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International artists collaborate with HKPO in Concert Series


Hong Kong, 31 March 2006 – In memory of one of the universally loved and admired composers of all time - Mozart's 250th birthday, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) proudly presents "Bank of China (Hong Kong) presents: Mozart in the City" concert series.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart became an international celebrity as a child of just eight, touring Europe to display his prodigious musical talent, and in his short life composed a vast array of masterful music. The series glimpses Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart throughout his brief but intense life. From his First Symphony to his last Piano Concerto, the work of a musical genius speaks for itself.

"Mozart in the City" concert series consist of 4 different programmes from April to June. The first three programmes encompass the works of Mozart and contrasts them with similarly iconic compositions by Shostakovich, Beethoven and Haydn. Maestro Edo de Waart, will lead the HKPO in the final instalment of "Mozart in the City," performing the last three symphonies of Mozart all in one concert.

The first programme of the "Mozart in the City" concert series, Mozart and Shostakovich, will be launched in early April. Australian violinist and director Richard Tognetti has toured the world with his acclaimed Australian Chamber Orchestra ("This must be the best chamber orchestra on earth" - The Times, London) and now brings his charismatic style to the Hong Kong Philharmonic in a concert juxtaposing the poise and vigour of Mozart in the 18th Century with the searching disillusionment of Shostakovich in the 20th Century.

Artistic Director and Leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO), Richard Tognetti has developed a keen sensibility for performing music on period, modern and electric instruments, and has performed with a wide range of musicians covering many genres. Amidst his ever more varied activities have been an appearance at the Opening Ceremony of the Rugby World Cup 2003 with James Crabb, and his involvement on Peter Weir's Oscar-nominated film Master and Commander – as composer, soundtrack soloist and violin tutor to Russell Crowe. Tognetti, who was made a National Living Treasure in 1999, performs on a 1759 JB Guadagnini violin, using a combination of raw gut and steel strings. The violin was lent to Tognetti on a semi-permanent basis by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The second programme of the Mozart Series will perform Mozart and Beethoven on the same night – Mozart's Piano Concerto No.25 and Symphony No.35, as well as Beethoven's Symphony No.5. All three of these splendid works were written in Vienna, but the twenty years which separate Mozart's grand and confident C major Piano Concerto from Beethoven tumultuous and revolutionary C minor Symphony saw vast changes as the restraint of the 18th Century gave way to the sweep of the Romantic era. Against a background of Mozartian perfection, Beethoven's ground-breaking outburst sounds truly radical.

Jaap van Zweden, conductor of the concert started his conducting career in 1995 and has since conducted major orchestras in the Netherlands, Austria, Germany and Japan. He has conducted the Berlin Symphony Orchestra on a number of highly acclaimed European tours. His recent/future engagements also include debuts with the Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields Orchestra in London, Royal Concertgebouw, Munich Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, as well as the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony orchestras. In September 2005, Jaap van Zweden took up the position of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland.

Besides conducting for the Mozart and Beethoven concert, Jaap van Zweden will also collaborate with Chinese violinist Lu Siqing, young cellist Li Wei and the Hong Kong Philharmonic to perform another 2 concerts a week before (April 21 & 22).

Igor Roma, the soloist for Mozart's Piano Concerto No.25 won the first prize at the ‘Franz Liszt' International Competition in Utrecht (The Netherlands) together with the special prize of the Critics in 1996. His interpretation of the Totentanz, performed with the Dutch Radio Symphony Orchestra impressed the jury so much that they decided not to award the second prize and the other two finalists were given a shared third prize. He became an overnight sensation – he performed the same concert the next morning, which was broadcast live, at the famous Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, and in the following months he began a long tour throughout the Low Countries.

Bank of China (Hong Kong) is the title sponsor of the "Bank of China (Hong Kong) presents: Mozart in the City" concert series.


Bank of China (Hong Kong) presents:
Mozart in the City -
Mozart and Shostakovich

7&8/4/2006 (FRI & SAT) 8pm
Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall
Tickets: HK$250, $200, $150, $100

Richard Tognetti violin and director

Mozart: Symphony No.29 in A, K. 201
Mozart: Violin Concerto No.3 in G minor, K. 216
Tognetti: Deviance on Paganini's 24th Caprice
Shostakovich: Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a

Bank of China (Hong Kong) presents: Mozart in the City -
Mozart and Beethoven

28 & 29/4/2006 (FRI & SAT) 8pm
Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall
Tickets: HK$250, $200, $150, $100

Jaap van Zweden conductor
Igor Roma piano

Mozart: Symphony No.35 in D Haffner
Mozart: Piano Concerto No.25 in C, K. 503
Beethoven: Symphony No.5