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Index Classics: Leonard Slatkin | Eton College Chapel Choir (5 & 6 April 2019)
Performing Bernstein’s Colourful Chichester Psalms

19 MAR 2019

Hong Kong

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[19 March 2019, Hong Kong] The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) is proud to present a programme featuring internationally-acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin and the renowned Eton College Chapel Choir. On 5 & 6 April in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, Slatkin, who is recognised for his intuitive interpretations of iconic American works, will be joined by the choristers of Eton College Chapel Choir in a performance of Leonard Bernstein’s colourful ChichesterPsalms.   

A staggeringly good school choir: beautifully balanced, alert, intelligent, well-tuned, passionate and sensitive.”
--- Richard Morrison, Chief Music Critic of The Times

Founded in 1440 by King Henry VI, Eton College is one of the most famous schools in the world, and has been referred to as “the chief nurse of England’s statesmen”. The chapel choir, made up of boys from the school, sings for services in the College Chapel as their main duty. They also perform regularly in the UK and aboard. In this programme, the choir will sing Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms commissioned by the Dean of Chichester Cathedral in Sussex for the 1965 Chichester Festival.

Opening the concert is The Infernal Machine, a rousing overture by the contemporary America composer Christopher Rouse, who declares that it “was my intention to compose a brief orchestral showpiece inspired by the vision of a great self-sufficient machine eternally in motion for no particular purpose”. This is followed by one of the most popular of all 20th-century classical works - Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. This evocative American work, written in 1936, has appeared in movies including Platoon and The Elephant Man.        

The programme will close with Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, composed in the summer of 1888. Obsessed with the concept of fate, the symphony opens in a sombre mood with an idea which, according to Tchaikovsky, represents the “complete resignation before Fate”. Some have suggested that the Fifth Symphony has a hidden agenda which is believed to convey his final coming to terms with his homosexuality.

Classics: Leonard Slatkin | Eton College Chapel Choir will be held on 5 & 6 April 2019 (Fri & Sat), 8PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Tickets price: HK$680, $480, $380, $280 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit

Leonard Slatkin, conductor [full biography]
Internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin is Music Director Laureate of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Directeur Musical Honoraire of the Orchestre National de Lyon. He maintains a rigorous schedule of guest conducting engagements throughout the world, and is active as a composer, author and educator. Slatkin has received six Grammy awards and 33 nominations, and has recorded the complete Brahms, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky symphonies. He has conducted virtually all the leading orchestras in the world, and has held Music Directorships in New Orleans, St Louis, Washington, London (with the BBC Symphony Orchestra), Detroit and Lyon. 

Eton College Chapel Choir [full biography]
Eton College is an all-boys boarding school founded in 1440 by King Henry VI in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Foundation of Eton College provided 10 men and 16 boys to sing the services, and, with a few breaks, the choir has been singing in Eton College Chapel from then until the present day. Although singing for services in the College Chapel remains the choir’s principal duty, increasingly the choir can be heard further afield. As well as concerts abroad, the choir performs regularly in the UK. The choir has performed with leading orchestras such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia and the Academy of Ancient Music, as well as smaller instrumental groups such as the viol consort, Fretwork.

5 & 6 | 4 | 2019
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$680 $480 $380 $280
Tickets are available at URBTIX 
For ages 6 and above


Leonard Slatkin


Eton College Chapel Choir


Click the thumbnails to download press images
HK Phil_20140404_(c) Cheung Chi Wai (2)

Leonard Slatkin
Photo Credit: David Duchon-Doris

Eton College Chapel Choir
Photo Credit: Gillman and Soame

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo Credit: Cheung Chi-wai/HK Phil



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.