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6 May 2009

[Hong Kong 6 May 2009] The Board of Governors of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society Ltd (HKPS) announces today the appointment of Mr So Hau-leung as its new Chief Executive following an international recruitment search.

Mr So, a member of the HKPS Board of Governors (formerly General Committee) since 2002 with the role of advising the Orchestra on all areas of management from marketing, fundraising, finance to artistic programming, will officially step down as Board of Governors member as well as Development Committee member before assuming the position of Chief Executive on 6 July, succeeding Mr Timothy Calnin.

A graduate of the Hong Kong University in Economics and Philosophy, So has enjoyed a long and successful career in arts and entertainment management.  He was General Manager of the Orchestra in its first two professional seasons in 1974 and 1975 before serving as Business Manager at the Hong Kong Arts Centre. During the 80s and 90s his career branched into the field of commercial entertainment where he took charge of such leading entertainment companies as Capital Artists and Metrostar Entertainment, overseeing their diverse business interests in artist management, concert and theatre presentation, record production, music publishing, films and international tours. In 1991, So became Managing Director and later Regional CEO of Golden Pony Records, a joint-venture between Golden Harvest and Pony Canyon of the Fujisankei Group (Tokyo). After spending four years in Canada, So returned to Hong Kong in 2000 and has since become increasingly involved in public service and government appointments, including serving as a member of the Financial Matters Advisory Group of the Consultative Committee on the Core Arts and Cultural Facilities of the West Kowloon Cultural District from 2006 to 2007.  For his “outstanding contributions to the development of arts and culture in Hong Kong”, So received in September 2006 a Certificate of Commendation from the Home Affairs Bureau.

A classically trained pianist, So has over the years given many public performances as a recitalist and chamber musician, partnering with visiting artists and leading local talents.

Mr Y.S. Liu, Chairman of HKPS Board of Governors, said, “Hau-leung’s appointment gives the HKPO a strong alliance of Artistic Director Edo de Waart and a Chief Executive with vast management experience.  I am confident that Edo and Hau-leung will work together to help put the Orchestra firmly on the local, regional and international artistic map.”

Maestro Edo de Waart, Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Orchestra, congratulated So on his appointment.  “Since the start of my directorship of the Orchestra in 2004, I have come to respect Hau-leung for his vision, great passion for music and creativity.  I warmly welcome him to the Orchestra and I can’t wait to start working with him in the future,” said Maestro de Waart.

“I am thrilled to be joining the HKPO family and look forward to working closely with Maestro de Waart, the Orchestra, the Board of Governors and the management.  The tasks before me are great but I am certain that we as a team will strive towards a future of artistic achievement and service to our community, as well as to make the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra a singular artistic success story,” said So.

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The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) is one of Asia’s leading orchestras. 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. HKPO annually touches the lives of 200,000 music lovers through more than 150 performances. HKPO stays in tune with our city by presenting the biggest outdoor symphonic concert of the year, Swire Symphony Under the Stars at Happy Valley in the 07/08 season. In the 08/09 season the Orchestra undertook a major six-concert tour of China, including the Xinghai Concert Hall in Guangzhou, Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts and Shanghai Grand Theatre under the leadership of Maestro Edo de Waart.

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.
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is the Venue Partner of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.