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Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra received enthusiastically on Mainland China tour

18 NOV 2016

Hong Kong

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[18 November 2016, Hong Kong] The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) completed a three-city tour to Shanghai, Tianjin and Beijing under the baton of its Music Director, Jaap van Zweden and featuring guest violinist Tianwa Yang.

“HK Phil’s performance was splendid, exquisite and delicate; Jaap van Zweden’s conducting was intoxicating and god-like. Together, they made a supreme partnership.”
- Jing Zuo Ren, Beijing critic

The concerts included Quintessence written for the HK Phil by Hong Kong composer Fung Lam, Mozart’s Violin Concerto no. 4 with violinist Tianwa Yangand Mahler’s Symphony no. 1.The performances earned high critical acclaim and were greeted enthusiastically by audiences at the Shanghai Symphony Hall, Tianjin’s Grand Theatre and at Beijing’s Poly Theatre as the closing concert of the Beijing Music Festival. In Tianjin and Beijing, overwhelming applause at the concert’s end led to the orchestra performing a rare orchestral encore. (The encore was the first movement of Beethoven Symphony no. 5.)

Jaap van Zweden said, “I am so pleased to be able to perform a local HK work and collaborate with Chinese musician Tianwa Yang on this tour. I always look forward to discovering more talented musicians and the music of the countries I visit.”

On 24 October, Hong Kong composer Fung Lam gave a talk to composition students aged 11-17 from the Middle School affiliated with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. After Fung Lam explained some compositional concepts and techniques to them, fruitful and insightful discussions followed.

On 25 October, aspiring music students from the Shanghai Orchestra Academy (SOA) participated in a masterclass with HK Phil principal players. Jaap van Zweden then led the HK Phil in a rehearsal with SOA students, giving students an opportunity to play side-by-side with professional orchestra musicians. “In the side-by-side, young musicians can understand the orchestra they are playing with and how they work. This is a very good opportunity for them to become familiar with a professional orchestra,” van Zweden said. “We are pleased to give young musicians an opportunity like this, and it’s great to have the energy of these young people with us as well.”

The HK Phil last toured Mainland China in 2014.

Download HK Phil’s China Tour Press Photos


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. The Orchestra presents more than 150 concerts over a 44-week season and 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. In addition, Maestro van Zweden will also be the next Music Director of the New York Philharmonic starting with the 2018/19 season.

Yu Long was appointed for an initial three-year term in the 2015/16 season as Principal Guest Conductor.

Under Maestro van Zweden, the HK Phil is undertaking a variety of initiatives including a four-year project to perform and record the complete Ring of the Nibelung (Richard Wagner). The Orchestra is in the third of this four-year journey, performing one opera annually in concert. The performances are being recorded live for the Naxos label and mark the first performances by a Hong Kong or mainland Chinese orchestra of the entire Ring cycle.

Also under van Zweden, the orchestra has undertaken tours to Taiwan, Europe and, for a second time to Mainland China, with recent concerts in Shanghai, Tianjin and Beijing.

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 and Yuja Wang.

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 tens of thousands of children annually. A recording was issued free to schoolchildren throughout Hong Kong of Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Leopold Mozart’s Toy Symphony.

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.

Thanks to a 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.

The Orchestra celebrated its 40th season as a professional orchestra in 2013/14.

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.