HK Phil x NCPA - Bridging two cities through a musical journey
A Tale of Two Cities: HK Phil Musicians Quartet & NCPA Quartet (27 June)
22 JUN 2018
[22 June 2018, Hong Kong] Following the successful concert held in May at the 2018 NCPA May Festival in Beijing, China, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra(HK Phil) and the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), with the tremendous support of the Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing, bring the same amazing programme to Hong Kong on 27 June in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. This will help strengthen cultural exchange between Hong Kong and Mainland China, and also share the excitement with Hong Kong audience.
The concert features the collaboration of two string quartets - the HK Phil Musicians Quartet (Leung Kin-fung, first violin; Cheng Li, second violin; Andrew Ling, viola; and Fang Xiaomu, cello) and the NCPA Quartet (Li Zhe, first violin; Liu Xian, second violin; Zhuang Ran, viola; and Xiao Liang, cello). The string quartet, consisting of two violins, one viola and one cello, emerged as a recognised musical genre in the latter half of the 18th century, and quickly became the principal instrumental grouping for chamber music.
The HK Phil Musicians Quartet will open the concert with Norwegian composer Grieg’s immensely lovable String Quartet no. 1. Composed in the 1870s, when Norway was enveloped by strong nationalist sentiments, Grieg introduced national dances and melodies into his String Quartet along with music evoking the dramatic and hauntingly beautiful scenery of the country.
The NCPA Quartet will then carry the audience on to 1960, showcasing a powerful work by Shostakovich, one of the “most brilliantly inventive Soviet composers” (Classic FM), and that is String Quartet no. 8. Filled with musical self-quotations and constant references to his own musical signature, this piece draws each and every person in the audience into the inner world of Shostakovich.
Claimed as the very first genuine work for eight individual string instruments which treats each one almost equally, Mendelssohn’s String Octet merges two string quartets into a single entity. It is universally accepted as a work of great genius; all the more surprising, then, that Mendelssohn was just 16 when he wrote it. Mendelssohn once said, “I had a most wonderful time writing it!” This combined performance by the HK Phil Musicians Quartet and the NCPA Quartet will round off the night magnificently.
Tickets priced: HK$200 ($100 concessionary tickets) are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit www.hkphil.org.
HK Phil Musicians Quartet
Leung Kin-fung, first violin[full biography]
HK Phil’s First Associate Concertmaster, Leung Kin-fung, received the “Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award” in Hong Kong in 2002 and “Artist of the Year - Music 2014” award from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. He is currently Performing Arts Director of Diocesan Girls' School, Artistic Director and Conductor of PolyU Orchestra, as well as Artistic Director of Hong Kong Pure Strings and Macau Virtuosi. Leung Kin-fung performs on a Santus Seraphin violin made in 1730.
Cheng Li, second violin[full biography]
Currently first violin of the HK Phil, Cheng Li graduated from the Beijing Music Conservatory. He was then awarded a full scholarship to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, where he earned a master’s degree in 2002. Cheng has performed widely throughout Asia and Europe - as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. Musicians with whom he has collaborated include Yehudi Menuhin, Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel and Seiji Ozawa. Chen plays a violin by Rocca, dated 1778.
Andrew Ling, viola[full biography]
HK Phil’s Principal Violist Andrew Ling has appeared as concert soloist with the Seoul Philharmonic, HK Phil, Hong Kong Chinese, and China Radio and Film Symphony orchestras. He has worked extensively in chamber music with Cho-liang Lin, Gary Hoffman and Yuja Wang. Andrew has brought his musicianship to conducting engagements with the HK Phil, the Pan Asia Symphony Orchestra, Finland’s Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, etc. He plays on a viola made by Gaetano Sgarabotto, sponsored by Thomastik Infeld.
Fang Xiaomu, cello[full biography]
HK Phil's Co-Principal Cello, Fang Xiaomu, graduated from The Juilliard School on a full scholarship where she studied with the renowned cellist Harvey Shapiro. Fang has performed several solo recitals at the Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York. She has appeared as soloist with renowned conductors including Sergiu Comissiona and Jacek Kaspszyk. Fang received the "Outstanding Achievement in Arts and Culture Award" from the New York State Assembly of the US.
Li Zhe, first violin[full biography]
Li Zhe, Concertmaster of the China NCPA Orchestra, has performed in the London Symphony Orchestra, and has been Concertmaster of both China’s Central Opera House and I Musici de Montréal Chamber orchestras. He serves as a Guest Professor at both the Central and China Conservatories of Music. He has been invited to perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Moscow and Sydney’s Opera House. With I Musici de Montreal, he made many CD recordings which earned him a Canadian Juno Award.
Liu Xian, second violin[full biography]
Currently Principal Second Violin of the China NCPA Orchestra, Liu Xian was awarded third prize at the International Violin Competition "Andrea Postacchini" (2004). Concertmaster of the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra (2005-06), Liu then joined the Deutsche Oper, Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester Berlin and SWR Rundfunkorchester, following the Festival Orchestra’s concert tours with Christoph Eschenbach and Valery Gergiev. Renowned conductors with whom he has collaborated include Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Christoph Eschenbach, Daniel Barenboim, Valery Gergiev and Myung-Whun Chung.
Zhuang Ran, viola[full biography]
The Principal Viola of the China NCPA Orchestra, Zhuang Ran studied at the Colburn Conservatory of Music under Paul Coletti on a full scholarship. The 2006 International Viola Congress granted top prize to her recording of Canadian composer Andre Prevost’s Improvisation for Viola. She has been Principal Violist at Schleswig-Holstein, the Pacific Music and Spoleto Festivals. In 2013 she performed with principals of the Philadelphia Orchestra in a highly-acclaimed chamber recital.
Xiao Liang, cello[full biography]
Xiao Liang is Associate Principal Cello of the China NCPA Orchestra. He was winner of the 2002 Morningside Music Bridge’s concerto competition and the Sixth National Cello Competition (1st prize in the youth category and for best interpretation of a newly commissioned work) in China. A graduate of the Central Conservatory of Music under Professor Na Mula, Liang furthered his studies at the New England Music Conservatory under the tutelage of Laurence Lesser.
A Tale of Two Cities: HK Phil Musicians Quartet & NCPA Quartet
27 | 6 | 2018
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$200 ($100 concessionary tickets)
Tickets are now available at URBTIX
For ages 6 and above
HK Phil Musicians Quartet
Click the thumbnails to download press photos
String Quartet no. 1 (HK Phil Musicians Quartet)
String Quartet no. 8 (NCPA Quartet)
String Octet (HK Phil Musicians Quartet & NCPA Quartet)
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 2022. Maestro van Zweden will be the next Music Director of the New York Philharmonic from the 2018/19 season.
Yu Long was appointed Principal Guest Conductor with the HK Phil for a three-year period commencing with 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 celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, and with support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices, the orchestra recently 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 the four-year epic “Ring Cycle” journey 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 will be released towards the end of 2018.
Conductors and soloists who have recently performed with the orchestra include Vladimir Ashkenazy, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Matthias Goerne, Stephen Hough, 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 of 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 and the Hong Kong Arts Festival.
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.