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Maestro Jaap van Zweden and HK Phil’s Mahler Five (17 & 18 Oct)


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[3 September 2014, Hong Kong] The power of Jaap van Zweden meets the intensity of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony! The composer put everything into this music - not only a huge orchestra, but also his most profound questions and his most elevated inspiration. In its sublime final movement, darkness is overwhelmed by triumph. In the concert on 17 & 18 October, Maestro van Zweden will also lead the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) in Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem, which dates from 1940 and reflects on the warlike times from the viewpoint of a young, pacifist composer.

Mahler is famous for the way in which he stretched classical music to its limits. In his epic symphonies he addressed the eternal questions of the universe and expressed his most intimate thoughts on love and life. The hour-long Symphony no. 5, composed between 1901 and 1902, is a mammoth journey full of surprise and discovery. The exquisite, ten-minute Adagietto which forms the fourth movement has becoming hugely popular through its use in the film Death in Venice.

Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem was commissioned by the government of Japan to celebrate the 2600th anniversary of the ruling dynasty. However, because Britten introduced elements from the Christian religion which the Japanese regarded as an insult to their Emperor, they rejected it and Britten re-dedicated it to the memory of his own parents. Its first performance was given in the United States in 1941.


Swire Maestro: Jaap’s Mahler 5 will be held on 17 & 18 October 2014 (Fri & Sat), 8PM, in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Tickets priced: HK$680, $480, $300, $200 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call 2721 2332 or visit



Jaap van Zweden, conductor [full biography]
Amsterdam-born Jaap van Zweden is one of today’s most sought-after conductors. Named Musical America’s Conductor of the Year for 2012, he has been Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012/13 season.

The maestro has recently conducted the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Symphony to high acclaims.

At the age of nineteen, Jaap was appointed as the youngest Concertmaster ever of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Maestro van Zweden is also currently Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Honorary Conductor of the Radio Chamber Philharmonic.

Swire Maestro: Jaap’s Mahler 5
17 & 18 | 10 | 2014
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$680 $480 $300 $200
Tickets are now available at URBTIX
For ages 6 and above


Jaap van Zweden


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Jaap van Zweden
Photo Credit: Cheung Chi Wai

HK Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo Credit: Keith Hiro / HK Phil



Sinfonia da Requiem


Symphony no. 5

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For programme enquiry, please call HK Phil at
+852 2721 2332
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Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Music Director: Jaap van Zweden

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) is the city’s largest and busiest musical organisation and is a vital part of Hong Kong’s cultural life. With its roots stretching back well over a century, the HK Phil made its professional début in 1974. It has now evolved into an orchestral powerhouse in the region, and an acclaimed cultural centrepiece of Asia’s World City.

The HK Phil is formed on the belief that a great city deserves a great orchestra. Annually it presents over 150 concerts attracting 200,000 music lovers. Through its acclaimed education programme, over 40,000 young people have learned about orchestral music last year. Featuring an enviable roster of international conductors and soloists, the HK Phil performs a broad variety of music, with many concerts presented free; among them the annual Swire Symphony Under The Stars.

The Swire Group has been the Principal Patron of the HK Phil since 2006. Through this sponsorship, which is the largest in the orchestra’s history, Swire also endeavours to promote artistic excellence, provide access and stimulate cultural participation in Hong Kong, and to enhance Hong Kong’s reputation as one of the great cities of the world.

The HK Phil’s members come from every corner of the globe, with a strong core of Hong Kong musicians. In September 2012 Jaap van Zweden became the orchestra’s Music Director. Future years will see an ambitious series of new projects, with major international tours, renewed local partnerships and large-scale concert events. The HK Phil has commenced a multi-CD recording project for Naxos featuring works by Chinese composers.

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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