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Atherton leads HKPO in all-Sibelius programme

29 November 2007

Hong Kong, 29 November 2007– The Hong Kong Philharmonic (HKPO) returns to the Cultural Centre Concert Hall next week for two nights of all-Sibelius works, under the baton of Conductor Laureate David Atherton. Brilliant violin star Viviane Hagner will return to Hong Kong to perform Sibelius’ famous Violin Concerto after her stunning debut here two years ago. Swire Maestro: Pure Sibelius will be held on 7 and 8 December (Fri and Sat) at 8pm.

In contrast to Mahler’s all-embracing symphonic ideal, Sibelius’s symphonies are a distillation of musical thoughts. “Considered by many to be one of Sibelius’ masterpieces, surprisingly, [his Sixth Symphony] is probably the least played of his seven symphonies. It isn’t as heroic as No. 2 and 5, nor does it plumb the depths of profundity as do No. 4 and 7; instead it is somewhat idyllic in nature with wonderfully lyrical lines within a restrained orchestration. [It is] an extremely beautiful work,” said David Atherton.

Munich-born Viviane Hagner’s highlights this season include performances with the world’s most renowned orchestras and maestros, such as New York Philharmonic with Maazel, Montreal Symphony Orchestra with Nagano and Boston Symphony Orchestra with Dutoit. She has also been invited by the Konzerthaus Berlin to be their Artist-in-Residence. She performs on the Sasserno Stradivarius built in 1717 on loan to her by the Nippon Music Foundation.

The pair of concerts is part of the Swire Maestro Series. Free Swire Classic Insights pre-concert talks are held in English and Cantonese respectively on both evenings.

Programme Details
Swire Maestro:Pure Sibelius
7 & 8 / 12 / 2007 Friday and Saturday HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall 8 pm
$300, $240, $180, $120
Available at URBTIX outlets
URBTIX website:
Reservations: 2734 9009
Credit Card booking: 2111 5999
Programme Enquiries: 2721 2030
HKPO Website:

David Atherton Conductor
Viviane Hagner Violin

Sibelius Karelia suite
  Violin Concerto
  Symphony No.6

Swire Classic Insights
Pre-concert talks

Time: 7:15 - 7:45pm
Venue: Level 4 Foyer, Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
Free Admission

17/11 (English) Speaker: Dr Nelson Wu, Musicologist
18/11 (Cantonese) Speaker: Mr Savio Lau

Swire is the title sponsor of Swire Maestro Series: Pure Sibelius and Swire Classic Insights.

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Hailed as “one of Asia's top orchestras”, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) is led by the internationally renowned Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Edo de Waart. Enriching Hong Kong’s cultural life for over a century, the Orchestra has grown into a formidable ensemble of Chinese and international talents in the last three decades, attracting world-class artists to perform on the same stage. In April 2006, The Swire Group Charitable Trust became the Hong Kong Philharmonic’s Principal Patron, committing HK$36 million over three years to enable Maestro de Waart’s artistic vision for the Orchestra to be realized. HKPO annually touches the lives of nearly 200,000 music lovers through more than 150 performances, including a series of outreach activities such as the free outdoor concert Symphony under the Stars which attracted nearly 20,000 people. Please visit for more information about the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

SWIRE is the Principal Patron of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.