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10th October 2008

Hong Kong, 10th October 2008 - The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra announced today that the Czech conductor Zdenek Macal has regrettably been forced to cancel his concerts in Hong Kong next week owing to illness.

Maestro Macal has been suffering from a serious ‘flu over the last few weeks and has cancelled several appearances in Europe. Although he is gradually recovering, his doctor has advised him not to travel at this stage.

“I am most disappointed not to be able to come to Hong Kong to conduct the Hong Kong Philharmonic in this wonderful program of Dvorak and Rachmaninov. The Orchestra’s growing reputation made me very excited about these concerts and I sincerely hope to have the opportunity to work with the Orchestra at some stage in the not too distant future.”

The Hong Kong Philharmonic’s Chief Executive Timothy Calnin announced that the fine young Japanese conductor Yasuo Shinozaki would step in at very short notice. “I am delighted that Yasuo Shinozaki has agreed to come to the rescue at very short notice to conduct our concerts next week. Mr Shinozaki’s impressive career began just a few years ago after studies with such revered maestros as Seiji Ozawa and Bernard Haitink. After taking a prize at the prestigious Sibelius competition in 2000, he was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a position he held for three years. We wish Maestro Macal a full and speedy recovery and we’re already talking to his management about future dates.”

Since coming to international attention at the Sibelius competition, Shinozaki has been invited to conduct many fine orchestras around the world, including the BBC Philharmonic, the Bournemouth Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Swedish Radio Symphony, the Helsinki Philharmonic and the Finnish Radio Symphony. In his home country he has conducted the Tokyo Philharmonic and the New Japan Philharmonic, among others.

Yasuo Shinozaki will conduct the concerts in the Swire New Generation Series at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on Saturday 18th October at 8pm and Sunday 19th October at 3pm. In addition, he will lead a Swire Classic Insights adult education program on Dvorak’s Symphony No.7 at 8pm on Friday evening 17th October, with an introduction in Cantonese by Dr Johnny Poon.

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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 to enable Maestro de Waart’s artistic vision for the Orchestra to be realized. HKPO annually touches the lives of 200,000 music lovers through more than 150 performances, including a series of outreach activities including the city’s largest outdoor symphonic concert in Happy Valley, Swire Symphony under the Stars. 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.