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European Star Violinist Isabelle Faust &
Famed Conductor Carlo Rizzi headlined in
The Ingenious Pairing of Bartók and Schumann (29 June)


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[13 June 2012 – Hong Kong] Pairing two seminal works by the iconic 20th century composer Béla Bartók with two lesser known pieces by Robert Schumann, the Romantic master, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) presents an exciting programme Simply Classic: Bartók and Schumann” which features German violin star Isabelle Faust and Italian conductor Carlo Rizzi in Bartók’s Violin Concerto No.1 and Schumann’s Fantasie in C. The rest of the programme includes Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin Suite and Schumann’s Zwickau Symphony.

The concert will be held in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall on 29 June (Fri), 8pm. Tickets, priced at $320, $240, $180, $120, are now available at URBTIX. Programme enquiries: 2721 2030. Free pre-concert talk will be given at 7:15pm, also at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

Isabelle Faust, violin

“…Her sound has passion, grit and electricity but also a disarming warmth and sweetness that can unveil the music’s hidden strains of lyricism…”

---New York Times

After winning the 1993 Paganini Competition, Isabelle Faust moved to France, where she grew to love the French repertoire, particularly the music of Fauré and Debussy. Here she came to international attention with her first recording - sonatas by Bartók, Szymanowski and Janácek - and gradually refined her command of the most important works in the violin repertoire. In 2003, Faust released her first recording of a major Romantic work for orchestra, the Dvořák Violin Concerto. Her 2007 release of the Beethoven violin concerto also reflects her immersion in period performance practice.

It is precisely this willingness to open herself up to different musical idioms that has made Isabelle Faust a highly sought-after performer of contemporary music. The list of composers whose works she has premiered extends from Olivier Messiaen to Werner Egk and Jörg Widmann. She is a fervent proponent of music by György Ligeti, Morton Feldman, Luigi Nono and Giacinto Scelsi, as well as of forgotten works, such as André Jolivet’s violin concerto. In 2009 she premiered works dedicated to her by composers Thomas Larcher and Michael Jarrell.

Increasing numbers of orchestras and conductors have come to appreciate Faust’s artistry in recent years: Claudio Abbado, Charles Dutoit, Daniel Harding, Heinz Holliger, Mariss Jansons, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Munich Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Orchestras and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra are a few examples of the fruitful artistic partnerships that have emerged in recent years.

Isabelle Faust performs on the 1704 “Sleeping Beauty” Stradivarius on loan to her from Germany’s L-Bank Baden-Württemberg.

Carlo Rizzi, conductor
Carlo Rizzi has held the post of Music Director of Welsh National Opera twice – from 2004 to 2008 and from 1992 to 2001. Named as ‘one of the leading conductors of his generation’ he has appeared with the greatest orchestras of the world including the Vienna Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra of London and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the Orchestre National de France and the Orchestra of La Scala, Milan to name a few.

Maestro Rizzi is in great demand in the finest opera houses of the world as well and is a frequent conductor at Teatro La Scala Milano, the Metropolitan Opera New York, London’s Royal Opera Covent Garden, as well as Zurich Opera, Opera National de France Bastille, and the Netherlands Opera. He is also a regular guest at Houston Grand Opera.

In the recording studio he has worked with Teldec conducting Respighi Tone Poems and the complete L'Arlesienne music by Bizet with the London Philharmonic Orchestra among many other projects. He has recorded ten operas including La Traviata, Rigoletto, Faust, La Cenerentola and Un ballo in maschera. He has also recorded for EMI, Philips, Sony, Decca and several others. Deutsche Grammophon issued a recording and DVD of his La Traviata from the Salzburg Festival in Autumn 2005.

For many he is one of the great composers of the 20th century, his music a miraculous mixture of richly romantic melodies, lively folk dances and spine-tingling rhythms. If the magic of Bartók has so far eluded you, don’t miss this marvellous opportunity to hear two of his most distinctive works, The Miraculous Mandarin Suite - a vivid portrayal of magic, mystery and mayhem on the city the streets, the other an intimate expression of forbidden love – his Violin Concerto no.1.

European star violinist, Isabelle Faust, promises a fantastic journey through the concerto which Bartók regarded as so personal he kept it hidden for 50 years, as well as through the delightful companion piece – Fantasie in C - Schumann wrote for the Concerto which his wife wouldn’t allow to be heard in public.

To complete this tantalizing programme, Italian conductor, Carlo Rizzi, has also unearthed the rarely-heard Zwickau Symphony which the young Schumann hoped would impress his mother.

Simply Classic: Bartók & Schumann
29 | 6| 2012
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$320 $240 $180 $120
Available at URBTIX now

Carlo Rizzi conductor
Isabelle Faust violin

Click the thumbnail to download photos

SCHUMANN Zwickau Symphony
BARTOK Violin Concerto No.1
SCHUMANN Fantasie in C
BARTOK The Miraculous Mandarin Suite

Ticketing Information

Credit Card Booking
(852) 2111 5999
Online Booking

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


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. The HKPO annually touches the lives of over 200,000 music lovers through more than 150 performances. Under the leadership of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Edo de Waart, the HKPO has scaled new heights of musical excellence, and will continue to do so under the artistic leadership of Jaap van Zweden, the Orchestra’s Music Director from the 2012/13 season.

The HKPO stays in tune with our city by presenting the Orchestra in unexpected venues and bringing the excitement of the concert experience to every home through radio and television broadcasts including the largest symphonic event of the year, Swire Symphony under the Stars, at Happy Valley. The Orchestra runs a comprehensive schools education programme, HSBC Insurance Creative Notes, bringing the joy of classical music to primary, secondary and special school kids. The Orchestra also collaborates regularly with other performing arts organisations such as Opera Hong Kong in addition to its crossover series with Western and Chinese pop artists.

The Orchestra also builds its reputation and raises its artistic standards by touring. In September 2010, de Waart and the HKPO returned to China, performing at the Expo 2010 Shanghai, Xi’an and Beijing to critical acclaim.

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 a Venue Partner of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre

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