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Dutch Maestro Jaap van Zweden Leads the HKPO in Two Programmes in November Highlighted by the Asian Première of Glass’ Double Concerto for Violin and Cello (18&19 Nov) & Britten’s Violin Concerto in D minor (25&26 Nov)


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[21 October 2011 – Hong Kong] For two weeks in November the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra’s special Guest Conductor is
Dutch Maestro Jaap van Zweden who will be bringing his much praised musical insight to the Hong Kong audience which reflected his own personal tastes

To open his first programme, Maestro van Zweden will bring to the Orchestra a rare treat from the Netherlands - Wagenaar’s Cyrano de Bergerac Overture, followed by the exciting Asian Première of Glass’ Double Concerto with violinist Michael Guttman and cellist Wendy Sutter, and Brahms’ magnificent Fourth Symphony. The following week, Maestro van Zweden will juxtapose two important orchestral gems of the 20th Century – Britten’s Violin Concerto in D minor featuring another Dutch artist Simone Lamsma, and Prokofiev’s Symphony No.5 in B flat.

Swire Maestro: “Jaap van Zweden’s Brahms” will be held on 18 & 19 Nov 2011 (Fri & Sat), 8pm in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. There will be a Post-Performance Discussion on 18 Nov immediately after the Friday concert. Participants are only admitted with tickets to either of the 18 or 19 Nov concerts (Fri or Sat). Seats are limited and available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Great Performers: “Before and After” will be held on 25 & 26 Nov 2011 (Fri & Sat), 8pm in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Free pre-concert talks will be given on both nights at 7:15pm also at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. For details, please visit

Jaap van Zweden – conductor

“A pure musician, van Zweden does not require hype or engage in theatrical gestures on or off the podium”
--- Chicago Sun Times

Jaap van Zweden was born in 1960 in Amsterdam and began his musical life as a violinist before moving from stage to podium. He is presently Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Radio Kamer Filharmonie, and Chief Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra.

Jaap van Zweden has worked with many prestigious orchestras across the globe, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Orchestre National de France, Munich Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Recent highlights have included highly acclaimed debuts with the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and a tour of major European capitals and a Beethoven symphony cycle with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic.

Highlights of the 2010/11 season and beyond will include his debuts with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Atlanta Symphony and St Louis Symphony.

Swire Maestro: “Jaap van Zweden’s Brahms” (18&19 Nov)

Michael Guttaman, violin

“[Michael Guttman] plays all the music with great commitment and a fine feeling for the expressive style”
--- Gramophone

Praised by the New York Times for “his incredible wealth of tone colors and his sound of melting beauty”, Michael Guttman has performed in London’s Barbican Centre, New York’s Avery Fisher Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Tokyo Bunka Kaikan in Japan. His groundbreaking recordings of 20th century violin concertos with the Royal Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic and the Philharmonia have been broadcast by the BBC in 110 countries. Under Michael’s direction, the Arriaga Festival, held in the medieval city of Bruges, was a highlight of Belgium’s musical agenda for ten years.

Wendy Sutter, cello

“one of the great cellists of the classical stage”
--- The Wall Street Journal

Wendy Sutter was a member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars from 2001 to 2007, which commissions and performs contemporary music. She has toured extensively with Tan Dun (composer and conductor) performing his works, including the Oscar Academy winning score Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The Map Cello Concerto. Her 2008 recording of Glass’ Songs and Poems for solo cello, which was written especially for her, has been performed over 60 times worldwide to great acclaim. She performs on the beautiful “Ex-Vatican Stradivarius” cello which was crafted circa 1620 by the great Italian maker Nicolo Amati.

Jaap van Zweden opens his first concerts in our season with a Dutch rarity, Wagenaar’s Cyrano de Bergerac – a rollicking overture which captures the adventure, chivalry and pathos of one of the great literary heroes. Cyrano’s looks might have been comical, but his soul was full of poetry, and clearly struck a chord with Wagenaar. Philip Glass’ Double Concerto for violin and cello comes to Hong Kong hot off the press – its first performance was in 2010. Glass’ music has become iconic, with mesmerising rhythms that mark out our modern times. To close the concert, Brahms’ fourth symphony shows us Brahms at his ultimate creative height – searching lyricism, the exaltation of the Romantic era, tinged with deep melancholy.

Great Performers: “Before and After” (25&26 Nov)

Simone Lamsma, violin

“she has technique to burn…she always applied the perfect touch of emotional momentum to a piece…When she finished, the audience was on its feet, with lots of foot stomping, clapping and bow waving on stage.”
---St Louis Post-Dispatch

Simone Lamsma has said “This is what I want to do in life. Music is my way of living. I am very grateful that I can do this because I love it.” Simone and Maestro van Zweden worked together for the first time at the end of 2007, performing the Szymanowski First Concerto with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. She said “It’s wonderful. He leaves me complete freedom in my interpretation and I can play as I feel. He is such a fabulous conductor and I am thrilled and honored that he respects me as a musician and wants to work with me.” She won the 2nd Prize in the prestigious International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (2006), 1st Prize in the China International Violin Competition (2005), the Benjamin Britten International Violin Competition (2004) and the Dutch National Violin Competition (2003). In 2010 she was awarded the national Dutch VSCD Classical Music Prize in the category ‘New Generation Musicians’, a prize given to artists who have made remarkable and valuable contributions to the Dutch classical music scene.

Britten and Prokofiev both wrote incisive works about the world they were faced with. The young Britten, leaving England as the storm clouds of the Second World War gathered, wrote dark works full of foreboding and the sheer intensity of the times. His violin concerto dates from 1939 and captures the mood perfectly. Between its composition and first performance, war broke out.

Prokofiev’s fifth symphony was written as the tide of battle turned. This is a triumphant victory symphony, matching its era almost to the minute – as Prokofiev raised his baton at the very first performance, a volley of cannons was fired in Moscow, announcing that the last Soviet offensive on Germany was underway.

Both works exude vigour, aggression, sometimes despair; a portrait of their time, before and after enormous conflict.

Swire Maestro: Jaap van Zweden’s Brahms
18&19 |11| 2011
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK $320 $240 $180 $120
Available at URBTIX from now


Jaap van Zweden conductor
Michael Guttman violin
Wendy Sutter cello

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Cyrano de Bergerac
Double Concerto for Violin and Cello
(Asian Première)
Symphony No.4

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

Great Performers: Before and After
25&26 | 11| 2011
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK $320 $240 $180 $120
Available at URBTIX from now


Jaap van Zweden conductor
Simone Lamsma violin

Click the thumbnail to download photos


Violin Concerto
Symphony No.5

Ticketing Information
Credit Card Booking
(852) 2111 5999
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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 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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