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J. S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion Conducted by Jaap van Zweden
with The Bach Choir (London) and The Hong Kong Children’s Choir (18 & 19 Apr)

7 APR 2014

Hong Kong

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[7 April 2014, Hong Kong] The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) presents one of the great cornerstones of Western Art Music - J. S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion – in a performance conducted by HK Phil Music Director Jaap van Zweden

Sung in German, the St Matthew Passion tells the story of Jesus’ betrayal, suffering and death on the cross. For these two performances which take place on Good Friday (18 April) and Holy Saturday (19 April) at Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, the HK Phil will be joined by one of the UK’s leading choirs, The Bach Choir (London), as well as The Hong Kong Children’s Choir, with an international cast of soloists including Stephan Rügamer as evangelist and Christopher Maltman as Jesus.

Founded in 1876, The Bach Choir has been performing St Matthew Passion annually since 1930 as a London choral tradition, and this year they bring it to Hong Kong.  

St Matthew Passionwill be held on 18 & 19 April 2014 (Fri & Sat), 7PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Free pre-concert talks will be given in English on Friday 18 April by Jerome Hoberman, Music Director of The Hong Kong Bach Choir, and in Cantonese on Saturday 19 April by Mr Li Chi-man, Lecturer at the Hong Kong Music Institute, at 6:15pm in AC2, 4/F, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Tickets priced: $680, $480, $320, $220 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit

Jaap van Zweden, conductor [full biography]
Amsterdam-born Jaap van Zweden is one of today’s most sought-after conductors. Named Musical America’s Conductor of the Year for 2012, he has been Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012/13 season.

At the age of nineteen, Jaap was appointed as the youngest Concertmaster ever of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Maestro van Zweden is also currently Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Honorary Conductor of the Radio Chamber Philharmonic.

The Bach Choir [full biography]
Founded in 1876, The Bach Choir is recognised as one of the world’s leading choruses, building upon a tradition that combines musical excellence with creativity and innovation. From the first performance in Britain of Bach’s Mass in B minor to the soundtrack for Ridley Scott’s 2012 epic Prometheus, their musical heritage is as rich as it is diverse. Directed by David Hill, one of the country’s most eminent conductors, The Bach Choir regularly performs and records across London and the UK in prestigious venues, from the Royal Albert Hall to Abbey Road Studios.

The Hong Kong Children’s Choir [full biography]
The Hong Kong Children's Choir (HKCC) was founded in 1969 as a private non-profit-making charitable organisation. Established with only 39 members, HKCC is now the biggest choir in the world with over 5,000 boys and girls receiving choral, dancing, arts and craft training from the Choir. Each year touring groups are invited to give performances overseas, spreading the message of love and peace to other parts of the world. The Choir has been well received and applauded in over 24 countries, gaining an international reputation as “one of the best children's choirs in the world” and “the Little Goodwill Singing Ambassadors from Hong Kong.”

Stephan Rügamer, evangelist [full biography]
Stephan Rügamer made his début at the Berlin State Opera singing the role of David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg under Daniel Barenboim. Also under the baton of Daniel Barenboim he sang Erik in Der Fliegende Holländer during the Berlin State Opera’s 2003 visit to the Teatro Real in Madrid 2003. Guest performances have taken him to all the major German opera houses, the Théâtre Châtelet in Paris, Teatro Real in Madrid and Teatro alla Scala in Milan, as well as to the festivals of Lucerne, Chicago Ravinia, Salzburg, Bregenz and St. Petersburg.

Christopher Maltman, Jesus [full biography]
Winner of the Lieder Prize at the 1997 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, Christopher Maltman’s recent appearances have included the title role of Gawain at the Salzburg Festival, the title role of Don Giovanni at the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin, Posa (Don Carlo) at the Netherlands Opera, and Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), the Forester (The Cunning Little Vixen) and Marcello (La Bohème) at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. He has also appeared at the Glyndebourne Festival, the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, the Vienna State Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Zurich Opera, the Aldeburgh Festival and the English National Opera. An acclaimed Billy Budd, he has sung the role with the Welsh National Opera, in Turin, Seattle, Frankfurt and Munich.


St Matthew Passion
18 & 19 | 4 | 2014
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$680 $480 $320 $220
Tickets are available at URBTIX now
For ages 6 and above




Jaap van Zwedenconductor
The Bach Choir (London) 
The Hong Kong Children’s Choir 
Stephan Rügamer


Christopher Maltman


Valentina Farcas


Jennifer Johnston


Mark Adler


Maarten Koningsberger




Click the thumbnail to download photos

Jaap van Zweden
Photo Credit: Keith Hiro / HK Phil


The Bach Choir (London)

The Hong Kong Children’s Choir 

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo credit: Cheung Chi Wai / HK Phil

Stephan Rügamer
Photo credit: Simon Pauly

Christopher Maltman
Photo credit: Pia Clodi



Valentina Farcas

Jennifer Johnston
Photo credit: Richard Ecclestone

Mark Adler
Photo credit: Christian Grau

Maarten Koningsberger
Photo credit: Bokkie Vink





St Matthew Passion (sung in German)





Ticketing Information
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Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Music Director: Jaap van Zweden

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is the city’s largest and busiest musical organisation and is a vital part of Hong Kong’s cultural life. This season it celebrates its 40th professional season, but its roots stretch back well over a century. The HK Phil has now evolved into an orchestral powerhouse in the region, and an acclaimed cultural centrepiece of Asia’s World City.

The HK Phil is formed on the belief that a great city deserves a great orchestra. Annually it presents over 150 concerts attracting over 200,000 music lovers. Featuring an enviable roster of international conductors and soloists, the HK Phil performs a broad variety of music, with many concerts presented free; among them the annual Swire Symphony Under The Stars. Through its acclaimed education programme, over 40,000 young people learned about orchestral music in the last year.

The Swire Group Charitable Trust has been the Principal Patron of the HK Phil since 2006. Swire’s enlightened support, the most generous in the orchestra’s history, continues to enable the orchestra to reach towards high artistic goals.

The HK Phil’s members come from every corner of the globe, with a strong core of Hong Kong musicians. In September 2012 Jaap van Zweden became the orchestra’s Music Director. Future years will see an ambitious series of new projects, with major international tours, renewed local partnerships, and large-scale concert events. The HK Phil has commenced a multi-CD recording project for Naxos, featuring works by Chinese composers.

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

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