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Great Conductor Jaap van Zweden conducts Schubert’s “Great” Symphony

7 JUN 2017

Hong Kong

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[7 June 2017, Hong Kong] Robert Schumann said he was “in seventh heaven” after hearing Schubert’s Ninth Symphony. From its majestic opening horn call to the finale that salutes Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”, the subtitle “Great” is entirely suited to this marvellous musical feast. The Symphony will be conducted by maestro Jaap van Zweden, Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil).  The concerts to be held on 16 & 17 June 2017 in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall will also feature Renaud Capuçonin Alban Berg’s affecting Violin Concerto.

Most of Schubert’s output remained unpublished during his lifetime, including his “Great” Symphony. Its first public performance came over a decade after his death, when the composer Schumann discovered the manuscripts in the home of Schubert’s brother. The performance was conducted by Felix Mendelssohn and it quickly became one of Schubert’s most widely admired works, Schumann admiring “the brilliance and novelty of the instrumentation, the fascinating fluctuations of emotion and above all Schubert’s great mastery”.

French violinist Renaud Capuçon will be featured in Berg’s Violin Concerto, which the composer, who, like Schubert, was Austrian. The piece was dedicated to the composer’s close friend’s daughter who passed away from polio at the age of 18. He inscribed the work “To the Memory of an Angel”.

Classics: Schubert “Great” Symphony will be held on 16 & 17 June (Fri & Sat) at 8PMin the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Ticket prices: HK$680, $480, $380, $280 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit

Classics: Schubert “Great” Symphony is Le French May Associated Project

Jaap van Zweden, conductor[full biography]
Jaap van Zweden has risen rapidly in the past decade to become one of today’s most distinguished conductors. Starting with the 2018/19 season, he will be the Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. Currently, he is Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2008, and has been Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012. Van Zweden was named Musical America's 2012 Conductor of the Year. Born in Amsterdam, Jaap van Zweden was the youngest ever concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He began his conducting career in 1995.

Renaud Capuçon, violin[full biography]
Born in Chambéry in 1976, Renaud Capuçon began his studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris at the age of fourteen, winning numerous awards during his five years there. He then studied in Berlin with Thomas Brandis and Isaac Stern. In 1997 he was invited by Claudio Abbado to become concertmaster of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester which he led for three summers. As a soloist, Capuçon has played with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Orchestre de Paris and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra.

16 & 17 | 6 | 2017
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$680 $480 $380 $280
Tickets are now available at URBTIX
For ages 6 and above


Jaap van Zweden


Renaud Capuçon


Click the thumbnails to download press photos

Jaap van Zweden
Photo Credit: Cheung Chi Wai/HK Phil

Renaud Capuçon
Photo Credit: François Darmigny


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





Violin Concerto


Symphony no. 9, Great


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.