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Hailed as the 2019 Gramophone Orchestra of the Year, the HK Phil and its Music Director Jaap van Zweden to Tour Japan and Korea in March 2020 

31 DEC 2019

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Meggy Cheng
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[31 December 2019, Hong Kong] Following the great success of their five-city tour in 2017 to Seoul, Osaka, Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney and recent performances in the Mainland China, cities such as Zhuhai, Guangzhou, Foshan and Shanghai, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) and its Music Director Jaap van Zwedenwill embark on a six-concert tour to Japan and Korea in March 2020. The tour begins in Japan’s Osaka Symphony Hall (5 March 2020)followed by Tokyo Suntory Hall (7 March 2020); and then four performances in Korea’s Deajeon Arts Center (10 March 2020), Seoul Arts Center (11 March 2020), Chuncheon Culture Center (12 March 2020) and Gwangju Culture & Art Center (13 March 2020).

The HK Phil is honoured to return, under the baton of Music Director Jaap van Zweden, to Osaka Symphony Hall as well as Seoul Arts Center, and is excited to perform, for the very first time with Maestro van Zweden, at the Suntory Hall in Tokyo and three cities in Korea – Deajeon, Chuncheon and Gwangju.

The orchestra will present two programmes during the tour. The first in Japan (Osaka and Tokyo) includes Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme with talented Japanese cellist Haruma Sato, Wagner’s Prelude to Act I of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Beethoven’s Symphony no. 5. The second programme for the four performances in Korea will feature two great symphonies – Beethoven’s Symphony no. 5 and Prokofiev’s Symphony no. 5.

Recently, the HK Phil was presented with the 2019 Gramophone Orchestra of the Year Award for the HK Phil’s live recordings of the complete Ring Cycle by Richard Wagner on the Naxos label. These live recordings have just been selected as one of the “Critics’ Choice 2019” by Gramophone Magazine. The orchestra hosted two celebration concerts on 8 and 9 November, to share the joy with and extend its heartfelt gratitude to its valuable supporters, including the Hong Kong SAR Government, Principal Patron the Swire Group, and music-lovers in Hong Kong and around the world.

“With this international recognition, and as the cultural ambassador of Hong Kong, we, the HK Phil, bear the great responsibility to go international, to share our finest music-making with a wider audience around the world. The orchestra and I especially look forward to presenting our internationally acclaimed sound to audiences in Tokyo and three cities in Korea – Deajeon, Chuncheon and Gwangju - for the first time”, Maestro Jaap van Zweden said.

Mr Lau Kong-wah, Secretary for Home Affairs, stated, “We are all proud of this marvellous achievement. The HK Phil has made history in being the first orchestra in Asia to receive an award from Gramophone. The award is certainly an encouragement to the HK Phil, and it will also inspire other local artists and arts groups to excel. I am sure that the HK Phil will continue to scale new heights in the years to come!” 

Mr Y. S. Liu, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society, said, “We are very proud to have received this prestigious honour. Being a leading orchestra in Asia, it has been a humble wish for the HK Phil to look for a permanent home venue with a concert hall with top-notch acoustic built-in, so that the orchestra can maintain a sustainable growth in its overall operation, audience and business development over a long-term as a leading orchestra in the region. We hope we can be a resident orchestra in the West Kowloon Cultural District in order to fulfil this lofty ambition. We will continue striving for the artistic excellence, locally, nationally and internationally.”

The tour to Japan and Korea is financially supported by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Tokyo). Cathay Pacific is our Airline Partner.

Click the below image to watch the video of the HK Phil’s Celebrations of the 2019 Gramophone Orchestra of the Year:
HK Phil’s Celebrations of the 2019 Gramophone Orchestra of the Year

Click HERE to download photos of the HK Phil’s Celebrations of the 2019 Gramophone Orchestra of the Year.
Photo credit: please refer to the file names.