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HK Phil’s Former Music Director David Atherton and Grammy-winning Violinist Augustin Hadelich to close the special
“HK Phil's 45th” Series HK Phil's 45th: DAVID ATHERTON|The Planets (7 & 8 June)

28 MAY 2019

Hong Kong

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[28 May 2019, Hong Kong] Continuing the 45th anniversary celebrations of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil), we are pleased to have invited another former Music Director, David Atherton, to conduct the finale of the “HK Phil's 45th” concert series. The concert will feature the Asian premiere of Tippett’s Praeludium for brass, bells and percussion, and Holst’s grand orchestral spectacular, The Planets Suite.  Grammy Award-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich will join the orchestra and Maestro Atherton in Britten’s Violin Concerto. The concert will be held at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall on 7 & 8 June. 

David Atherton is not only one of the great British conductors of our time, but also has a deep relationship with the HK Phil. From 1989 he spent many glorious moments with the HK Phil, including the beginning of our journey at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the implementation of the “Composer-in-Residence” programme, and many tours to different places in the world. On his retirement from this position in 2000 and in recognition of his services to the music scene of Hong Kong, he was awarded the OBE and appointed the orchestra’s Conductor Laureate.

In honour of his homeland, the HK Phil will perform three 20th century British masterpieces. The Planets Suite inspired many gaming and film composers, notably John Williams, with each movement depicting the ancient beliefs about character and emotion associated with each planet. In the seventh which is the final movement – “Neptune, the Mystic” – the Ladies of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus adds a mesmerising sense of other-worldliness as it fades off into the deep eternity of space.

“[Augustin Hadelich in Britten’s Violin Concerto] totally committed to every heavenly-intoned sound he made and visibly engaged the entire time”
--- San Francisco Classical Voice

Britten was inspired to write his Violin Concerto by his experiences during the Spanish Civil War and has strong Spanish flavours, such as flamenco-style guitar effects and a Sarabande rhythm. This will be performed by 2016 Grammy Award-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich, who started learning violin at the age of five. A serious injury caused by a fire at the age of 15 was soon overcome and he was admitted to The Juilliard School.  He has performed with major orchestras including the New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony.

Don't miss this final concert of the “HK Phil’s 45th” concert series under the baton of our former Music Director and Conductor Laureate David Atherton!

HK Phil's 45th: DAVID ATHERTONThe Planets will be held on 7 & 8 June (Fri & Sat), 8PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert HallTickets priced: HK$580, $480, $380, $280 are available at URBTIXFor enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit

David Atherton, conductor [full biography
David Atherton is one of the most distinguished conductors of our era. His friend and mentor, Sir Georg Solti, appointed him Resident Conductor of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, for twelve years.  As a regular guest with the Metropolitan Opera in New York he gave over 250 performances. For 25 years he was the founder and director of the US Mainly Mozart Festival.  He has held titled positions with the BBC Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and, after eleven years as Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, was awarded the OBE and made the orchestra’s Conductor Laureate.


Augustin Hadelich, violin [full biography
Augustin Hadelich has firmly established himself as one of the great violinists of today. Showcasing a wide-ranging and adventurous repertoire, he is consistently cited for his phenomenal technique, soulful approach, and beauty of tone. He has performed with every major orchestra in North America, as well as an ever-growing number of orchestras around the world, including the Bavarian Radio Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic and London Philharmonic. He is the winner of a 2016 Grammy Award for his recording of Dutilleux’s Violin Concerto with the Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot.


Ladies of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus [full biography
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus was established in 1980. Over the years it has collaborated with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in a range of works. In 2013 the Chorus undertook a new recruitment drive, and over 450 singers were attracted to attend auditions. The first performance by the newly reformed Chorus was Handel’s Messiah. Since then the Chorus has performed with the HK Phil in major works by composers such as Britten, Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Haydn under renowned conductors including Lorin Maazel, Nicholas McGegan and Brett Weymark. 

7 & 8 | 6 | 2019 
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$580 $480 $380 $280
Tickets are now available at URBTIX.
For ages 6 and above



David Athertonconductor
Augustin Hadelichviolin
Ladies of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus


Click the thumbnails to download press photos

David Atherton Augustin Hadelich
David Atherton 
Photo Credit: San
Augustin Hadelich 
Photo Credit: Rosalie O'Connor
Ladies of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Ladies of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus 
Photo Credit: Cheung Chi-wai/HK Phil
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo Credit: Eric Hon/HK Phil



TIPPETTPraeludium for brass, bells and percussion (Asian premiere)
BRITTENViolin Concerto
HOLSTThe Planets Suite

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. Presenting more than 150 concerts over a 44-week season, the HK Phil 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. Maestro van Zweden is the 26th Music Director of the New York Philharmonic from the 2018/19 season.

Yu Long has been Principal Guest Conductor since the 2015/16 season.

Under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Jaap van Zweden, the HK Phil has attained new heights of artistic excellence, garnering international critical acclaim.

Following on from the success of the European tour which included a filmed concert from Vienna’s Musikverein, the HK Phil has toured extensively within the mainland China. In 2017, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, and with support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices, the orchestra performed in Seoul, Osaka, Singapore, Melbourne and at the Sydney Opera House.

Jaap, the HK Phil, a superb cast of soloists and a chorus successfully completed an epic four-year journey through Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” in January 2018. The concert performances and live Naxos recordings have been enthusiastically received by audiences and praised by critics at home and abroad. The recording of Götterdämmerung was released in November 2018.

Conductors and soloists who have recently performed with the orchestra include Vladimir Ashkenazy, Joshua Bell, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Matthias Goerne, Stephen Hough, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, Yo-Yo Ma, Ning Feng and Yuja Wang.

The HK Phil promotes the work of Hong Kong and Chinese composers through an active commissioning programme, and has released recordings on the Naxos label featuring Tan Dun and Bright Sheng, each conducting their own compositions. Its acclaimed education and community engagement programmes in schools, hospital and outdoor space, bring music into the hearts of tens of thousands of children and families every year.

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 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 in 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 Charities Trust and other supporters, the HK Phil now boasts a full-time annual schedule of core classical repertoire and innovative popular programming, extensive education and community programmes, and collaborations with, among others, Opera Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Arts Festival and the Hong Kong Ballet.

Originally called the Sino-British Orchestra, it was renamed the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in 1957 and became fully professional in 1974. The HK Phil is a charitable organisation.

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and is Venue Partner of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.
SWIRE is the Principal Patron of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.