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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Meggy Cheng
Director of Marketing
Tel: (852) 2721 9035
Email: meggy.cheng@hkphil.org


Flora Fung
Media Relations and Communications Manager
Tel: (852) 2721 1585
Email: flora.fung@hkphil.org

Two star violinists - Leila Josefowicz and Joshua Bell - alongside Maestro Jaap van Zweden kick start the HK Phil’s 45th Professional Season
HK Phil's 45th: Season Opening: JAAP | Leila Josefowicz (31 Aug & 1 Sep)
JAAP!: JAAP | Joshua Bell (7 & 8 Sep)

31-07-2018

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[31 July 2018, Hong Kong] To mark the grand opening of the 45th anniversary of the finest music-making, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) and its Music Director Jaap van Zweden are joined by two renowned violinists - Leila Josefowicz (31 August & 1 September) and Joshua Bell (7 & 8 September) - in two consecutive weeks, to thrill the audience with two stunning programmes. Single tickets for both programmes are now available at URBTIX.

HK Phil's 45th: Season Opening: JAAP | Leila Josefowicz (31 Aug & 1 Sep)
An enchanting night with Stravinsky’s powerful Violin Concerto and Rachmaninov Symphony no. 2, an essential romantic masterpiece

The HK Phil raises the curtain on its 45th professional season with the first programme in the special “HK Phil’s 45th” series conducted by Music Director Jaap van Zweden, who is also the 26th Music Director of the New York Philharmonic from this season onwards. They team up with visionary violinist Leila Josefowicz in Stravinsky’s fierce Violin Concerto on 31 August & 1 September in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall.

“[Leila Josefowicz] She speaks the language of the composer without waiting 50 years for everybody to catch up.”
--- The Washington Post

In composing his Violin Concerto, Stravinsky collaborated closely with violinist Samuel Dushkin, who inspired the composer through sharing his technical knowledge about the violin and the instrument’s intriguing possibilities. Thus was born a fantastic musical partnership and also the famous “passport” of this Concerto - a three-note chord (D-E-A) - which heralds the start of each of its four movements. This great piece will be showcased by the HK Phil and Leila Josefowicz, “a fantastic talent” (Gramophone) and an outstanding interpreter of 20th-centruy and contemporary music.

Under the baton of Jaap, the orchestra takes the audience on a highly-charged emotional journey through Rachmaninov’s heartfelt romantic Symphony no. 2. After the hostile critical reaction of his First Symphony in 1897, which had robbed him of his confidence and cast him into the deepest depression, Rachmaninov took ten years to approach the composition of a second symphony again. With a successful premiere under his own conducting, Rachmaninov gained much critical praises on his Second Symphony, and it has remained hugely popular ever since.

Opening the programme is The Abduction from the Seraglio Overture by Mozart, a piece that gained the composer’s first success in Vienna and excited audiences with its exotic flavours. The HK Phil will revive that original excitement. 

Title Sponsor of Opening Night Concert on 31 August: UOB

HK Phil's 45th: Season Opening: JAAP | Leila Josefowicz will be held on 31 Aug & 1 Sep (Fri & Sat), 8PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Tickets priced: HK$680, $480, $380, $280 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit www.hkphil.org

JAAP!: JAAP | Joshua Bell (7 & 8 Sep)
“Poet of the Violin” Joshua Bell to play the most recorded and performed violin concerto by Sibelius; rounding up the night with the gigantic final symphony by Mozart - Jupiter

HK Phil’s Music Director Jaap van Zweden will be leading the HK Phil in another stunning programme on 7 & 8 September in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, featuring violin superstar Joshua Bell in Sibelius’s dark and expressive Violin Concerto.

“[Joshua Bell is] One of the most imaginative, technically gifted and altogether extraordinary violinists of our time.”
--- The Washington Post

“Poet of the Violin” Joshua Bell has fascinated audiences around the globe with his phenomenal talent. After 11 years, he returns to the HK Phil with one of the most frequently recorded and performed violin concertos composed in the 20th century - Sibelius’s Violin Concerto.

Selected by Gramophone as one of the top ten violin concertos in 2017, Sibelius’s only Violin Concerto is both “a passionate outburst and a farewell to romanticism”. Sibelius had hoped for a career as a violin soloist, but an increasing passion in composition ended his longing solo career. Nevertheless, the composer never lost his enthusiasm for the violin and wrote this violin concerto in 1904 and subsequently made big revisions in 1905. This work places exceptional demand on the soloist and Joshua Bell is definitely an impeccable interpreter of the work.

Mozart wrote his final three symphonies (39, 40 and 41) in the span of less than three months during the summer of 1788. As the final and most complex symphony of the three, the 41st Symphony is also regarded as one of the greatest symphonies in classical music. Mozart never named his symphony as Jupiter, but it is generally thought that the work’s radiant and solemn characteristics earned it this nickname.

