funded.

The DCO is incredibly proud of our recent move towards developement and upliftment, which saw the orchestra purchasing instruments for under privilaged musicians, as well as providing the means for promising, previously – disadvantaged musicians to attend rehearsals and make up part of the orchestra.

Rehearsals take place on Monday evenings in Westville, Durban. Any players of orchestral instruments that are capable of reading music are welcomed. Auditions may be required at the conductor’s discretion.


Lykele Temmingh – Conductor

Lykele Temmingh was born in the Netherlands and raised in South Africa. After completing his B.Mus. (Performers) at the University of Stellenbosch he began his career as a violinist with orchestras in Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Durban. He joined the second violin section of the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra during its inaugural season in 1983 and was later appointed co-principal of the section. In 1991 he was appointed as the orchestra’s assistant conductor. In the same year he was the recipient of the SAA Performing Arts Award for his services to music.

As both assistant and freelance conductor, he has conducted a wide range of music: educational programmes, symphony concerts, outdoor popular programmes, major choral works, opera and ballet. The numerous musicals he has conducted include The Sound of MusicShowboatEvitaOliver, Annie and The Wizard of Oz.

Now as a resident conductor of the KZN Philharmonic Temmingh appears regularly on the orchestra’s concert podium. In 2004 he proudly accepted the role of selector and conductor of the National Youth Concerto Festival. Temmingh was appointed Artistic Director and conductor of the KZN Youth Orchestra in 2006.

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