Media Contact:
Meggy Cheng
Director of Marketing
Tel: (852) 2721 9035

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra presents
Swire Classic Insights
Free concerts at HKU commemorating World War One and celebrating Polish animation


Download HERE

[8 February 2018, Hong Kong] 2018 is the centenary of the end of World War One and also the 70th birthday of Polish Animation. In the upcoming Swire Classic Insights, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) will present fabulous music, on-stage commentary, and live animation in three concerts to be held on 2 March (Fri), 3 March (Sat) and 16 March (Fri) at 8pm in the Grand Hall, Lee Shau Kee Lecture Centre, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong. Registration is required. Ticket registration begins on 13 February 2018.

(1)        Remembering World War One – Part I (2 March 2018, Friday, 8 pm)
As we approach the centenary of the end of the First World War, Jung-Ho Pak will conduct two consecutive programmes showing how composers responded to, or were affected by, this traumatic event.

The first concert features music which offers very personal reactions to the experience of war: Vaughan Williams instilled his nostalgia for the disappearing idyllic country into The Lark Ascending after his service in the army; Ravel was commissioned by Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein who lost his right arm on the Russian front; Howells wrote his moving Elegy to pay tribute to a fellow student killed in a battle in 1917.

RAVEL Piano Concerto for Left Hand

Conductor & Presenter Jung-Ho Pak
Speaker Professor David Pomfret
Violin Leung Kin-fung
Viola Andrew Ling
Piano Avan Yu

With support from


(2)        Remembering World War One – Part II (3 March 2018, Saturday, 8 pm)
The second concert recalls the suffering of soldiers and civilians in wartime. Butterworth was killed by a sniper while Webern served in the Austrian army for much of the First World War. Soviet military orchestra conductor and composer Agapkin wrote his patriotic march in honour of the women who had to be parted from their menfolk in the First Balkan War. Although Holst had been rejected for military service because of ill-health, he worked as a volunteer using music to rehabilitate traumatised soldiers. Debussy was too old and ill to serve in the war, but he described his Noël des enfants qui n'ont plus de maisons as “a prayer from the French children that the Germans should have no Christmas”.

To keep up morale in the Viennese population during the war, J Strauss I’s Radetzky March was particularly effective, while in America, Cohan’s song Over There was used to galvanise public opinion in support of the Allied cause.   

COHEN Over There
BUTTERWORTH The Banks of Green Willow
AGAPKIN The Slavic Woman’s Farewell
DEBUSSY Noël des enfants qui n'ont plus de maisons, L. 139
WEBERN Der tag ist vergangen
J STRAUSS I Radetzky March
HOLST       Ode to Death

Conductor & Presenter Jung-Ho Pak
Speaker Professor David Pomfret
Chorus Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus

With support from


(3)        70 Years of Polish Animation (16 March 2018, Friday, 8 pm)
In collaboration with the Hong Kong International Film Festival, we are taking a special journey through Polish animation and music under the baton of Polish conductor Sebastian Perłowski. Surviving wars and decades of political turbulence, Polish composers and animators have striven to express themselves and respond to society through their works, making Polish animation and its music one of the country’s shining gems on the international stage. Mariusz Wilczynski, an established Polish film-animator, will project his live drawing to the music.


Three Pieces in Old Style


Sinfonia Elegiaca (Symphony no.2) (Asian premiere)


Cello Concerto no. 1 (Asian premiere)

Conductor Sebastian Perłowski
Cello Danjulo Ishizaka
Live Animation Mariusz Wilczynski

All three concerts are free admission. Seats are limited and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. For more details, please visit:

Jung-Ho Pak, conductor [full biography]
Described by The New York Times as a conductor who "radiates enthusiasm" and Los Angeles Times as "a real grabber", Jung-Ho Pak is known for his unique vision of the role of classical music. Since 2007 he has been Artistic Director and Conductor of the Cape Symphony, and is also Music Director Emeritus of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. Guest conducting has taken him to Europe, Russia, South America and Asia.

Sebastian Perłowski, conductor [full biography]
Sebastian Perłowski graduated with honours from the departments of Opera and Symphonic Conducting and Composition in the Jazz Institute of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. He was nominated by music critics, journalists and the public as "Best Conductor of the Krakow Opera last five years". Currently, he is teaching Composition in the Jazz Institute of the Karol Szymanowski Music Academy in Katowice and he is vice artistic director at Poznań Opera House.

