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Perry So Leads the HKPO in
The Monumental Symphonie fantastique by Berlioz;
Asian Première: Hong Kong Composer Fung Lam’s Unlocking
On 20 & 21 May


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[18 April 2011 – Hong Kong] Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (Hong Kong) proudly presents Perry So in “Simply Classic: Perry’s Symphonie fantastique” this May. Apart from the masterpiece by Berlioz, he will lead the Orchestra in an programme that also includes Ravel’s Shéhérazade, featuring mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack, and the Asian première of Hong Kong composer Fung Lam’s Unlocking

Simply Classic: “Perry’s Symphonie fantastique” will be held on 20&21 May 2011 (Fri & Sat), 8pm at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Free pre-concert talks will be held at 7:15pm at AC2, 4/F, Administration Building, HK Cultural Centre.

Perry So, conductor

“Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5… benefited from So’s choice of apt tempi…a sustained sense of direction and well-plotted climax.”

---Sam Olluver, South China Morning Post

Perry So joined the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2008 as Assistant Conductor and has become Associate Conductor since September 2010. In 2008, he received the first and special prizes at the Fifth International Prokofiev Conducting Competition held in St Petersburg, only the third time the top prize has been awarded. One of the inaugural Dudamel Conducting Fellows at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Perry So has just completed a six-week residency with that Orchestra conducting four concerts and assisting Lorin Maazel and Vasily Petrenko. This led to an immediate re-invitation.

The 2010/11 season sees his débuts with the London, Japan, Zagreb and Cape Town Philharmonic orchestras, the Milwaukee, New Zealand, Tasmanian and Asturias Symphony orchestras and the Australian Youth Orchestra, as well as return visits to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Noord Nederlands Orkest. In addition to concerts in Hong Kong, he maintains a close relationship with the State Hermitage Orchestra of Russia with whom he performs annually during the spring and summer festivals in St Petersburg.

Born in Hong Kong in 1982, Perry So graduated from Yale University in Comparative Literature, where he studied with noted literary scholar Michael Holquist. He subsequently studied conducting under Swiss pedagogue Gustav Meier at the Peabody Institute. He was also a prizewinner at the Mitropoulos Competition in Athens and received a commendation from the Hong Kong Home Affairs Bureau for his international musical accomplishments. His current mentors include Edo de Waart and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Perry So founded and directs the Huangshan International Music Festival, set in the mountains of central China.

Daniela Mack, mezzo-soprano

“She has a sweet voice, which resonates deeply in the mezzo range, and displays some agile coloratura in the higher range.”


Mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack has been acclaimed for her “caramel timbre, flickering vibrato, and crisp articulation”. (Opernwelt) She has performed at many famous opera houses, including Pittsburgh Opera, Opéra Louisiane, Opera Santa Barbara, Opéra National de Bordeaux and Opera Colorado. In the 2009/10 season, she returned to the San Francisco Opera for her final year in the Adler Fellowship Program where she was seen as Siebel in Faust. Recent notable engagements include her débuts with Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Tamiri in Il re pastore and with Opera Cleveland as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. She will collaborate with the Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera and English National Opera in the future seasons.

Fung Lam, composer
With the première of his orchestral work Unlocking in 2008, Fung Lam became not only the first Hong Kong composer, but also the youngest Chinese composer ever to have received a commission from the BBC, for whom he has already written three orchestral works while he was in his 20s. His music has been performed by the London Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Concert, New Zealand Symphony, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Hong Kong Festival Wind and Tokyo Kosei Wind orchestras.
Visit for more details.

Hong Kong composer Fung Lam was in his 20s when the BBC commissioned Unlocking for a radio programme in 2008. That made him the youngest Chinese composer ever commissioned to write for the BBC and also confirmed him as a significant orchestral composer on the world stage. Taking inspiration from the exhibition of locks at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, Fung’s Unlocking explores themes of codes, secrets and locks. He described the process of composing in his online diary:

“What fascinated me the most was the really detailed design [of a lock]. So that inspired me to write a piece that’s got specific shapes and perhaps lots of codes as well… I want to start with really simple shapes and gradually make them more complicated with more decoration… I like to compose with like very limited materials because I like to write music which draws people in rather than bombarding people with lots of notes and ideas.”

Hear Associate Conductor Perry So bring to life Berlioz’s vivid portrayal of an opium-induced nightmare – complete with witches’ revelries and a musical beheading – as he directs one of the great orchestral showpieces of the 19th century, while Argentinean mezzo-soprano, Daniela Mack, revels in the exotic and sensual pleasures of Ravel’s song-cycle derived from the legendary Arabian Nights tales.

Simply Classic: Perry’s Symphonie fantastique
20&21 | 5 | 2011
fri & sat 8pm
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$320 $240 $180 $120
Available at URBTIX from now


Perry So conductor
Daniela Mack mezzo-soprano
Fung Lam composer

Click the thumbnail to download photos


FUNG LAM  Unlocking (Asian Première)
RAVEL  Shéhérazade
BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique

Pre-concert Activities
SWIRE Classic Insights: Discover Berlioz [FREE]
Date: 19 May 2011 (Thursday)
Time: 8pm
Venue: Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
Conductor / Presenter: Perry So, Associate Conductor, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Programme: BERLIOZ    Symphonie fantastique (excerpts)

Free Pre-concert Talk
Date: 20 May, 2011 (Friday)
Time: 7:15pm – 7:45pm (English)
Venue: AC2, 4/F, Administration Building, HK Cultural Centre
Speaker: James Boznos, Principal Timpanist, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

Free Pre-concert Talk
Date: 21 May, 2011 (Saturday)
Time: 7:15pm – 7:45pm (Cantonese)
Venue: AC2, 4/F, Administration Building, HK Cultural Centre
Speaker: Savio Lau, Music Editor, HiFi Review

Ticketing Information

Credit Card Booking
(852) 2111 5999
Online Booking

For programme enquiry, please call HKPO at
(852) 2721 2030

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, attracting world-class artists to collaborate on its stage. HKPO annually touches the lives of over 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 critically acclaimed tours in Asia and Europe. In the 2010/11 season, the Orchestra undertakes a China tour of Shanghai, Xi’an and Beijing under the leadership of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Maestro Edo de Waart. The first of which is an Expo 2010 programme.

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

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