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Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra announces the 2011/12 Season

“Our Great Journey with Edo”

A stellar line-up of artists including pianists André Watts & Paul Lewis, violinists Gil Shaham & Frank Peter Zimmermann, mezzo-soprano
Susan Graham and conductors Osmo Vänskä & Jaap van Zweden to celebrate Maestro Edo de Waart’s final season


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[19 May 2011 – Hong Kong] Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) today announces its 2011/12 Season “Our Great Journey with Edo”, the eighth and final under the baton of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Maestro Edo de Waart. 69 pre-eminent artists and choruses from around the world, will perform with the Orchestra in 39 spectacular programmes (a total of 74 main stage concerts) in a season that promises to be a summation of the great work and achievements Maestro de Waart has accomplished with this fine symphonic ensemble.

His legacy all began with Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall on 22 October 2004, where Maestro de Waart made his first appearance to thunderous applause as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the HKPO. Eight seasons later, with the final notes of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 on 21 April 2012, Maestro de Waart will have accumulated some very impressive statistics under his very own masterful baton:

  • 207 memorable performances
  • 120 stellar artists
  • 272 masterful works
  • Over 200,000 in attendance

2011/12 Season - Our Great Journey with Edo
“Each work that I perform this season represents a personal aspect of what we have explored, a celebration of music and performers which are important to me and which deserve to be shared.” What Maestro de Waart comments about his own programmes in the new season being a great music and artistry also holds true for the rest of the brilliantly new season. Themed “Our Great Journey with Edo”, the HKPO’s 2011/12 Season features works from a wide spectrum of musical eras and styles, from Bach’s violin concerto and Beethoven’s masterpieces, to Mahler and Rautavaara’s symphonic wonders, to the boisterous sounds of Broadway and Hollywood. It promises to delight audience members of different musical tastes.
Joining Maestro de Waart in this season-long celebration are star artists - pianists André Watts, Paul Lewis, Marc-André Hamelin, Simon Trpčeski and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, violinists Gil Shaham, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Simone Lamsma and Isabelle Faust, mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and bass-baritone Andrew Foster-Williams, conductors Osmo Vänskä, Jaap van Zweden, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky and Andrew Litton, just to name a few. Newly introduced this season, the HKPO will feature Shaham, Lewis, Trpčeski and Hamelin, four of the world’s most loved musicians, in scintillating four performances in the Recital series.

Two of the Orchestra’s outstanding musicians, Principal Cello Richard Bamping and Principal Viola Andrew Ling are handpicked by Maestro de Waart to be featured in Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote. Perry So, the Orchestra’s Associate Conductor, leads the HKPO in two exciting programmes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony as well as musical gems by composers Rautavaara and Bright Sheng.

Young Asian artists will also be highlighted this season, led by violinists Ray Chen and Feng Ning, marimba whiz Pius Cheung, pianist Hong Xu and harpist Dan Yu, back by popular demand after her brilliant début with the Orchestra in early 2010.

To display the Orchestra’s versatility, the HKPO will razzle-dazzle the audiences in an eclectic mix of programmes ranging from Broadway tunes belted by vocalists Christiane Noll, Debbie Gravitte and Doug LaBrecque, Christmas carols sung by soprano Elvira Fatykhova and the Hong Kong Children’s Choir. Viennese waltzes conducted by Johannes Wildner, to a special tribute to John Williams with his blockbuster movie music conducted by Richard Kaufman.

HKPO 2011/12 Season Press Launch
The HKPO 2011/12 Season Press Launch was held today, 19 May 2011 (Thu), 12:30pm at the Michelin-star Restaurant, Nanhai No.1 at the iSQUARE, Tsimshatsui. Officially opened by Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr Y.S.Liu, the launch was hosted by Mr Perry So, Associate Conductor, Mr Michael MacLeod, Chief Executive, and Mr Raff Wilson, Director of Artistic Planning, who introduced to the many guests and friends from the press the exciting programmes and some of the Orchestra’s new initiatives in the new season. The launch came to a celebratory end when a large tailored made CD with the signature of Maestro de Waart was signed by esteemed guests including Mr Liu, Mr MacLeod, Mr So, Mr Wilson as well as representatives from the Orchestra’s Principal Patron, Swire, and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD).

