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HK Phil 2014/15 Season Finale – Nightingale & Firebird
Featuring Conductor Jun Märkl and Gramophone Editor’s Choice Award Winner, Violinist Arabella Steinbacher (3 & 4 July)

25 JUN 2015

Hong Kong

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Meggy Cheng
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[25 June 2015, Hong Kong] The 2014/15 Season of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) will conclude with conductor Jun Märkl and virtuoso violinist Arabella Steinbacher in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and two dazzling masterpieces by Stravinsky – Song of the Nightingale and suite from The Firebird. Join us at the season finale on 3 & 4 July in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall.

(She plays with) “Balanced lyricism and fire – among her assets are a finely polished technique and a beautifully varied palette of timbres.”
--- The New York Times

In the first half of the concert, Gramophone Editor’s Choice Award Winner Arabella Steinbacher will perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, one of the best-loved classical works in existence.

The second half of the concert features Stravinsky’s Song of the Nightingale and Firebird Suite (1919). Song of the Nightingale depicts the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale of the Emperor of China, and the nightingale who sang to sooth him. Full of exotic orchestral effects evoking Stravinsky’s imagined Chinese palaces and pagodas, it is a masterpiece of orchestral writing.

Jun Märkl, a frequent and well-loved visitor to the HK Phil’s podium, has chosen to link the nightingale with Stravinsky’s other ‘bird-themed’ work, The Firebird. Based on an old Russian legend of how the firebird saves the life of a prince and defeated an evil wizard, the Firebird launched Stravinsky to international fame as a master composer.

Swire Maestro Series: Nightingale & Firebird will be held on 3 & 4 June 2015 (Fri & Sat), 8PM, in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall.Tickets priced: HK$400, $300, $200, $120 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit



Free Pre-concert talks are available on both concert nights:
Date:3 July 2015 (Fri)4 July 2015 (Sat)
Time:7:15 – 7:45pm7:15 – 7:45pm
Venue:4/F Foyer, Auditoria Building
Hong Kong Cultural Centre
4/F Foyer, Auditoria Building
Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Speaker:Dr Stefan Au
Music Educator and Composer
Dr Stefan Au
Music Educator and Composer





Jun Märkl, conductor [full biography]
Jun Märkl is a highly respected interpreter of the core Germanic repertoire, and studied with Sergiu Celibidache in Munich. He is the Principal Conductor to the Basque National Orchestra, he previously served as the Music Director of Orchestre National de Lyon (2005 to 2011). He also guests with the world’s leading orchestras, including Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic and Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich.



Arabella Steinbacher, violin [full biography]
German violinist Arabella Steinbacher has firmly established herself as one of today’s leading violinists on the international concert scene, performing with the world’s major orchestras including New York Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Staakskapelle and Munich Philharmonic. World-renowned conductors she worked with included Lorin Maazel, Vladimir Jurowski, Riccardo Chailly and Sir Colin Davis.


Swire Maestro Series: Nightingale & Firebird
3 & 4 | 7 | 2015
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$400 $300 $200 $120
Tickets are now available at URBTIX




Jun Märklconductor
Arabella Steinbacherviolin





Click the thumbnail to download photos

Jun Märkl
Photo Credit: Christiane Höhne

Arabella Steinbacher
Photo Credit: Sammy Hart

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





LISZTLes Préludes
TCHAIKOVSKYViolin Concerto
STRAVINSKYSong of the Nightingale
STRAVINSKYFirebird Suite (1919)








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 future 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.

This season is Jaap van Zweden’s third 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


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