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Grand return of HK Phil’s former Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Edo de Waart conducting the China premiere of John Adams’ Saxophone Concerto with its dedicatee Timothy McAllister
HK Phil's 45th: EDO DE WAART | John Adams & Brahms (14 & 15 Sep)

14 AUG 2018

Hong Kong

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[14 August 2018, Hong Kong] Continuing the 45th anniversary celebrations, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra’s (HK Phil) former Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Edo de Waartreturns to lead the orchestra for the first time since his farewell in 2012. He will conduct a performance of Brahms’ delightful Symphony no. 2 as well as the China premiere of John Adams’ Saxophone Concerto with its dedicatee, Timothy McAllister, as soloist on 14 & 15 September in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall.     

“[Timothy McAllister is] a fearless musician and risk taker a one-of-a-kind artist the way Yo-Yo Ma is”
--- John Adams

“[John Adams] one of the most cherished collaborations of my career”
--- Edo de Waart

Echoing his inaugural programme with the HK Phil back in 2004, Maestro Edo de Waart makes his grand return to the stage of the HK Phil with another wok of his long-time associate, Grammy-Award winning composer John Adams - the China premiere of his Saxophone Concerto. Composed in 2013 and dedicated to the concert’s soloist Timothy McAllister, Adams’ Concerto for alto saxophone and orchestra is a major addition to the instrument’s repertoire. Adams, whose father played alto saxophone, was surrounded by the sound of saxophones during his childhood. Inspired also by jazz greats Charlie Parker, Stan Getz and Cannonball Adderley, the work showcases the instrument’s technical and expressive powers, while providing an exciting “tour de force” for the entire orchestra.

Brahms always had the ultimate goal to produce symphonies which could be compared with those of Beethoven. Brahms’ Symphony no. 2 has often been described as his “Pastoral” Symphony, in obvious reference to Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony with the same name, due to its cheerful and bucolic nature. This symphony also reflects the tranquil shores of a beautiful Austrian lake where Brahms composed the work.

Maestro Edo de Waart and the HK Phil open the programme with another celebration. 2018 is the 150th anniversary of Rossini's death. To commemorate this, the orchestra presents the composer’s ever-popular William Tell Overture, to spice up the mood of this celebrative and harmonious evening!

HK Phil's 45th: EDO DE WAART | John Adams & Brahms will be held on 14 & 15 Sep (Fri & Sat), 8PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Tickets priced: HK$580, $480, $380, $280 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit

Edo de Waart, conductor [full biography]
Music Director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Edo de Waart also holds the positions of Conductor Laureate of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. The 2018/19 season will see de Waart conduct Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra and Rotterdam Philharmonic, as well as returning to NHK Symphony Orchestra. In North America, he will conduct San Diego Symphony Orchestra’s opening two weeks where he will be joined by Lang Lang for a gala performance, and return later in the season with Joelle Harvey, and also conducts Houston Symphony Orchestra and Kansas City Symphony Orchestra. Other guest conducting appearances this season include Finnish Radio and Iceland symphony orchestras and Hangzhou Philharmonic.

Timothy McAllister, saxophone [full biography]
Saxophonist Timothy McAllister is one of today’s premier wind soloists, a member of the renowned PRISM Quartet, and a champion of contemporary music credited with over 40 recordings and 200 premieres of new compositions by eminent and emerging composers. His rise to international fame came in 2009 with his celebrated work in John Adams’s City Noir, filmed as part of Gustavo Dudamel’s inaugural concert as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the world premiere of John Adams’s Saxophone Concerto in August 2013 with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the composer. As soloist, McAllister won a 2015 Grammy Award with the St Louis Symphony Orchestra and David Robertson on the album "John Adams: City Noir" featuring the Saxophone Concerto.

14 & 15 | 9 | 2018
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$580 $480 $380 $280
Tickets are now available at URBTIX.
For ages 6 and above.

Edo de Waart


Timothy McAllister


Click the thumbnails to download press photos
EdoTimothy McAllister
Edo de Waart
Photo Credit: Cheung Chi-wai/HK Phil
Timothy McAllister
Photo Credit: R. R. Jones
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo Credit: Cheung Chi-wai/HK Phil


William Tell Overture


Saxophone Concerto (China premiere)


Symphony no. 2



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.