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Two Acclaimed British Musicians – Cellist Paul Watkins & Conductor Mark Wigglesworth making their HKPO Débuts in Elgar’s Cello Concerto


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[4 October 2011 – Hong Kong] Experience the magic as two brilliant British musicians – cellist Paul Watkins and conductor Mark Wigglesworth – make their débuts with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) in one of the most popular of all English orchestral works, the intensely beautiful Cello Concerto by Elgar.

Simply Classic: “Elgar’s Cello Concerto & Beethoven’s Pastoralwill take place on 21 & 22 October 2011 (Fri & Sat), 8pm in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. The concert will open with another hugely popular work, the delightful Pastoral Symphony by Beethoven, and conclude with music from Wagner’s majestic opera Tannhäuser:

Free pre-concert talks will be given on both nights at 7:15pm also at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. For details, please visit

Paul Watkins, cello [Full Biography]

“The concert’s high point was Paul Watkins’ performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto. Here was a subtle balance of passion and compassion, revealing the deep sense of anguish underlying the superficially idyllic pastoral and achieving some strikingly beautiful sounds.”

---The Guardian

“The best thing about the cello is its enormous range.” Paul Watkins said. Does he ever wish he played another instrument? The answer is “No! The cello was always the one.” Acclaimed for his inspirational performances and eloquent musicianship, he has made six concerto appearances at the BBC Proms, most recently in a televised performance of the Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra recorded live by Deutsche Grammophon. His first recording for Warner Classics was nominated for a Grammy Award and won a Schallplattenpreis in Germany. His recital disc of works by Martinu was acclaimed by Gramophone as “an excellent disc and the best of the commercially available sets.” As solo cellist, he performs regularly with the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic and Melbourne Symphony.

Mark Wigglesworth, conductor [Full Biography]

Wigglesworth led the orchestra through orchestral excerpts from Wagner's "Tannhäuser" and "Die Meistersinger." The results were heart-stopping, transfixing, almost beyond praise".

---San Francisco Chronicle

Mark Wigglesworth won the Kondrashin International Conducting Competition in the Netherlands in 1989. In 1992 he became Associate Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and since then has held the positions of Principal Guest Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Passionate about passing on his experiences to a younger generation, he has performed with the European Union Youth Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, as well as giving Conducting Masterclasses in London, Stockholm and Amsterdam.

The works in this programme all suffered from poor starts in life. Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser was far from the success he had hoped. The opera’s overture, though, developed a life in the concert hall as a supremely majestic orchestral piece.

Initially, Elgar’s cello concerto was neglected also, but today it’s counted among the most poignant English music – a perfect vehicle for the emotionally charged voice of the cello.

As for Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, it’s shocking to think that its première passed almost unremarked by the Viennese public. Today there is no doubt that this is one of the most absorbing and delightful orchestral works ever penned.

Simply Classic: Elgar’s Cello Concerto & Beethoven’s Pastoral
21&22 | 10 | 2011
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK $320 $240 $180 $120
Available at URBTIX from now


Mark Wigglesworth conductor
Paul Watkins cello

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BEETHOVEN        Symphony No.6 Pastoral
ELGAR         Cello Concerto
WAGNER Tannhäuser: Overture

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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, 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 programme HSBC Insurance Creative Notes and free concerts such as the popular Swire Symphony under the Stars, and regular broadcasts and telecasts. Outside of Hong Kong, the HKPO has made a number of critically acclaimed tours in Asia and Europe.

The 2011/12 season will mark Maestro Edo de Waart’s eighth and final season with the HKPO. Apart from his own series of five special programmes which are summaries of his achievements with the Orchestra over the last seven years, ending with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the new season will also attract a stellar cast of great artists and guest conductors.

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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