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National Day Celebration (16 & 17 September)
Yellow River Cantata & Sun Yat Sen Symphonic Suite


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[28 July 2016, Hong Kong] The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) honours the 150th birthday of one of the legendary fathers of modern China, Sun Yat Sen, in the National Day Celebration concert. The programme features Xian Xinghai’s Yellow River Cantata and also highlights from the Sun Yat Sen Symphonic Suite. Conductor Zhang Guoyong will direct the large forces of a full symphony orchestra supplemented with Chinese instruments, along with soloists including Song Yuanming (soprano), Yang Yan (tenor), Zhang Xueliang (tenor), Yuan Chenye (baritone) and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus.

The Yellow River Cantata is a famous Chinese work which is also the “parent” piece for the piano concerto of the same name. Sometimes called the “People’s Composer”, Xian Xinghai wrote works which vividly combined Chinese folk music with Western harmonies. The Yellow River Cantata is the composer’s most enduring work setting the poetry of Guang Weiran. 

Sun Yat Sen Symphonic Suite combines beautiful melodies, colourful orchestration and lyrics which describe the story of Sun Yat Sen. Audiences will hear the highlights of the suite, which was composed and premiered in Guangzhou in 2011 and was later performed in different cities in Mainland China.

Holiday: National Day Celebration will be held on 16 & 17 September (Fri & Sat), 8PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Ticket prices: HK$380, $280, $180, $120 are available at URBTIX from 1 August. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit

Opening performance is brought to you by Jonathan KS Choi Foundationand sponsored by Sunwah Kingsway Capital Holdings Ltd.; Zhongshan Committee of the CPPCC is the supporting organisation
17 September performance is sponsored by Wing Lung Bank

Free Pre-concert talks are available before both concerts, stay-tuned for more details at

Zhang Guoyong, conductor [full biography]
Zhang Guoyong studied conducting under Huang Xiaotong and Gennady Rozhdestvensky. He is now the Professor and Dean of the conducting department of Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and Vice Chairman of the China Musicians Association. He has worked with many well-known orchestras including the Russian State Orchestra, Russian Philharmonic and Tokyo Philharmonic. He has also worked in opera houses both in China and abroad.

Song Yuanming, soprano [full biography]
Song Yuanming has won many international singing competitions. She has performed in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Beijing National Centre for the Performing Arts, Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall, and Musikverein Vienna. Her operatic roles have included Don Giovanni, Turandot, La Bohème, and Le nozze di Figaro.

Yang Yan, tenor [full biography]
Yang Yan is well known as a tenor in China and has won many singing competitions in China and internationally. He is active in opera and his roles have included The Barber of Seville, Cavalleria Rusticana and La Traviata. Internationally he has performed in America, Russia, Italy, France, Australia and Singapore.

Zhang Xueliang, tenor [full biography]
Tenor Zhang Xueliang studied under Yang Yan. He has won many major international and Chinese singing competitions and performed both in China and overseas. His roles have included Turandot and Rigoletto.

Yuan Chenye, baritone [full biography]
Yuan Chenye is a renowned baritone and his key roles have included Amorasro in Aida, and Escamillo in Carmen. He also played the title roles in Nabucco and Eugene Onegin. Other performances have included Michele in Puccini’s Il Tabarro at Opera Carolina. He has performed with orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony and Baltimore Symphony.

Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus [full biography]
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus was established in 1980. Over the years it has collaborated with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra to perform a range of different works. In 2013 the Chorus undertook a new recruitment drive, and over 450 singers were attracted to attend the audition. The Chorus has performed with the HK Phil in major works by Britten, Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Haydn under renowned conductors including Lorin Maazel, Nicholas McGegan and Brett Weymark.

Holiday: National Day Celebration
16 & 17 | 9 | 2016
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$380 $280 $180 $120
Tickets will be available at URBTIX from 1 August 2016
For ages 6 and above


Zhang Guoyong


Song Yuanming


Yang Yan


Zhang Xueliang


Yuan Chenye


Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus

Click the thumbnail to download photos

Zhang Guoyong

Song Yuanming

Yang Yan

Yuan Chenye

Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus
Photo Credit: Cheung Chi Wai/HK Phil

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


LIU Changan, DU Ming, YAO Xiaoqiang,
YAO Feng, SANG Rain

SUN YAT SEN Symphonic Suite﹝highlights﹞

XIAN Xinghai

Yellow River Cantata

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 to 2022.

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 became fully professional in 1974 and celebrated its 40th professional season in 2013/14.

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.