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Perry So to replace Maestro de Waart in Project Wagner


[Hong Kong 13 August 2009] The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) announces today that Maestro Edo de Waart regrettably has to cancel his appearance in the 2nd half of the “Project Wagner” concert on 20th September, owing to family reasons.  To take his place on the podium will be HKPO’s Assistant Conductor Perry So.

Originally handed the baton to conduct the first half of the Project Wagner concert: Stravinsky’s Firebird: Suite, Perry will now lead the entire program which also includes the titled Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde – an orchestral passion, arranged by Henk de Vlieger.

“Over the last five years, the joint HKPO-Academy orchestra project has become something I take great pride in.  I am most disappointed that I won’t be able to conduct this concert although Perry and I will both rehearse and prepare the orchestra for it.  However, I am pleased that Perry will be able to take up the challenge.  Before him are the demanding scores of Firebird and Tristan and a massed orchestra of close to 100 musicians, but I have full confidence that Perry will impress us with his precocious intellect and rare talent,” said Maestro de Waart by phone from his home in Madison.

The Project Wagner concert is the public offering of the annual HKPO-Academy Orchestra Project, an orchestral training initiative created by Maestro de Waart in 2005.  Each year the Project takes the HKPO into the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts for a week-long residency to mentor the top music students, coach them in orchestral repertoire and form a massed orchestra to perform a major program under the Maestro’s direction. Past works include Adams’ Harmonielehre, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 and Richard Strauss’s Alpine Symphony.

“Both Zhang Xian and Perry So are rare talents in recent years… his prospects have no limit.”
Prof. Leo Ou-fan Lee, MingPao Daily

Perry So joined the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2008 as Assistant Conductor. In the same year, he was awarded the First Prize laureate of the 5th International Prokofiev Conducting Competition, held in St Petersburg, Russia. He was the youngest ever First-Prize winner in the history of the Competition. He was also a prize winner at the 2008 Mitropoulous Competition held in Athens, Greece, and was commended by the Home Affairs Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR government for his international musical accomplishments.

One of the brightest conductors of the younger generation, Perry has worked with international orchestras such as the St Petersburg Academic Philharmonic Orchestra, Staatskapelle Weimar, State Hermitage Orchestra of Russia and the Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra. His engagements in the 2009/10 season include a month-long residency as a Dudamel Conductor Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, where he will be conducting two concerts and assisting Lorin Maazel and Vladimir Jurowski, his débuts with the State Symphony Orchestra of Russia and the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, and numerous concerts with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.

Perry counts as his mentors such music illuminati as HKPO’s Music Director, Edo de Waart; Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Esa-Pekka Salonen; Gustav Meier at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University and esteemed American Scholar James Sinclair.  

Born in Hong Kong, Perry graduated from Yale University in Comparative Literature, studying with noted scholar Michael Holquist. As an undergraduate at Yale, he was Music Director of the Saybrook Orchestra and the Opera Theatre of Yale College. In 2007, Perry founded the Huangshan International Music Festival based in Huangshan, China, and serves as its Music Director.

Project Wagner – with HKAPA
20 | 9 | 2009
sun 3pm

HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$240 $180 $140 $100
Available at URBTIX now

Perry So


The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
The Academy Symphony Orchestra

Click the thumbnail to download photos


The Firebird: suite (1919)

WAGNER [arr. de Vlieger]: Tristan und Isolde – an orchestral passion

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Edo de Waart
Artistic Director and Chief Conductor

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 including its extensive education activities for children and adults alike, and free concerts such as the popular Swire Symphony Under the Stars, and regular broadcasts and telecasts. Outside of Hong Kong, HKPO has made a number of successful tours in Asia and Europe including a major six-concert tour of China in the 08/09 season under the leadership of Maestro Edo de Waart, drawing great critical acclaims. [Full Biography]

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.