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Change of Artist – Emma Bell to replace Emily Magee
in Beethoven Cycle: Ode to Joy – 1 & 9 (4 & 5 December)
Concert Programme Will Remain Unchanged

30 NOV 2015

Hong Kong

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[30 November 2015, Hong Kong]

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) announces that soprano Emily Magee has had to withdraw from her scheduled performances of the Beethoven Symphony no. 9 for health reasons. In her place, we are delighted to welcome Emma Bell, winner of the 1998 Kathleen Ferrier Award and BBC New Generation Artist in 1999. The advertised programme remains unchanged.

Beethoven Cycle: Ode to Joy – 1 & 9will be held on 4 & 5December(Fri & Sat), 8PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit


Jaap van Zweden, conductor [full biography]
Amsterdam-born Jaap van Zweden is one of today’s most sought-after conductors. Named Musical America’s Conductor of the Year for 2012, he has been Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012/13 season.

The maestro has recently conducted the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Symphony to high acclaim.


At the age of nineteen, Jaap was appointed as the youngest Concertmaster ever of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Maestro van Zweden is also currently Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Honorary Conductor of the Radio Chamber Philharmonic.


*Emma Bell, soprano [full biography]
Emma Bell has performed with the Royal Opera, Zurich Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Metropolitan Opera and many more. She has also worked with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, and sung Beethoven Symphony No. 9 at the BBC Proms with Gianandrea Noseda. 


Deborah Humble, mezzo-soprano [full biography]
Deborah Humble was previously the Principal Mezzo-soprano with Hamburg State Opera. She has worked with the Seattle Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Hamburg Philharmonic and the London Mozart Players. She performed as Erda in the HK Phil’s January performances of Das Rheingold to great acclaim.


Charles Reid, tenor [full biography]
Charles Reid is currently Artist in Residence and Associate Professor of Voice at Andrews University. He has performed on important international stages including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Theater an der Wien, Frankfurt Opera and at the festivals of Bayreuth and Salzburg. Charles appeared as Froh with the HK Phil in Das Rheingold last January. 


Kwangchul Youn, bass-baritone [full biography]
Kwangchul Youn has appeared at the Bayreuth Festival and the Salzburg Festival, and is also a frequent guest at major opera houses including the Vienna State Opera, Berlin State, Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera House. He also performs frequently with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin and the Orchestra of La Scala Milan. Kwangchul gave acclaimed performances as Fasolt in HK Phil’s Das Rheingold last season.


NCPA Chorus [full biography]
The NCPA Chorus has performed under the baton of many great conductors, including the late Lorin Maazel. They have performed in Singapore, Korea, Japan and Hong Kong to great acclaim.


Beethoven Cycle: Ode to Joy – 1 & 9
4 & 5 | 12 | 2015
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
For ages 6 and above


Jaap van Zwedenconductor
*Emma Bellsoprano
Deborah Humblemezzo-soprano
Charles Reidtenor
Kwangchul Younbass-baritone
NCPA Chorus 


BEETHOVENSymphony no. 1
BEETHOVENSymphony no. 9, Choral


Click the thumbnail to download photos

Jaap van Zweden
Photo Credit: Keith Hiro/HK Phil


*Emma Bell


Deborah Humble


Charles Reid
Photo Credit: Guido Mayer

 Kwangchul Youn NCPA Chorus

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo Credit: Keith Hiro/HK Phil




Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Music Director: Jaap van Zweden


The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) has recently returned from an extremely successful five-country, seven-city tour of Europe, with concerts in London, Vienna, Zurich, Eindhoven, Birmingham, Berlin and Amsterdam. Most concerts were sold out, there were standing ovations, and the reviews were universally positive. The concert in Vienna’s Musikverein was filmed for broadcast on TV. With a history stretching back to 1895, when it was formed as the Sino-British Orchestra, the HK Phil was re-named in 1957 and became fully professional in 1974.


Thanks to 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.

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, Yuja Wang and Edo de Waart, the HK Phil’s previous Music Director.


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 ten 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.


This season is Jaap van Zweden’s fourth as Music Director of the HK Phil. With him, the orchestra is undertaking major expansion and new projects, including the first-ever performances by a Hong Kong or mainland Chinese orchestra of Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung. The four operas are being performed, one a year, in concert and recorded live for the Naxos label.

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.

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