Venue and Catering Sponsor: Nanhai No.1

Media Photos of the 2011/12 Season Press Launch:

Click the thumbnail to download photos

01. Mr Y.S. Liu, Chairman of the Board of Governors, HKPS delivered the Welcome Speech

02. Perry So, Associate Conductor, and Raff Wilson, Director of Artistic Planning introduced the 2011/12 Season “Our Great Journey with Edo”

03. Michael MacLeod, Chief Executive introduced the HKPO’s projects and initiatives in the new season

04. Mr Y.S. Liu and Perry So officiated the 2011/12 Season

05. Group photo of all guests

Edo de Waart Festival

Maestro Edo de Waart conducts five special programmes to mark his final year as the HKPO’s Artistic Director and Chief Conductor.

  • On 2&3 September 2011, the Season Opening Gala – Heaven and Earth, Maestro de Waart  leads the HKPO in his signature rendition of Mahler’s The Song of the Earth and Mozart’s Symphony No.41 Jupiter.
  • Maestro de Waart and the HKPO completes the critically acclaimed three-season Rachmaninov cycle with the return of renowned pianist Simon Trpčeski in the composer’s electrifying Piano Concerto No.3 and Symphony No.2 on 9&10 September 2011
  • Into the final month of Maestro de Waart’s eight-year tenure, Farewell to Edo – Visions Unveiled concerts on 6&7 April 2012 features Chen Qigang’s Iris Dévoilée and Wagner’s Parsifal – an orchestral quest (arr. de Vlieger).
  • On 13&14 April 2012, Farewell to Edo – Dream Harmonies, Maestro de Waart leads two HKPO Principals, Richard Bamping and Andrew Ling, in Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote. John Adams’ Harmonielehre completes the programme.   
  • Beethoven 9 – The Moment to Farewell on 20&21 April 2012. Internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, soprano Lisa Larsson, tenor Henry Choo, bass-baritone Mark Schnaible and the Shanghai Opera House Chorus come together on the stage of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, where the Maestro’s legacy began eight seasons ago, to mark a glorious end to his truly remarkable directorship with the HKPO.


Great Performers

Our flagship series, Great Performers offers you a stellar season of concerts. The greatest repertoire, performed by acclaimed artists who bring special vision and experience to each performance. Eight programmes showcase your orchestra in unforgettable musical experiences.

  • Ice Bird, Fire Bird: Master pianist André Watts joins the HKPO in Grieg’s dazzling Piano Concerto under the baton of conductor Andreas Delfs on 14&15 October 2011.
  • Before and After: Dutch violinist Simone Lamsma brings Britten’s Violin Concerto with conductor Jaap van Zweden who also conducts Prokofiev’s Symphony No.5 on 25&26 November 2011.
  • Vänskä Returns – Mahler 5: Maestro Osmo Vänskä returns to Hong Kong on 2&3 December 2011 to perform Mahler’s Symphony No.5 and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.23, joined by another consummate artist Paul Lewis.
  • Homeland Music: Violin virtuoso Gil Shaham joins forces with famous conductor Andrew Litton in      Barber’s Violin Concerto on 4&5 January 2012.
  • Virtuosos: Soloist and Orchestra: Piano powerhouse Marc-André Hamelin showcases his dazzling technique and extraordinary artistry in Franck’s Symphonic Variations and Richard Strauss’ Burleske on 9&10 March 2012.
  • On 30&31 March 2012, conductor Thomas Dausgaard takes the HKPO on an inspired journey of the symphonies by Sibelius and Nielsen at Creative Flame.
  • Spirit of the Sea: Maestro Johannes Wildner returns to Hong Kong to lead the Orchestra as well as the audience on a special voyage – two different visions of the many moods of the sea including Britten’s Peter Grimes – Four Sea Interludes and Debussy’s La Mer. Famed pianist Garrick Ohlsson plays Brahms’ Piano Concerto No.1.
  • L’Éxotique: Conductor Jun Märkl delves into an elegant all-French programme with works of Debussy and Ravel while French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet showcases Saint-Saëns’ exotic Piano Concerto No.5 Egyptian.

