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Stellar List of Violinists and Renowned Maestros Featured in Three HKPO Concerts

2004-06-10

Hong Kong, 10 Jun 2004 - In the run-up to the end of its 30th anniversary season, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) presents three programmes of violin performances by a stellar list of guest artists in June and early July. HKPO will team up with Leila Josefowicz, one of the finest young violinists in classical music, and Libor Pesek, a maestro with authoritative virtuosity, on 18 & 19 June (Fri & Sat). In the weekend afterwards (25 & 26 June, Fri & Sat), Pesek will appear on stage with Russia's Cultural Heritage Prize recipient, superstar violinist Vladimir Spivakov. On 2 & 3 July (Fri & Sat), critically acclaimed violinist William Preucil will be featured in Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 under the baton of David Atherton. The programme on 18 & 19 June starts at 8pm in the Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall, while the other two start at 8pm in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall.

Vladimir Spivakov has secured impressive prizes at international competitions: the Long-Thibaud in Paris, the Paganini in Genova, and the Tchaikovsky in Moscow. In addition to being the Music Director of the Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra, he is the founder, conductor and principal violin soloist of the Moscow Virtuosi. He is as much an internationally renowned musician as a beloved star at home. Not only is he a recipient of Russia's highest prize, the National Cultural Heritage Award, he also received a birthday gift from the Russian International Observatory -- a comet named after him.

Spivakov and Libor Pesek will feature in Brahms' Violin Concerto in D, while Pesek will lead the HKPO in performing Brahms' Symphony No. 4.

To be featured in Sibelius' Violin Concerto in D minor, Josefowicz has been critically acclaimed for her previous performance of this concerto. "From the first unearthly note she played the audience was transported into Sibelius' dream world, a place like no other. Josefowicz's fearless execution of the first movement's solo development section swept all technical challenges away, and gave us the stark profile of the music with astonishing insight," commented Boston Globe.

The 25-year old violinist came to attention in 1994 when she made her Carnegie Hall debut as a teenager with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. She has since appeared with the world's most prestigious orchestras and won two Diapason d'Or prizes with her recording of the Tchaikovsky and Sibelius concertos. Josefowicz is a recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Featured on the concerts on 2 & 3 Jul is Violin Concerto No. 5 by Mozart, a grand and energetic piece written in 1775 at Salzburg. The work has two outstanding features: a poetic Adagio passage that introduces the soloist in the first movement, and a notable "Turkish" episode in the minuet finale giving the concerto a touch of exoticism.

Born into a musical family, William Preucil is a renowned violinist internationally. He is Concertmaster of the top-class Cleveland Orchestra, and he was First Violinist of the Grammy Award-winning Cleveland Quartet for seven years. Chicago Sun-Times calls Preucil a "superb violinist with a suave, sure technique that guarantees even, expressive playing". His own words offer a glimpse of his style -- "Performance should be a sincere expression of what the artist wishes to convey."

Czech conductor Libor Pesek is President of the Prague Spring Festival and Principal Guest Conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra. He is also the Conductor Laureate of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, which he took to a new level of excellence during his leadership as the Music Director from 1987 to 1997. Pesek is renowned for his interpretations of the Czech repertoire and his recordings of the complete Dvorak Symphonies. He will perform Dvorak's Symphony No. 8 in the upcoming concerts on 18 & 19 June. The Times once called him "a noted Dvorakian". In March 1996, Queen Elizabeth II made him a Knight of the British Empire.

David Atherton is HKPO's Conductor Laureate, and a well-known figure in Hong Kong for his conducting brilliance. In his native England, he was the youngest-ever conductor at the Royal Opera House and co-founded the London Sinfonietta. In America, he launched the Mostly Mozart Festival. His recordings have earned him a range of international awards.

Tickets for all three programmes are now available at URBTIX. Both the 18 & 19 Jun concerts (Pesek/Josefowicz) and the 25 & 15 Jun concerts (Pesek/Spivakov) are priced at HK$320, 220, 180, and 100. The 2 & 3 Jul concerts by Preucil and Atherton are priced at HK$ 240, 140, 100, 60.

Anyone who purchases tickets from any two or more programmes below will enjoy a 30% discount.

Visit the HKPO website for more information at www.hkpo.com

For enquiries, please call Ring-the-Phil at 2312 6103. Tickets are available through reservation at 2734 9009 (URBTIX), online (www.urbtix.gov.hk) or Credit Card Booking at 2111 5999 (Cityline).