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Hear the Electrifying Sounds of Latin America
From the King of Tango, Astor Piazzolla, on 3 & 4 June


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[23 May 2011 – Hong Kong] The exotic and passionate sounds of South America from Astor Piazzolla come to the stage of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra this June, brought to you by bandoneón and violin virtuosi, Carel Kraayenhof and Karen Gomyo, under the energetic baton of conductor Gisèle Ben-DorSoundFest Series: Bravo! Piazzolla will be held on 3&4 June 2011 (Fri & Sat), 8pm at Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Free pre-concert talks will be held on both nights, 7:15pm at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre 4/F Administration Building and Auditoria Building 4/F Foyer respectively.

Gisèle Ben-Dor, conductor
Uruguayan conductor, Gisèle Ben-Dor, is a champion of Latin American music - notably the works of Ginastera, Revueltas, Piazzolla and Luis Bacalov - and is widely regarded as one of the world’s finest and most dedicated exponents of this repertoire. She is currently Conductor Laureate of the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Emerita of the Boston Pro-Arte Chamber Orchestra, a post which she was elected exclusively by the musicians. A winner of the Bártok Prize of Hungarian Television, she has toured extensively in Eastern Europe. One of her notable recordings includes the world première recording of Ginastera’s ballet Estancia with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Carel Kraayenhof, bandoneón

“a first-rate artist of real musical command, vitality, brilliance and intensity”
---Chicago Tribune

Carel Kraayenhof is the most fascinating and versatile contemporary bandoneón player. Unique in his style due to his profound knowledge of the Argentinean tango, he touches the audience worldwide with his enchanting performances. By working closely together with Astor Piazzolla in 1987 during the Broadway show “Tango Apasionado” and his long lasting personal friendship with Tango Maestro Osvaldo Pugliese, he developed into one of the most beloved bandoneónists of this moment. He has worked with many eminent artists, including Yo-Yo Ma, Janine Jansen, Joshua Bell and Quirine Viersen. He has also collaborated with many renowned orchestras, including London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He has received the “Edison Publieksprijs” in 2003 for his CD Tango Royal and an award by the Argentinean Government in 2005 for his efforts of promoting the Argentinean tango.

Karen Gomyo, violin
Recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2008, Karen Gomyo was a winner of the 1997 Young Concert Artists International Auditions at age 15. As a soloist, she has engaged with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. She has worked with many conductors, including Leonard Slatkin, Neeme Järvi, Andrew Litton, David Zinman and Hans Graf. In 2008, she performed at the Headquarters of United Nations in New York for the Symposium on Supporting Victims of Terrorism.

The electrifying and hypnotic sounds of Latin America come alive as virtuoso musician, Carel Kraayenhof, brings that most characteristic instrument of the South American tango bands to the stage in a masterful work by the “King of Tango”, Astor Piazzolla.  The composer’s style, combining traditional Argentinean tango and jazz, and fusing popular and classical culture, finds its quintessence in the beautifully sensual and passionate Concerto for Bandoneón.

Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires is another extraordinarily interesting work. In its final shape, it takes a tango-inspired work by the composer and combines it with elements easily recognizable from Vivaldi’s model.  Not only does it share with Vivaldi the general concept of depicting four seasons in music, it also presents a solo violin featured within an orchestra texture in highly virtuosic style. 

Described as “the great hope for Argentinean music”, Alberto Ginastera looks to the rolling pampas grasslands and gaucho songs of his native country in his dance suite, while from Mexico Silvestre Revueltas harks back to the days of the great Maya civilization in music originally composed as a movie soundtrack.

SoundFest: Bravo! Piazzolla
3&4 | 6 | 2011
fri & sat 8pm
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$380 $280 $200 $120
Available at URBTIX from now


Gisèle Ben-Dor conductor
Carel Kraayenhof bandoneón
Karen Gomyo violin

Click the thumbnail to download photos


GINASTERA           Estancia Suite
PIAZZOLLA  The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
PIAZZOLLA Concerto for Bandoneón Aconcagua
REVUELTAS La noche de los Mayas

Pre-concert Activities
Free Pre-concert Talk
Date: 3 June, 2011 (Friday)
Time: 7:15pm – 7:45pm (English)
Venue: AC2, 4/F, Administration Building, HK Cultural Centre
Speaker: Ken Smith, Music Critic

Free Pre-concert Talk
Date: 4 June, 2011 (Saturday)
Time:  7:15pm – 7:45pm (Cantonese)
Venue: HK Cultural Centre Auditoria Building 4/F Foyer
Speaker: Dr. Stefan Au, Senior Teaching Fellow, HKIEd

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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