Swire Maestro

Three great conductors, Jaap van Zweden, Hans Graf and Lawrence Foster present music with special insights, where you may find some delightful surprise. After the Friday performance of each programme, there will be the chance to find out more from the Maestro himself, in the post-concert discussion.

  • Jaap van Zweden’s Brahms: On 18&19 November 2011, Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden opens his first of the two programmes with a Dutch rarity, Wagenaar’s Cyrano de Bergerac and the Asian Première of Philip Glass’ Double Concerto for Violin and Cello. The programme closes with Brahms’ Symphony No.4.
  • Fount of Inspiration: On 1&2 June 2012, Italian American flautist Marina Piccinini displays her exceptional technique in Ibert’s Flute Concerto while conductor Hans Graf leads the orchestra inRespighi’s Fountains of Rome and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.3 Polish.
  • Enigmas:The HKPO 2011/12 Season comes to a close on 6&7 July 2012 with conductor Lawrence Foster leading pianist Hüseyin Sermet and the orchestra in Ravel’s Piano Concerti. Works by Brahms and Elgar round out the programme.


Swire New Generation

The Swire New Generation Series showcases the talents of a rising generation of gifted young classical musicians. Four thrilling young soloists join forces with the HKPO in eight concerts where you get to see the superstars of tomorrow bringing youthful intensity to the greatest music.

  • Apotheosis of the Dance: Violinist of the new generation, Feng Ning plays Paganini’s captivating Violin Concerto No.1 under the baton of Andreas Delfs on 7&8 October 2011.
  • Story Time: Pianist Hong Xu has fashioned a glittering career for himself. On 20&21 January 2012, he plays Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.9 Jeunehomme with conductor Robert Spano who brings two beautiful musical fairy tales by Ravel and Rimsky-Korsakov.
  • Colours of Marimba: Rhapsody in Blue crowns this programme, but as you’ve never heard it before. The ultimate statement in symphonic jazz will be performed by Pius Cheung, in his own adaptation for marimba and orchestra. On 23&24 March 2012, under the baton of Joshua Tan, audience will be treated to Bright Sheng’s Colours of Crimson – Fantasy for Marimba and Orchestra, Bartók’s Dance Suite and Milhaud’s The Ox on the Roof.
  • Angel of Light: Award-winning violinist Ray Chen allures the audience alike with Bruch’s timeless Violin Concerto No.1        on 11&12 May 2012 while Perry So leads the HKPO in Sibelius’ The Tempest Suite No.1 and Rautavaara’s Symphony No.7 Angel of Light.

Splendour of Russia

What’s special about Russian music? Our new Splendour of Russia series celebrates the greatest Russian music in three programmes across the season – a chance to feel the heart and soul of Russia right here in Hong Kong.

  • Poetic Solitude: Legendary conductor Gennadi Rozhdestvensky leads the HKPO in an all-Tchaikovsky programme on 16&17 March 2012, together with Viktoria Postnikova playing the composer’s Piano Concerto No.2.
  • 3 Alexanders: Russian conductor Alexander Lazarev’s last performances of Shostakovich’s Symphony No.11 in Hong Kong were remarkable, and on 4&5 May 2012, he leads the orchestra in Glazunov’s Raymonda Suite (arr. Korndorf), Stravinsky’s Concerto in E flat Dumbarton Oaks, and Borodin’s Symphony No.2.
  • Russian Shakespeare: Shakespeare’s immortal words have inspired artists through the ages. On 15&16 June 2012, conductor Alexander Vedernikov will lead the HKPO in Tchaikovsky’s Hamlet Overture and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet (Vedernikov Suite) while cellist Johannes Moser makes his HKPO début in Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations.