David Pomfret, speaker [full biography]

Leung Kin-fung, Violin [full biography]
In 2015, Leung was awarded “Artist of the Year - Music 2014” by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. Since 2000, Leung has been the First Associate Concertmaster of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Artistic Director of Hong Kong Pure String and Macau Virtuosi. He has also served on the faculty of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Starting from 2017, Leung is the programme director of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Cultural Exchange Festival.

Andrew Ling, Viola [full biography]
Hong Kong-native Andrew Ling is principal violist of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. His appearances as concert soloist have included the HK Phil and the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. Andrew has also brought his musicianship to conducting engagements with the HK Phil, the Pan Asia Symphony Orchestra, and Finland’s Seinäjoki City and Kuopio Symphony orchestras. He has worked with some of the world’s foremost conductors, including Jaap van Zweden, Edo de Waart, Jun Märkl and Leonard Slatkin.

Avan Yu, Piano [full biography]
One of Canada’s most exciting young pianists, Avan Yu achieved international recognition when he triumphed at the Sydney International Piano Competition in 2012, winning First Prize along with nine special awards. He has performed extensively throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australia and at venues such as the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Salle Cortot in Paris, and the Sydney Opera House.

Danjulo Ishizaka, Cello [full biography]
After receiving first prize in both the ARD Competition and Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann, Danjulo Ishizaka is today ranked among the most outstanding cellists of his generation internationally. His international concert schedule regularly takes him throughout Europe, Asia and the US. He has been performing around the world with artists including Gidon Kremer and Tabea Zimmermann, and with leading orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and NHK Symphony Orchestra.

Mariusz Wilczynski, Animator [full biography]
As a creator of animated films and as a painter, cartoonist, set designer and performer, Wilczyński's work presents a range of styles - and features films at once bittersweet and sardonic. His films have been shown at top festivals in Poland, in Melbourne, Terme and Bologna in Italy, Chicago, and at Midem, Cannes, and solo screenings in Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Milan, Vilnius, Sydney and Toronto.

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 by composers including Britten, Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Haydn and performed under renowned conductors Lorin Maazel, Nicholas McGegan, Brett Weymark and Jaap van Zweden.

Click the thumbnails to download press photos
Jung-Ho Pak Sebastian Perłowski
Photo credit: Tiago Silva
Leung Kin-fung
Photo credit: Keith Hiro/ HK Phil
Andrew Ling
Photo credit: Wong Kin Chung/HK Phil

Avan Yu
Photo credit: Dan Hannen
Danjulo Ishizaka
Photo credit: Marco Borggreve
Mariusz Wilczynski

HK Phil_20140404_(c) Cheung Chi Wai (1)_lo
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo Credit: Cheung Chi Wai/HK Phil
Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus
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. Presenting more than 150 concerts over a 44-week season, the HK Phil 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 2022. Maestro van Zweden will be the next Music Director of the New York Philharmonic from 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 the dynamic leadership of Music Director Jaap van Zweden, the HK Phil has attained new heights of artistic excellence, garnering international critical acclaim.

Following on from the success of the European tour which included a filmed concert from Vienna’s Musikverein, the HK Phil has toured extensively within the mainland China. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, and with support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices, the orchestra recently performed in Seoul, Osaka, Singapore, Melbourne and at the Sydney Opera House.

Jaap, the HK Phil, and a superb casts of soloists, have presented concert performances and recordings of the four operas from Richard Wagner’s epic Ring cycle. These have been enthusiastically endorsed by both audiences and critics at home and abroad, and in recognition of their quality, the orchestra and Jaap have been invited to perform Wagner’s Die Walküre in staged performances at the Beijing Music Festival last October in a co-production with the Salzburg Easter Festival.

Conductors and soloists who have recently performed with the orchestra include Vladimir Ashkenazy, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Matthias Goerne, Stephen Hough, Lang Lang, Yo-Yo Ma, Ning Feng and Yuja Wang.

The HK Phil promotes the work of Hong Kong and Chinese composers through an active commissioning programme, and has released recordings on the Naxos label featuring Tan Dun and Bright Sheng, each conducting their own compositions. Its acclaimed education and community engagement programmes in schools, hospital and outdoor space, bring music into the hearts of tens of thousands of children and families every year.

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 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 Charities Trust and other supporters, the HK Phil now boasts a full-time annual schedule of core classical repertoire and innovative popular programming, extensive education and community programmes, and collaborations with, among others, Opera Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Arts Festival.

Originally called the Sino-British Orchestra, it was renamed the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in 1957 and became fully professional in 1974. The HK Phil is a charitable organisation.

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and is Venue Partner of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.
SWIRE is the Principal Patron of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.