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HK Phil Presents Pictures at an Exhibition, a concert of Russian colours (25 & 26 March)


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[15 February 2016, Hong Kong]  The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) will bring Mussorgsky’s stirring Pictures at an Exhibition, Liadov’s tone poems and Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto to life. Starring Russian star violinist Dmitri Makhtin, the concerts will be conducted by Hans Graf at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall on 25 & 26 March.

Three short tone poems by Anatoly Liadov will set the scene, depicting various pictures drawn from Russian fairy tales and legends. Liadov accepted a commission of the Imperial Geographical Society to collect folk tales and music from around Russia, and he made use of some of these in Baba Yaga and Kikimora, while The Enchanted Lake creates a memorable image of a dark, mysterious lake from Russian legend.

Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto uses Russian folk music in its magical opening theme, exquisitely conveyed in some of Prokofiev’s more mellow musical language. The performance features Russian violinist Dmitri Makhtin, who has recorded Prokofiev Violin Concerto no. 1.

The second half of the concert contains one of the most famous Russian works of all time, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Originally written for piano as a tribute to his architect friend Viktor Hartmann, we experience it here in a classic orchestral version by Maurice Ravel, the version most people will recognise.

Swire Maestro Series: Pictures at an Exhibition will be held on 25 & 26 March (Fri & Sat), 8PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Ticket prices: HK$480, $380, $280, $180 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit

Free Pre-concert talks are available on both concert nights; stay tuned for details at

Hans Graf, conductor [full biography]
Hans Graf was the Music Director of the Houston Symphony from 2001 to 2013. He has conducted the Vienna and London Philharmonic orchestras, Vienna Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, Dresden Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony and Seoul Philharmonic orchestras.

Dmitri Makhtin, violin [full biography]
Dmitri Makhtin has performed with prestigious conductors including Evgeny Svetlanov, Leonard Slatkin, Alexander Dmitriev and Nikolaï Alexeev, and with Russian State Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra.

Swire Maestro Series: Pictures at an Exhibition
25 & 26 | 3 | 2016
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$480 $380 $280 $180
Tickets are now available at URBTIX
For ages 6 and above

Hans Graf


Dmitri Makhtin


Click the thumbnail to download photos

Hans Graf

Dmitri Makhtin
Photo Credit: Francois Sechet

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo Credit: Philip Chau/HK Phil



Baba Yaga


The Enchanted Lake




Violin Concerto no. 2


Pictures at an Exhibition

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Music Director: Jaap van Zweden
Principal Guest Conductor: Yu Long

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) is recognised as Asia’s foremost classical orchestra. The Orchestra presents over 150 concerts within a 44-week season and attracts more than 200,000 music lovers annually.

Jaap van Zweden, one of today’s most sought-after conductors, is the Orchestra’s Music Director, a position he has held since the 2012/13 concert season. Maestro van Zweden was recently announced as the next Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. This appointment will not affect his tenure with the HK Phil; his commitment to the HK Phil extends at least to the summer of 2019.

Yu Long was appointed Principal Guest Conductor in the 2015/16 season for an initial three-year term.

Under Maestro van Zweden, the HK Phil is undertaking a variety of projects including a four-year project to perform and record the complete Ring of the Nibelung (Richard Wagner). The Orchestra is in year two of this four-year journey, performing one opera each year in concert. The performances are being recorded live for the Naxos label and mark the first performances by a Hong Kong or mainland Chinese orchestra of the entire Ring cycle.

Also under van Zweden, the orchestra undertook a highly successful five-country, seven-city tour of Europe in the 2014/15 season, with concerts in London, Vienna, Zurich, Eindhoven, Birmingham, Berlin and Amsterdam. Performances were met with enthusiasm and universally positive reviews. The concert in Vienna’s Musikverein was filmed for broadcast on TV.

Conductors and soloists who have recently performed with the orchestra include Vladimir Ashkenazy, Ning Feng, Matthias Goerne, Lang Lang, Yu Long, Yundi Li, the late Lorin Maazel, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Yuja Wang.

The HK Phil promotes the work of Hong Kong and Chinese composers through an active commissioning programme, and has released recordings featuring Tan Dun and Bright Sheng, each conducting their own compositions, on the Naxos label. Its acclaimed community engagement programme brings music to tens of thousands of children annually. A recording was issued free to schoolchildren throughout Hong Kong of Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Leopold Mozart’s Toy Symphony.

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, foster access to classical music and stimulate cultural participation in Hong Kong, and to enhance Hong Kong’s reputation as one of the great cities of the world.

Thanks to a significant subsidy from the Hong Kong Government and long-term funding from Principal Patron Swire, the Hong Kong Jockey Club and other supporters, the HK Phil now boasts a full-time annual schedule of classical music concerts, pops concerts, an extensive education programme, and collaborations for staged opera with Opera Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Arts Festival.

The Orchestra’s history stretches back to 1895, when it was formed as the Sino-British Orchestra. It was re-named in 1957 and became fully professional in 1974.

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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