Mozart +

The Mozart+ series features works by the best-loved of all composers. Around Mozart you can hear music influenced by him, or sharing “Mozartean” traits – elegance, humour, sophistication. This is the orchestra in agile and high-spirited mode.

  • The Singing Violin: Master violinist Kolja Blacher returns to Hong Kong on 27&28 April 2012 to lead and direct the HKPO, celebrating the expressive power of the violin. Mozart’s Symphony No.35 Haffner marks the opening of the concert followed by the Violin Concerti by Spohr and Bach while Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony concludes the concert.
  • Moments in the Sun: Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No.1 has captivated the audiences worldwide for over a century. On 25&26 May 2012, you’ll hear pianist Ronald Brautigam to play this brilliant concerto. Conductor Paul McCreesh also leads the orchestra in works by Schubert and Beethoven.
  • The Voice of Maturity: Both Handel and Mozart composed for great bass voices. On 22&23 June 2012, bass-baritone Andrew Foster-Williams demonstrates his impressive vocal technique in the arias by Mozart and from Handel’s Italian operas under the baton of Nicholas McGegan.


Simply Classic

Relaxed, informal concert: a voyage through the landscape of great music. Four programmes revealing the power and colours of the orchestra. Join us for the journey!

  • Drumroll, please!: Meet Ainars Rubikis from Latvia, a charismatic new arrival among young star conductors. On 16&17 September 2011, you’ll hear him playing Honegger’s Pacific 231, Haydn’s Symphony No.103 Drumroll and Dvořák’s Symphony No.7.
  • Just Rewards: Elgar’s Cello Concerto was regarded as one of today’s most prominent cello concerti. Making their Hong Kong début on 21&22 October 2011, cellist Paul Watkins joins forces with conductor Mark Wigglesworth in this beautiful cello concerto. In the second half of the concert, you’ll hear Wagner’s Tannhäuser: Overture.
  • Musical Heroes: Violin virtuoso Frank Peter Zimmermann, whose supreme artistry is acclaimed around the world débuts with the HKPO on 16&17 December 2011 in Beethoven’s electrifying Violin Concerto while Lü Jia, the frequent guest of the HKPO leads the orchestra in works of Dvořák’s Scherzo Capriccioso and Brahms’ Serenade No.2.
  • Unfinished Business: Composed as a love letter for a violinist, Bartók’s Violin Concerto No.1 was unknown until after his death. Hear violinist Isabelle Faust plays this tender and lyrical piece on 29&30 June 2012 while Maestro Carlo Rizzi returns to inspire the orchestra in works by Schumann and Bartók.



Reaching out the audience of all tastes, the SoundFest series celebrates the Orchestra’s flexibility. From the razzle-dazzle of Bravo Broadway to all-time greats like Beethoven’s Fifth – from the excitement of our New Year’s Eve Gala to the music of film legend John Williams, SoundFest is full of thrills – not to be missed.

