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Jaap van Zweden conducts Mahler’s Mighty Third (9 & 10 December)


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[15 November 2016, Hong Kong] Gustav Mahler never did anything half-way. Neither does Maestro Jaap van Zweden, Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil). On 9 & 10 December at 8pm at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, maestro van Zweden will conduct Mahler’s mighty Third Symphony, with the vast forces of the HK Phil, Ladies of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus, the Hong Kong Children’s Choir, and the gorgeous voice of Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor.

“…almost miraculous…I can’t think of another living conductor who could work such magic.”
--- The Dallas Morning News on Jaap van Zweden conducting Mahler Symphony no. 3

Mahler composed this enormous six-movement symphony in 1895-96, when he was taking a summer break in a small town near Salzburg, Austria. In this grand masterpiece, he reveals the secrets of the universe as he heard them, naming the movements evocatively; “What the Flowers in the Meadow Tell Me”, “What the Animals in the Forest Tell Me”, “What Man Tells Me”, “What the Angels Tell Me” and, embodying the power of love, “What Love Tells Me”. Mahler’s concept of nature and the unity of all things pervades the Third Symphony.

Masterworks: Mahler’s Mighty Third will be held on 9 & 10 December (Fri & Sat), 8PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Ticket prices: HK$680, $480, $380, $280 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit

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

Jaap van Zweden, conductor [full biography]
Jaap van Zweden has risen rapidly in the past decade to become one of today’s most distinguished conductors.  Starting with the 2018-19 season, he will be the Music Director of the New York Philharmonic.  Currently, he is Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2008, and has been Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012. Van Zweden was named Musical America's 2012 Conductor of the Year. Born in Amsterdam, Jaap van Zweden was the youngest ever concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He began his conducting career in 1995. 

Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano [full biography]
Possessing a voice of uncommon allure, musical sophistication far beyond her years, and intuitive and innate dramatic artistry, the Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor has emerged as one of the most compelling performers of her generation. She appears with many of the world’s foremost orchestras and has created meaningful artistic relationships with such eminent conductors and directors as Gustavo Dudamel, Iván Fischer, Louis Langrée, Donald Runnicles, Robert Spano, and Franz Welser-Möst.

Ladies of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus
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. Since then, the Chorus has performed with the HK Phil in major works under renowned conductors including Lorin Maazel, Nicholas McGegan and Brett Weymark.

Hong Kong Children’s Choir [full biography]
The Hong Kong Children's Choir (HKCC) was founded in 1969 as a private non-profit charitable organisation. HKCC is now the biggest choir in the world with over 5,000 boys and girls receiving choral, dancing, arts and craft training from the Choir. Each year, touring groups are invited to give performances overseas, spreading the message of love and peace to other parts of the world.

9 & 10 | 12 | 2016
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$680 $480 $380 $280
Tickets are now available at URBTIX
For ages 6 and above

Click the thumbnail to download photo



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

Kelley O’Connor
Photo Credit: Kristina-Choe-Jacinth

Hong Kong Children's Choir



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

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


Symphony no. 3

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 third 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 has undertaken tours to Taiwan, Europe and, for a second time to Mainland China, with recent concerts in Shanghai, Tianjin and Beijing.

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.