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Conductor Lu Jia Leads Roman Musical Journey

2004-08-17

Hong Kong, 17 Aug 2004 – Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) presents Roman Travelogue, a concert of orchestral classics by Respighi, Rossini, and Beethoven. A highlight of the programme is The Pines of Rome, one of the best-known works by Respighi, led by renowned Chinese conductor Lu Jia in his third collaboration with HKPO. Also featured is Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, with rising star pianist Lukas Vondracek performing as soloist. The two performances will be held on 17 & 18 September (Fri & Sat) at 8pm in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall.

Currently residing in Italy, Shanghai born conductor Lu Jia has established himself as one of the most outstanding conductors to have emerged from Asia in recent years.  He has been developing his career throughout Europe, working with distinguished orchestras including Leipzig Gewandhaus, Oslo Philharmonic and Orchestre National de Lyon, and has recently débuted with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic with great success. Lu Jia last collaborated with HKPO in March 2004, and was voted by HKPO musicians as one of the most popular guest conductors in the season.

Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.3 is a demanding showpiece for brilliant young Czech pianist Lukas Vondracek. Aged 17, Vondracek is one of a kind, having given over 500 concerts since his first public performance at 4. His visits to the concert halls throughout UK and American, including New York’s Carnegie, have won the hearts of critics and audience alike. Impressed with his talent, legendary conductor and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy has selected the rising star to perform as the soloist with  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra on extensive tours around Europe and the United States. Renowned conductor Richard Hickox said, “the boy’s a genius” after their collaboration in 2004.

A sumptuous work filled with romanticism, Respighi’s The Pines of Rome achieved colourful orchestration with extraordinarily specific musical imageries. The composer even wrote a description of the setting for each movement, giving four classic scenes in the Eternal City - the tranquility of the Gardens of the Villa Borghese, the mysterious air of a catacomb, the calm mood of the Janiculum, and the imperial magnificence of the Appian Way.

Also on the programme are Respighi’s Aria from Suite in G major for strings and organ, as well as Rossini’s famous The Barber of Seville overture. Tickets are now available at URBTIX at HK$280, 200, 140, and 80.

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).