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Britten's Serenade and Walton's Façade

6 March 2009

Hong Kong, 6 March 2009 – Poetry and music come together in the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert Poetic songs and playful words under the baton of David Atherton featuring works by Britten and Walton. The HKPO has invited British Tenor Timothy Robinson to sing Britten’s exquisite Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings and he will be joined by legendary mezzo-soprano Ann Murray to perform the playful speaking parts in Walton’s delightful entertainment Façade.

Timothy Robinson
Tenor Timothy Robinson was a choral scholar at New College, Oxford; after completing his degree in Music in 1985, he continued his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He has appeared in concert throughout the United Kingdom. A specialist in the music of Benjamin Britten, Timothy Robinson’s recent opera engagements include Captain Vere (Billy Budd) for Hamburg Opera and Peter Quint (The Turn of the Screw) for both Leipzig Opera and English National Opera.

Ann Murray
Also joining Timothy Robinson as speaker in Walton’s Façade will be Irish-born concert singer Ann Murray. She has sung with the Orchestre de Paris under Kubelik, the Philadelphia Orchestra under Sawallisch, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Muti, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Solti, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Haitink and in the Musikverein, Vienna under Sawallisch and Harnoncourt.

Britten and Walton
In April 1943, Britten set seven English poems to music as his first major work since returning to the UK. Earlier in the year Britten met the English-born French horn player, Dennis Brain who asked Britten to write him a concerto, but instead the composer decided to add a truly virtuoso horn part to his seven English songs for tenor and string orchestra. In this Serenade, words and music meld into a perfect union as the composer’s choice of poems by Cotton, Tennyson, Blake, Jonson and Keats is given to the tenor voice, framed by strings and embellished by solo horn. His Sinfonia da requiem was written as the world plunged into war, its storm-cloud menace gradually clearing to a radiant serenity. Between the two world wars, London was a paradise of hedonism and Walton’s playful Façade dresses the words of Edith Sitwell in the fashionable sounds of the tango, fox-trot and Charleston.

SoundFest: Poetic Songs and Playful Words
13 & 14-3-2009 Fri & Sat 8PM
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$300 $250 $200 $150
Weekday 10% discount

David Atherton, Conductor
Timothy Robinson, Tenor & Speaker
Mark Vines, Horn
Ann Murray, Speaker

BRITTEN Sinfonia da requiem
BRITTEN Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings
WALTON Façade, an entertainment

Free Pre-concert Talk
Time: 13/3/2009 Fri 7:15pm – 7:45pm (English)
14/3/2009 Sat 7:15pm - 7:45pm (Cantonese)
Venue: HK Cultural Centre Auditoria Building 4/F Foyer
Speaker: Fri (English)
Lisa Rogers
Co-Principal of Horn of HKPO
Sat (Cantonese)
Homer Lee Siu-lam
Horn player of HKPO

Photos download
David Atherton Timothy Robinson Mark Vines Ann Murray

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. The Orchestra also builds its reputation and raises its artistic standards by touring. In 2007/08 season the Orchestra performed in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing.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.
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is the Venue Partner of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.