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De Waart conducts HKPO in Mahler's Symphony No. 9

4 December 2008

Hong Kong, 4 December 2008 – Hong Kong philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Edo de Waart will continue his much anticipated Mahler cycle this week with the Orchestra in Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 on 5 and 6 December at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall.

Edo de Waart’s series of Mahler Symphony performances has charted the Orchestra’s rise to excellence under his authoritative leadership and has cultivated a devoted following whenever a Mahler piece is played in Hong Kong.

Meastro De Waart explains, “I consider Mahler 9 the absolute pinnacle of writing for the symphony orchestra. A composer at the top of his abilities, puffing his heart and soul in this last piece he completed, as if he knew this was the case. Playing this music is at the top of efforts we can make in our profession.”

The Symphony No. 9 was the last symphony composed by Mahler when he was struggling from grave personal crisis, death of his beloved daughter and a depression. In spite of Mahler’s depressing state of mind and poor health, he started the piece in late 1907 and completed it 2 years later. But it was not until 26th June 1912, a year and a month after his death, that the work was first debuted by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Bruno Walter. And in the USA, where Mahler completed the symphony, it was another 19 years before it was ever heard; hostility against Mahler there perhaps having been incited by a Viennese newspaper which blamed the composer’s death on “the big shareholders of American musical life”.

This piece is a musical exposition of Mahler’s tensions arises from fear of death and yearning of joys of life, and is always considered to be the most intense of his symphonic works. Do not miss this masterpiece with the HKPO this Friday and Saturday nights.

Free Pre-concert Talk
Time: 5/12/2008 Fri 7:15pm - 7:45pm (English)
  6/12/2008 Sat 7:15pm - 7:45pm (Cantonese)
Venue: HK Cultural Centre Auditoria Building 4/F Foyer
Speaker: Dr. Johnny Minglun Poon
  Artistic Director of Performance Activities of the Hong Kong Baptist University, Music Director of the HKBU Symphony Orchestra

Mahler’s Symphony No. 9
5 & 6 | 12 | 2008
Friday & Saturday
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
$480, $380, $280, $180
Available from URBTIX now
Reservations: 2734 9009
Credit Card booking: 2111 5999
Enquiries: 2721 2030

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.