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[18 October 2016, Hong Kong] The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) today announced an ambitious five-city international tour in 2017 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) led by Jaap van Zweden, Music Director of the HK Phil.

The five-concert tour will include programmes showcasing Hong Kong’s creativity and musical culture including a commissioned work by a leading Hong Kong composer as well as masterpieces by Mahler, Mozart, Bartók and Brahms. Internationally renowned violinist Ning Feng will appear as soloist at all concerts. The tour begins in Seoul (16 April) followed by Osaka (18 April) and Singapore (1 May) before heading to Melbourne (4 May) and Sydney (5 May).

Jaap van Zweden, who has been Music Director of the HK Phil since 2012/13, will also be the new Music Director of the New York Phil starting with the 2018/19 season. Van Zweden will continue to hold his position with the HK Phil at least until the summer of 2022.

HK Phil Chief Executive Michael MacLeod says the tour is an historic move for the orchestra.

“For the first time, Australian audiences will be able to enjoy our internationally recognised musicians when they perform at The Arts Centre, Melbourne and the Sydney Opera House. It’s a great opportunity to showcase the brilliance of our orchestra to an entirely new audience,” Mr. MacLeod said.

“The 2017 tour gives audiences in Singapore, Japan and Korea a rare opportunity to experience one of Asia’s leading orchestras together with our internationally renowned conductor Jaap van Zweden and showcases the artistic talents of violinist Ning Feng. It’s been 13 years since the HK Phil performed in Seoul, 17 years since we visited Singapore, and we last performed in Osaka in 1988, so this is a great way to renew our friendship with these audiences,” HK Phil Chairman Y.S. Liu said.

More recently, the HK Phil undertook an extensive European and UK tour (2015) and will shortly perform in three cities in Mainland China (October 26-29, 2016). Locally, the orchestra presents more than 150 performances annually.

The orchestra will present two programmes during the tour. The first, for audiences in Seoul and Osaka, includes the Bartók Violin Concerto and Brahms’ Symphony no. 1. The second programme for Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney will feature Mozart’s Violin Concerto no. 4 and Mahler’s Symphony no. 1.

HK Phil Music Director Jaap van Zweden says he’s looking forward to sharing the 2017 tour programmes with concert-goers.

“Mahler’s music is full of emotion and his Symphony no. 1 is ideal for touring being relatively short and extremely accessible. You can’t beat the majesty of Brahms’ first symphony with its glorious final movement. Ning Feng is a great violinist and in his hands, the Bartók and Mozart violin concertos will sparkle,” he said.

Audiences in Hong Kong will have a chance to savour the first tour programme when it is performed as part of the orchestra’s 2016/17 season on 14 April, 2017.

The 2017 international tour is presented by the HK Phil in association with, and supported by, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Tokyo, Singapore, and Sydney).

“This tour highlights the orchestra’s importance as ambassadors for Hong Kong’s cultural heritage and showcases our flagship arts organisation internationally. I’m sure international audiences will appreciate our wonderful cultural icon as much as we do in Hong Kong,” Mr. MacLeod said.

Jaap van Zweden, conductor [full biography]
Amsterdam-born Jaap van Zweden is one of today’s most sought-after conductors. He has been Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic since 2012, a position he will continue to hold until at least 2022. In addition, he will become the Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in the 2018-19 season.

Maestro van Zweden is 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. At just 19, he became the youngest Concertmaster appointed by the Netherland based Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He began his conducting career in 1995, becoming Chief Conductor at the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra (1996-2000), Chief Conductor of the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague (2000-2005) and Chief Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra (2008-2011). He was named as Musical America’s Conductor of the Year in 2012.

Ning Feng, violin [full biography]
Born in Chengdu, China, Ning Feng studied at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, London. He performs regularly in China and has an international reputation as an artist of great lyricism and technical accomplishment. He is a regular guest performer with the HK Phil.

His numerous awards include first prize at the International Paganini Competition (2006) as well as the 2005 Michael Hill International Violin Competition (New Zealand).

Click the thumbnail to download photos

Jaap van Zweden
Photo Credit: Cheung Chi Wai/HK Phil

Ning Feng
Photo Credit: Felix Broede

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo Credit: Keith Hiro/HK Phil


HK Phil’s send-off concert in Hong Kong:
14 | 4 | 2017
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$680 $480 $380 $280
Tickets will soon be available at URBTIX
For ages 6 and above

2017 Five-City Tour begins:
16 | 4 | 2017
Seoul, South Korea. Performing at the Seoul Arts Centre

18 | 4 | 2017
Osaka, Japan, performing at The Symphony Hall

Programme (Hong Kong, Seoul and Osaka)

Violin Concerto no. 2


Symphony no. 1

= = = = =

1 | 5 | 2017
Singapore. Performing at The Esplanade

4 | 5 | 2017
Melbourne, Australia. Performing at the Hamer Hall, The Arts Centre, Melbourne

5 | 5 | 2017
Sydney, Australia. Performing at the Sydney Opera House

Programme (Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney)
MOZART Violin Concerto no. 4
MAHLER Symphony no. 1

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, has been the Orchestra’s Music Director since the 2012/13 concert season, a position he will continue to hold until at least 2022. In addition, Maestro van Zweden will also be the next Music Director of the New York Philharmonic starting with the 2018-19 season.

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 celebrated its 40th season as a professional orchestra 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.