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HK Phil and Zhang Xian’s Roman Festivals (17 & 18 Apr)
World Première of Chen Qigang’s new work Luan Tan

27 MAR 2015

Hong Kong

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[27 March 2015, Hong Kong]The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) welcomes one of China’s leading conductors, Zhang Xian, in a programme of Roman portraits - Respighi’s colourful tone poem which celebrates the “Eternal City”. An HK Phil co-commission, Chen Qigang’s new major work, Luan Tan, will receive its world première performance at the concert on 17 & 18 April in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall!

Ottorino Respighi settled in Rome in 1913 when he took up an appointment as professor of composition at the city’s famous Santa Cecilia Academy. Feste Romane (Roman Festivals) is an exuberant and super-virtuoso symphonic poem celebrating the colourful life of the city. It is the less frequently performed movement of Respighi’s popular "Roman trilogy" (which includes The Pines of Rome and Fountains of Rome)and the most virtuoso of them all. Each of its four movements depicts a scene of celebration from ancient or modern Rome.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed his Second Symphony in 1872, and it is one of his most joyful compositions. It incorporates various folk songs from the Ukraine and has earned itself the nickname “Little Russian”.

Heroine: Zhang Xian’s Roman Festivals will be held on 17 & 18 April 2015 (Fri & Sat), 8PM, in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall.Tickets priced: $320, $240, $180, $120 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit

Free Pre-concert talk is available on 18 April:
Date:18 April 2015 (Sat)
Time:7:15 – 7:45pm
Venue:4/F Foyer, Auditoria Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Speaker:Mr Dennis Wu
Music Writer and Critic



Zhang Xian, conductor [full biography]
Zhang Xian is the first female Music Director of an Italian orchestra, and the first female Associate Conductor of New York Philharmonic. As a regular guest conductor in Europe, she has appeared with the London Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, Vienna Symphony and the Staatskapelle Dresden. Since 2009 she has been Music Director of Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. Zhang is now the Artistic Director of the Dutch Orchestra and Ensemble Academy.



Chen Qigang, composer[full biography]
Chen Qigang studied with the French composer Olivier Messiaen. Chen was the Music Director for the Opening Ceremony of Beijing Olympic Games and also composed the theme song You and Me. Other noted compositions by Chen include Raise the Red Lantern (a ballet directed by Zhang Yimou) and the Grand Prize of the City of Paris winning work Wu Xing (The Five Elements).


Heroine: Zhang Xian’s Roman Festivals
17 & 18 | 4 | 2015
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$320 $240 $180 $120
Tickets are now available at URBTIX
For ages 6 and above



Zhang Xianconductor
Chen Qigangcomposer



Click the thumbnail to download photos
HK Phil_20140404_(c) Cheung Chi Wai (1)_lo 

Zhang Xian
Photo Credit: Nora Roitberg

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo Credit: Cheung Chi Wai






CHEN QIGANGLuan Tan (world première)
RESPIGHIFeste Romane (Roman Festivals)
TCHAIKOVSKYSymphony no. 2, Little Russian







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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