Jaap van Zweden and the orchestra open the concert with “a musical thank you note” (Classic FM) - Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture, bringing a fun-filled start to the evening.

JAAP!: JAAP | Joshua Bell will be held on 7 & 8 Sep (Fri & Sat), 8PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Tickets priced: HK$880, $680, $480, $380 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit www.hkphil.org.

Artists (HK Phil's 45th: Season Opening: JAAP | Leila Josefowicz)
Jaap van Zweden, conductor [full biography]
Over the past decade, conductor Jaap van Zweden has become an international presence on three continents.  The 2018/19 season marks his first as the 26th Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. He continues as Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, a post he has held since 2012 - his seventh season with the HK Phil in 2018/19 season, the orchestra’s 45th professional season. He is also the Conductor Laureate of Dallas Symphony Orchestra where he has just completed a ten-year tenure at its helm. Born in Amsterdam, Jaap van Zweden was the youngest ever Concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He began his conducting career in 1995 and in 2012 was named Musical America's Conductor of the Year.

Leila Josefowicz, violin [full biography]
Leila Josefowicz’s passionate advocacy of contemporary music for the violin is reflected in her diverse programmes and enthusiasm to perform new works. She frequently collaborates with leading composers and works with orchestras and conductors at the highest level around the world. In 2008 she was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, joining prominent scientists, writers and musicians who have made unique contributions to contemporary life. Recent seasons have included concerts with Berliner Philharmoniker, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Helsinki Philharmonic and Tokyo Metropolitan, St. Louis, San Francisco and Minnesota symphony orchestras.

HK PHIL'S 45TH: SEASON OPENING: JAAP | LEILA JOSEFOWICZ
31 | 8 & 1 | 9 | 2018
FRI & SAT 8PM
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$680 $480 $380 $280
Tickets are now available at URBTIX.
For ages 6 and above.

Title Sponsor of Opening Night Concert: UOB

Artists

Jaap van Zweden

conductor

Leila Josefowicz

violin


Click the thumbnails to download press photos

Jaap van Zwdeen 201701_038 (c) Wong Kin Chung HK Phil

HK Phil 2016 Group Photo_(c) Cheung Wai Lok HK Phil

Jaap van Zweden
Photo Credit: Wong Kin-chung/HK Phil

Leila Josefowicz
Photo Credit: Chris Lee

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


Programme

MOZART

The Abduction from the Seraglio Overture

STRAVINSKY

Violin Concerto

RACHMANINOV

Symphony no. 2



Artists (JAAP!: JAAP | Joshua Bell)
Jaap van Zweden, conductor [full biography]
Over the past decade, conductor Jaap van Zweden has become an international presence on three continents.  The 2018/19 season marks his first as the 26th Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. He continues as Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, a post he has held since 2012 - his seventh season with the HK Phil in 2018/19 season, the orchestra’s 45th professional season. He is also the Conductor Laureate of Dallas Symphony Orchestra where he has just completed a ten-year tenure at its helm. Born in Amsterdam, Jaap van Zweden was the youngest ever Concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He began his conducting career in 1995 and in 2012 was named Musical America's Conductor of the Year.

Joshua Bell, violin [full biography]
With a career spanning more than 30 years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and conductor, Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded more than 40 albums garnering Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone and Echo Klassik awards. Fall 2018 performances include season-opening concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra under Gianandrea Noseda and Cincinnati Symphony under Louis Langrée, as well as Baltimore Symphony under Cristian Măcelaru, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich and Stockholm Philharmonic.

JAAP!: JAAP | JOSHUA BELL
7 & 8 | 9 | 2018
FRI & SAT 8PM
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$880 $680 $480 $380
Tickets are now available at URBTIX.
For ages 6 and above

Artists

Jaap van Zweden

conductor

Joshua Bell

violin


Click the thumbnails to download press photos

Jaap van Zweden_3951_(c) Cheung Chi Wai

The HK Phil_(c) Philip Chau

Jaap van Zweden
Photo Credit: Cheung Chi-wai/HK Phil

Joshua Bell
Photo Credit: Chris Lee

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo Credit: Philip Chau/HK Phil


Programme

BRAHMS

Academic Festival Overture

SIBELIUS

Violin Concerto

MOZART

Symphony no. 41, Jupiter



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, a superb cast of soloists and a chorus successfully completed the four-year epic “Ring Cycle” journey in January 2018. The concert performances and live Naxos recordings have been enthusiastically received by audiences and praised by critics at home and abroad. The recording of Götterdämmerung will be released towards the end of 2018.

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.