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A Tribute to Maestro Lim Kek-tjiang

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Society would like to express deepest condolences to the family of Maestro Lim Kek-tjiang, who passed away peacefully on 15 June 2017 in Melbourne.

Maestro Lim was the HK Phil’s Principal Conductor from 1969 to early 1974, and was the HK Phil’s first Music Director when it was established as a professional orchestra in 1974.

“Maestro Lim was our first Music Director. His vision and hard-work helped turn the HK Phil into what it is today. On behalf of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society, I would like to express the most sincere gratitude and respect to the Maestro. He will be sorely missed”, said Y.S. Liu, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society.

Fan Ting, our Principal Second Violin, also our only remaining member from the 1974 roster, recalls “Maestro Lim Kek-tjiang was my mentor, he inspired me to pursue my career as a professional musician when I was just fourteen. I remembered at the first concert in 1974 after the Orchestra launched into its professional era, Maestro Lim asked all string players to memorise the score, we played Tchaikovsky Symphony no. 5. Maestro set a high bar for the Orchestra, and thanks to his persistence, he led the Orchestra to overcome difficulties and financial crises, laid a solid foundation for the HK Phil in achieving what we could today. I express my gratitude to the Maestro, for everything he brought to me as well as the HK Phil. He will be missed deeply”.

Hong Kong Philharmonic Society

In the mid-1970s, Maestro Lim Kek-tjiang, the first Music Director of the 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 Principal Guest Conductor with the HK Phil for a three-year period commencing with the 2015/16 season.

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 rave reviews internationally; 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 toured to Taiwan, Europe and Mainland China. The orchestra just completed 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, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Yuja Wang and the late Lorin Maazel.

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 was originally called the Sino-British Orchestra. It was renamed as the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra 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.