  • Centenary Concert – a National Day celebration: On 29 September & 1 October 2011, Ode to the Red Flag opens our celebration of the 62nd National Day of the People’s Republic of China. It is followed by the special presentation of Bright Sheng’s Never Far Away. On the second half, Perry So conducts one of the greatest symphonies of all – Beethoven’s Symphony No.5.
  • The Best of Broadway: Get ready for an evening of classic entertainment, with the Best of Broadway. Three wonderful Broadway stars, Christiane Noll, Debbie Gravitte, Doug LaBrecque  under the leadership of conductor Carl Topilow takes us on the journey from the musicals of the golden jazz age right up to modern stunners like Wicked.
  • Symphony of Christmas Angels: The Hong Kong Children’s Choir joins with the HKPO for an unforgettable programme where a rich heritage of carols ranging from classic tunes to new surprises will be heard. Join us on 23&24 December 2011 for a never-forget Christmas!
  • A Viennese New Year: Nothing says ‘Happy New Year’ like a concert of all the best Viennese dances. Conductor Johannes Wildner brought an impressive new year to the audience in 2009, on 30&31 December 2011, he returns with a new programme of jewels from the treasury of 19th century Vienna.
  • Tribute to John Williams: For forty years, John Williams’ music has enhanced our most intense cinema moments. In 2012, the Maestro of the film soundtrack turns 80, and the conductor / presenter Richard Kaufman leads the HKPO to salute him with a programme of his best music.



Join the stellar line-up of international renowned soloists including pianists Simon Trpčeski, Paul Lewis, Marc-André Hamelin and violinist Gil Shaham in four distinguished recitals.

  • Simon Trpčeski in Recital: The national treasure of Macedonia and Gramophone award-winning pianist Simon Trpčeski gives a piano recital on 11 September 2011. In the recital, you’ll hear works of Bach, Chopin, Liszt and the Asian Première of Pande Shahov’s Songs and Whispers.
  • Paul Lewis in Recital: Concert pianist Paul Lewis captivated the audience with his phenomenal performance on Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto in last season, on 4 December 2011, he will bring an all-Schubert programme which he deeply loves.
  • Gil Shaham in Recital: On 8 January 2012, Gil Shaham plays the selections from Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin (BWV 1001-1006).
  • Marc-André Hamelin in Recital: On 7 March 2012, pianist Marc-André Hamelin showcases his masterful technique in a programme ranging from Haydn to Stockhausen.


What’s More?
The subscription concerts are the core of the HKPO’s 45-week season, yet the nurturing of young audience and reaching out to the Hong Kong community remain top priorities of the HKPO’s artistic vision. Besides mainstage concerts, the HKPO spreads the joy of music to all parts of the city through our extensive education activities and free concerts such as the widely popular outdoor concert Swire Symphony under the Stars, After Hour Classics at the ArtisTree, the annual education project HSBC Insurance Creative Notes student concerts and community concerts. We also collaborate with a range of other performing arts organizations such as the Hong Kong Ballet and Opera Hong Kong. One of the highlights of the 2011/12 Season will be the performance at the Hong Kong International Piano Competition with the winners of the competition, and the renowned conductor and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy, Chairman of the Jury. Music lovers can also enjoy the excellent performances of the HKPO through the radio and TV broadcasts by Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) which connect the HKPO with audiences worldwide.

  • 11 November 2011: Swire Symphony under the Stars
  • October & November 2011:      Hong Kong International Piano Competition
  • December 2011 & January 2012:      HSBC Insurance Creative Notes
  • January 2012:  Family Concerts
  • February 2012: After Hour Classics at the ArtisTree

The HKPO 2011/12 Season Subscription is NOW ON!

  • The HKPO 2011/12 Season “Our Great Journey with Edo” commences 2 September 2011 (Fri)
  • Patrons who subscribe by 2 July 2011 may enjoy up to 30% discount and a FREE Club Bravo membership, enjoying year-round privileges.
  • Students, citizens aged 60 or over, people with disabilities or CSSA recipients can enjoy up to 55% discount.
  • Please visit for full concert and event details.
  • Subscription Brochures are also available at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong City Hall and other performance venues, URBTIX outlets and the selected bookshops, music stores and many other locations.
  • Subscription enquiry hotline: 2721 2332


The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the below partners for their support:

HSBC Insurance
The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation
Sunwah Group
Partnership Fund for the Disadvantaged

For Press Kit and Artists Photos, please contact Miss Alice Luk at


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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