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Jaap van Zweden Conducted Swire Symphony Under The Stars (21 Nov 2015)

24 NOV 2015

Hong Kong

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[24 November 2015, Hong Kong]

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) presented its iconic annual Swire Symphony Under The Stars to up to 20,000 peopleat Central Harbourfront on 21 November (Saturday), under the baton of Music Director Jaap van Zweden with Harry Wong as Master of Ceremonies.


The HK Phil wishes to express its deepest gratitude for the generous and continued support from Swire, as well as to Hong Kong’s music lovers who have helped make Swire Symphony Under The Stars such hugely popular event throughout the Hong Kong community. This year, all the tickets were snapped up within a few hours of being made available to the public.


Maestro Jaap van Zweden, Music Director of the HK Phil who conducted the event for the first time, expressed his pleasure at sharing beautiful music with so large an audience at such a wonderful outdoor venue. “It has been a great experience and I hope the public who were at the event enjoyed it as much. Hong Kong people should be proud of their orchestra, which can be counted among the very best in the world.”


After the opening ceremony, Harry Wong handed the stage to HK Phil’s Music Director Jaap van Zweden, who started the concert with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Hong Kong sand painting artist Hoi Chiu created many wonderful images as the orchestra played Ravel’s Bolero. During the interval, Harry Wong kept the heat up as he invited audiences onto the stage and played Happy Birthday.


Afterwards, there were fireworks to go with Johann Strauss II’s Thunder and Lightning Polka, and the concert ended with the Radetsky March.


Swire Symphony Under The Stars will reach far beyond the people who attended in person; the event was recorded by RTHK TV and RTHK Radio 4 for broadcast.


TV Broadcast
The audio-visual recording will be broadcasted via RTHK 31 and on 30 January 2016 (Sat) at 10pm with a repeat on 31 January 2016 (Sun) at 1pm.


Radio Broadcast
The radio broadcast is scheduled on 28 November 2015 (Sat) at 8pm with a repeat on 3 December 2015 (Thu) at 2pm on RTHK Radio 4 (FM Stereo 97.6-98.9 MHz and


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Principal Patron: SWIRE
Sponsor: Tom Lee Music
Media Partners: RTHK Television Division, RTHK Radio 4

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Music Director: Jaap van Zweden


The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) has recently returned from an extremely successful five-country, seven-city tour of Europe, with concerts in London, Vienna, Zurich, Eindhoven, Birmingham, Berlin and Amsterdam. Most concerts were sold out, there were standing ovations, and the reviews were universally positive. The concert in Vienna’s Musikverein was filmed for broadcast on TV. With a history stretching back to 1895, when it was formed as the Sino-British Orchestra, the HK Phil was re-named in 1957 and became fully professional in 1974.


Thanks to 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.

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, Yuja Wang and Edo de Waart, the HK Phil’s previous Music Director.


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 ten 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.


This season is Jaap van Zweden’s fourth as Music Director of the HK Phil. With him, the orchestra is undertaking major expansion and new projects, including the first-ever performances by a Hong Kong or mainland Chinese orchestra of Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung. The four operas are being performed, one a year, in concert and recorded live for the Naxos label.


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.

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