Jaap, To The New World (22 & 23 June)
An American-themed programme to honour our esteemed Music Director’s new venture in New York
24 MAY 2018
[24 May 2018, Hong Kong] As Jaap van Zweden, the esteemed Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil), embarks on his new venture as Music Director of the world-renowned New York Philharmonic starting the 2018/19 season, the HK Phil honours him with this American-themed programme on 22 & 23 June in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall.
“The (HK Phil’s) Dvořák is played magnificently…the tuneful 9th Symphony will leave you feeling energised as you exit the auditorium.”
--- The Reviews Hub
Premiered 125 years ago, rather aptly by the New York Philharmonic Society, Dvořák’s most popular symphony is perhaps best known for its Cor Anglais solo in the slow movement – playing a theme inspired by the African-American spirituals and plantation songs. In 1892, the Americans invited Dvořák to become the Director of the newly-formed National Conservatory of Music. In America, he was desperately homesick and found solace in the songs he heard sung by native Americans as well as in the Spirituals sung by the African-American communities. Something of the flavour of these found their way into his ninth and final Symphony. Although Dvořák did not actually borrow any authentic folk melodies for the Symphony, in his own words, “I tried only to write in the spirit of those national melodies”.
In the same programme, Andrew Simon, an acclaimed concert soloist as well as the HK Phil’s own Principal Clarinet, will take centre stage in Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto, a piece performed by many of the foremost clarinettists worldwide. American composer Copland wrote the Clarinet Concerto on commission from renowned jazz clarinettist Benny Goodman. The piece blends elements of the lyrical and charming to the quirky and energetic, with a cadenza for the soloist connecting the movements.
The concert opens with Leonard Bernstein’s scintillating Candide Overture. This is part of our centenary tribute to Bernstein, one of America’s most iconic musical figures. With its jagged rhythms, streamingly athletic violins and vulgar brass and percussion interjections, balanced with a briskly sentimental, archetypically American “big tune”, it seems to breathe the very essence of America.
This last programme of the HK Phil’s 2017/18 season conducted by Jaap van Zweden is not to be missed.
Tickets priced: HK$680, $480, $380, $280 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit www.hkphil.org.
Jaap van Zweden, conductor [full biography]
Over the last decade, conductor Jaap van Zweden has become an international presence on three continents. The 17/18 season marks a major milestone as he completes his ten-year tenure as Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and simultaneously is Music Director Designate in New York, anticipating his inaugural season (2018/19) as the 26th Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. He continues as Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, a post he has held since 2012. Born in Amsterdam, Jaap van Zweden was the youngest ever Concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He began his conducting career in 1995 and in 2012 was named Musical America's Conductor of the Year.
Andrew Simon, clarinet [full biography]
Andrew Simon has appeared as soloist and guest lecturer on four continents. As Principal Clarinet of the HK Phil, he has recorded solo works by Baermann and Stravinsky and has performed concerti over 60 times, including John Corigliano's Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra which he studied with the Academy Award-winning composer. Among his notable performances are those with the Mainly Mozart Orchestra (US), the Singapore Symphony, as well as giving the Australian and Asian premieres of the original, unpublished version of Copland’s Concerto. In addition, his recital CDs include “HOT” and his new release, “Ebony and Ivory”, for NAXOS Recordings.
JAAP ESSENTIALS: JAAP, TO THE NEW WORLD
22 & 23 | 6 | 2018
FRI & SAT 8PM
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$680 $480 $380 $280
Tickets are now available at URBTIX
For ages 6 and above
|Jaap van Zweden||conductor|
Click the thumbnails to download press photos
Jaap van Zweden
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Symphony no. 9, From the New World
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.