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HKPO Plays Carmen Suite & other French Classics


Hong Kong , 17 Nov 2004 – Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) presents French Classics, the second in its light classics series Simply Classic and part of The Year of France in China event. The upcoming concerts feature four orchestral favourites by French composers, including the immensely popular Carmen Suite. French cellist Anne Gastinel will perform as the soloist in Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto No.1, while Lily Poon and Samson Young will put a relaxed spin on the concerts with Cantonese/English narration. Conducted by HKPO Conductor Laureate David Atherton, the two performances will be held on 26 & 27 November (Fri & Sat) at 8pm in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall.

Designed for music lovers who are exploring the classical music realm, the programme includes four French pieces with great popular appeal. Le Corsaire

is a heroic short piece by French composer Berlioz, serving as a prelude to the concert. Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto No.1 is a stormy and passionate collaboration between the HKPO and soloist Anne Gastinel. Famous for its vibrant colours and memorable melodies, Bizet’s Carmen Suite contains highlights from one of the most popular and greatest operas, such as Toreador Song and Habanera. Ravel’s Daphnis and Chlo e Suite No.1. uses a breathtaking range of orchestral colour, inspiring many later Hollywood film scores.

Soloist in Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto No.1, Anne Gastinel is one of finest rising cellists on the world stage. Gastinel pursues an impressive solo career which took her on annual worldwide tours around Europe, Africa, Asia, and America performing in various prestigious halls. She was designated unanimously in 1997 as ambassador of French cello.

David Atherton is HKPO’s Conductor Laureate. 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. Of his recording of Tippett’s opera King Priam, for which he was given the coveted International Record Critics’ Award, the composer wrote in his recent autobiography: "Some artists will show insight into my intentions and in some cases this will have the force of a blinding vision: an example would be David Atherton's conducting... But then, Atherton is a conductor of genius." He has also conducted the English National Opera, Canadian Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and has a close relationship with the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Tickets are now available at URBTIX, at HK$280, 200, 140, and 80.

Visit the HKPO website for more information at For enquiries, please call 2721 2030. Tickets are available through reservation at 2734 9009 (URBTIX), online ( or Credit Card Booking at 2111 5999 (Cityline).