Media Contact:
Meggy Cheng
Director of Marketing
Tel: (852) 2721 9035

Becky Lee
Media Relations Manager
Tel: (852) 2721 1585

Yan Pascal Tortelier Conducts the HK Phil (21 & 22 May)
A Le French May Associate Project


Download HERE

[6 April 2016, Hong Kong] Yan Pascal Tortelier is hailed as one of France’s most exciting conductors with a distinguished career as a guest with the world’s most prestigious orchestras. He returns to the HK Phil after almost six years to conduct two iconic French masterpieces and a radiant tone poem by Richard Strauss. Stunning Swedish cellist Jakob Koranyi makes his Hong Kong début in these concerts.

In Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto no. 1, the composer was determined to convert public taste for Germanic composers by writing a concerto which broke away from the usual pattern of three contrasting movements. Instead he merged them into one and reintroduced the main themes in various guises throughout the work. Jakob Koranyi’s virtuosity will be vividly demonstrated from start to finish in this highly demanding work for the cello.

Debussy’s Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun needs no introduction. It is one of the most beautiful of all French impressionist works evoking the serenity and tranquillity of a leafy glade on a hot afternoon. Ravel’s luscious Valse nobles et sentimentales plunges us into a world of glittering and magical dances, reliving the spirit of the Viennese waltz but with a French flavour. Originally written for piano, Tortelier conducts Ravel’s own arrangement for full symphony orchestra.

The second half of the concert is devoted to one of Richard Strauss’ most compelling orchestral works, the symphonic poem Death and Transfiguration, which portrays the artist’s thoughts as he prepares for the moment before his soul leaves the body.

Masterworks: Tortelier will be held on 21 (Sat), 8PM & 22 May (Sun), 3PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Ticket prices: HK$480, HK$380, $280, $180 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit

Free Pre-concert talks are available before both concert.

21 May 2016 (Sat)

22 May 2016 (Sun)


7:15 – 7:45pm

2:15 – 2:45pm


AC2, 4/F, Administration Building,
Hong Kong Cultural Centre

AC2, 4/F, Administration Building,
Hong Kong Cultural Centre


Dr Maureen Buja, Musicologist

Mr Dennis Wu, Music Writer and Critic





Yan Pascal Tortelier, conductor [full biography]
Following Tortelier’s outstanding work as Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic between 1992 and 2003, including annual appearances at the BBC Proms and a very successful tour of the US to celebrate the orchestra’s 60th anniversary season, he has given the title of Conductor Emeritus and continues to work with the orchestra regularly. Tortelier has collaborated with major orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic etc.

Jakob Korani, cello [full biography]
The Swedish cellist Jakob Karanyi was a Rising Star of the European Concert Hall Organisation in 2011/12 and was awarded the Norwegian Soloist Prize in the same season. Following the release of his critically acclaimed recital CD Jakob Koranyi, cello, he was labelled ‘a force to be reckoned with’ by The Strand Magazine.

Masterworks: Tortelier
21 & 22 | 5 | 2016
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$480 $380 $280 $180
Tickets are now available at URBTIX
For ages 6 and above


Yan Pascal Tortelier


Jakob Koranyi


Click the thumbnail to download photos


Jakob Koranyi
Photo Credit: Anna-Lena Ahlstrm


The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo: Cheung Chi Wai/HK Phil




Valses nobles et sentimentales


Cello Concerto no. 1


Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun


Death and Transfiguration

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 more than 150 concerts over 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 for an initial three-year term in the 2015/16 season as Principal Guest Conductor.

Under Maestro van Zweden, the HK Phil is undertaking a variety of initiatives including a four-year project to perform and record the complete Ring of the Nibelung (Richard Wagner). The Orchestra is in the second of this four-year journey, performing one opera annually 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.