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Rising Star Violinist Dan Zhu performs with HKPO –
13 & 14 June

3 June 2009

[Hong Kong 3 June 2009] The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) will perform Saint-Saëns’s Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor, featuring rising star violinist Dan Zhu on 13 June (Saturday) at 8pm and 14 June (Sunday) at 3pm at Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Guest conductor Lü Jia will conduct the HKPO in Debussy ‘s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune and Stravinsky’s Petrushka.

Dan Zhu, violin

“one of the emerging Chinese international artists today”

Dan Zhu has won several prestigious international competition awards including Laureate at Concours Reine Elisabeth in Brussels and Concours Musical International de Montreal, Bronze Medals at the Sendai International Music Competition in Japan and the China International Violin Competition, as well as First Prize at the Waldo Mayo Memorial Competition for Young Gifted Violinists.

As a soloist, Dan Zhu has appeared with l'Orchestre National de Belgique, China Philharmonic, l'Orchestre National de France and l'Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal. He takes part in many music festivals, including Marlboro Festival (USA), Prades-Casals Festival, Festival de Giverny (France) and Spoleto Festival (Italy). A record release of Cesaer Franck's sonata with pianist Philippe Entremont, by the Swiss label Cascavelle at the end of 2007, received high remarks from several international presses and was awarded four-stars by Le Monde de La Musique.

Lü Jia , conductor

Lü Jia won the Antonio Pedrotti Competition in Trento, Italy in 1990 and has been a regular guest conductor with the leading Italian orchestras and opera companies including Orchestra di Santa Cecilia Rome, Orchestra del RAI Turin, and the Bologna and Rome Opera Houses. He is the first Asian conductor to be appointed as the Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Verona Arena Opera in 2006, which aroused great attention in the international music field.

Lü Jia has worked with a number of distinguished orchestras including the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Saarbrucken Radio Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Bamberg Symphony and Orchestre National de Lyon. He was acclaimed as ‘the most talented opera conductor at the moment’ by Il Secolo.

Saint-Saëns’s Violin Concerto No.3 in B minor - Both Saint-Saëns’s sons died within six weeks of each other. In his distress Saint-Saëns blamed his wife and walked out on her without warning in 1881. These unfortunate events coincided with the composition of his third Violin Concerto and are reflected in the tragic nature of the opening of the first movement where quiet, deeply sorrowful chords from the orchestra underpin the violin’s almost harsh outpouring of grief. The central movement is a gently swaying barcarole, given an added touch of magic by being in the very remote key of B flat major. High drama comes with the declamatory introduction to the Concerto’s finale.

Debussy ‘s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune - The French poet Stéphane Mallarmé published L’Après-midi d’un faune (The Afternoon of a Faun) in 1876 and invited Debussy to write incidental music. Debussy described his Prelude to L’Après-midi d’un faune as “a sequence of mood paintings throughout which the desires and dreams of the faun move in the heat of the afternoon.

Stravinsky’s Petrushka - Serge Diaghilev asked Stravinsky to write music for ballet Petroushka inspired by the sawdust puppets which were a popular feature of Russian travelling fairs. It symbolises the persecution and cruelty from which the lower classes in Russia suffered at the hands of the Tsarist rulers.

Swire New Generation: Dan Zhu
13-6-2009 Sat 8PM
14-6-2009 Sun 3PM
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
Ticket Price: HK$280 $220 $160 $120

Lü Jia , conductor
Dan Zhu, violin

Debussy Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor
Stravinsky Petrushka

Free Pre-concert Talk

13/6/2009 Sat 7:15pm – 7:45pm (English)
14/6/2009 Sun 2:15pm - 2:45pm (Cantonese)


HK Cultural Centre Auditoria Building 4/F Foyer


Sat (English)
Jerome Hoberman

Sun (Cantonese)
Leung Kin-fung
First Associate Concertmaster of HKPO

Photos download:

http://download/files/press/20090330/20061201_03_JoneJone.JPG (Lu Jia) (Dan Zhu)

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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 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.