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The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra presents
Swire Classic Insights
Three free concerts at HKU with different themes


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[27 January 2017, Hong Kong] In the upcoming Swire Class Insights, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) will present fabulous music and on-stage commentary in three concerts to be held on 24 February (Fri), 25 February (Sat) and 4 March (Sat) at 8pm in the Grand Hall, Lee Shau Kee Lecture Centre, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong. Registration is required. The registration period for the general public begins on 2 February.

(1)    The African American Experience (24 February 2017, Friday, 8 pm)
In conjunction with the Kinsey Collection exhibiting at HKU, our concert explores the African American experience in music. Join conductor Jung-Ho Pak, Professor Derek Collins and DJ Spooky as we perform and discuss music from this rich tradition. Born in adversity, this is a distinctive culture with its own unique art and music.


Violin Concerto in A Op.7 no. 1: 1st Movement


Symphony no. 1, Afro-American: 1st Movement


Porgy and Bess: Summertime


Black Brown and Beige: Beige


Rebirth of a Nation: selections

Conductor & Presenter

Jung-Ho Pak


Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky


Professor Derek Collins
Dean of the Faculty of Arts at The University of Hong Kong

Special Guest

Tony De Ritis

(2)    Soviet Realism, Absolute Power (25 February 2017, Saturday, 8 pm)

Shostakovich and other artists had to survive the terrible purges of the 1930s under a regime which insisted that art conform to official rules. Many artists disappeared without trace when their work displeasing the authorities. How did Shostakovich work around the restrictions? What happened to more cooperative composers? Hear the music and find out with Jung-Ho Pak in this Swire Classic Insights concert.


Colas Breugnon: Overture


Gayaneh: Adagio


New Babylon: Excerpts


String Quartet no. 8: 4th Movement


Symphony no. 5: Excerpts and 4th Movement

Conductor & Presenter

Jung-Ho Pak


Dr Oscar Sanchez-Sibony
Assistant Professor of History at The University of Hong Kong

(3)    Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (4 March 2017, Saturday, 8 pm)
Henry Purcell’s masterpiece Dido and Aeneas is arguably a perfect opera. Queen Dido and Prince Aeneas are in love, but forces of discord interfere to destroy their future together. Conducted by Benjamin Bayl, the concert features Caitlin Hulcup, Gareth Brynmor John and a few casts of Hong Kong singers including Louise Kwong and the HK Phil Chorus.


Dido and Aeneas


Benjamin Bayl


Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus


Caitlin Hulcup


Gareth Brynmor John


Louise Kwong

All three concerts are free admission. Seats are limited and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested parties can register online as follows:

The African American Experience

Soviet Realism, Absolute Power

Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas

Sponsored by

With support from

Jung-Ho Pak, conductor [full biography]
Described by the Los Angeles Times as “a real grabber,” Jung-Ho Pak, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, firmly believes the orchestra doesn’t exist simply to play notes, but to “grab souls”. This desire to create a “passionate synergy” with the orchestra has earned him a reputation as a revolutionary thinker in the world of classical music. He served as the principal conductor of the Emmy-nominated Disney Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra for eight years. As a guest conductor, he has travelled to Europe, the former Soviet Union, South America and Asia.

Benjamin Bayl, conductor [full biography]
Benjamin Bayl is a gifted conductor equally at home with modern and historical repertoire, who through his skill, thoughtful communication and intense musicality in working with symphony and chamber orchestras, opera houses and period instrument orchestras is establishing a flourishing reputation in Europe, Asia and Australia.

Click the thumbnails to download photo



Jung-Ho Pak

Benjamin Bayl

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

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 being recorded live for the Naxos label are winning widespread international rave reviews; 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 Mainland China. The orchestra will undertake an ambitious five-city tour to Seoul, Osaka, Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney in April - May 2017 in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR.

Conductors and soloists who have recently performed with the orchestra include Yo-Yo Ma, 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.