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HK Phil Presents Two Premieres Plus a 20th Century Classic with Music Director Jaap van Zweden at the Podium 
JAAP!: JAAP | Prokofiev 5 & Rouse 5 (23 January, ONE performance only)

22 JAN 2020

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[22 January 2020, Hong Kong] The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) Music Director Jaap van Zwedenwill lead the orchestra in a concert featuring the World Premiere of A Madman’s Diary by Hong Kong composer Alvin Tam Lok-hei, the Asia Premiere of Christopher Rouse’s Symphony no. 5, and Prokofiev’s Symphony no. 5, one of the great orchestral works of the 20th century. The concert will take place on 23 January 2020 (Thursday, ONE performance only) at 8pm in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall.

Alvin Tam Lok-hei was commissioned by the HK Phil under The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Composers Scheme. This Composers Scheme, launched in the 2018/19 season, provides a platform for local composers to develop their skills in orchestral composition. Tam’s music is deeply influenced by Chinese literature; this piece is inspired by the Madman in Lu Xun’s writing. The piece features pitch ideas, contrasts and riddles.

“…Brilliant, exciting and at times hauntingly beautiful…” is how the Dallas Morning News described Symphony no. 5 by Christopher Rouse. Considered one of America’s greatest composers, Rouse has created a symphonic palette in this work that ranges between dissonance and consonance, turbulence and serenity. The work was inspired by Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, the first piece of music Rouse remembers hearing (at age six). Numerous “homages” to Beethoven can be heard in the symphony’s four continuous movements, which combine with Rouse’s own distinctive musical imagination. This Symphony was premiered in 2017 by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jaap van Zweden.

Another “fifth” symphony completes the programme — the Symphony no. 5 by Prokofiev. Premiered in 1945 towards the end of the Second World War, Prokofiev considered the work as the culmination of his creative life, and described it as an expression of grandeur of the human spirit, much in keeping with Soviet expectations of its artists and arts at the time. The work is full of Prokofiev’s beautiful melodies and sardonic sense of humour, but its air of simplicity is underscored by a richness and complexity that expresses much deeper sentiments.

JAAP!: JAAP | Prokofiev 5 & Rouse 5 will be held on 23 January (Thu) at 8PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Tickets are HK$580, $480, $380, $280 and are available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit

Jaap van Zweden, conductor [full biography]
Over the past decade, conductor Jaap van Zweden has become an international presence on three continents.  Currently Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, he is also Music Director of the New York Philharmonic – a post he has held since the 2018/19 season. Guest engagements this season include the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. 

23 | 1 | 2020
THU 8PM (ONE performance only)
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$580 $480 $380 $280
Tickets are now available at URBTIX
For ages 6 and above


Alvin TAM Lok-hei

New Commission, commissioned by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
under The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Composers Scheme
(World Premiere)

Christopher ROUSE

Symphony no. 5 (Asia premiere)


Symphony no. 5







Photo - 1
Jaap van Zweden
Photo Credit: Cheung Chi-wai/HK Phil
Photo - 1
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo Credit: Eric Hong/HK Phil
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