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Special notice

SWIRE

Music Director Jaap van Zweden and the HK Phil Open the 2019/20 Season with Major Romantic Works by Rachmaninov, Mahler and more  
Featuring top soloists Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho and German baritone Stephen Genz 
JAAP!: Season Opening: JAAP | Seong-Jin Cho (6 & 7 September) 
JAAP!: JAAP | Symphonie Fantastique (13 & 14 September)

30 AUG 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: 
Meggy Cheng
Director of Marketing 
Tel: (852) 2721 9035
Email: meggy.cheng@hkphil.org 

Flora Fung
Media Relations and Communications Manager
Tel: (852) 2721 1585
Email: flora.fung@hkphil.org


Download HERE


[30 August 2019, Hong Kong] The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil)’s new season gets underway with a powerful pair of concerts led by Music Director Jaap van Zweden. Each concert features the type of full-bodied Romantic works that have led this orchestra, under Jaap’s baton, to international recognition. Joining hands with the orchestra for this two-week gala are First Prize winner of the Chopin International Competition, Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho; and Gramophone Classical Music Award’s Solo Vocal award winner, German baritone Stephen Genz.

 

Season Opening: JAAP | Seong-Jin Cho (6 & 7 September) features Rachmaninov’s thrilling Piano Concerto no. 2, a perennial audience favourite that is sure to be especially electrifying in the hands of Korean phenom Seong-Jin Cho.

 

“…this (2015) Chopin Competition winner [Seong-Jin Cho] can stand proud next to the likes of such illustrious past winners as Pollini, Argerich and Zimerman”

--- Pianist

 

The concert opens with the Prelude to Act 1 of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg by Wagner—a composer now nearly synonymous with the HK Phil following Jaap’s triumphant four-year performance and recording project of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, which won the HK Phil a Gramophone nomination for 2019 Orchestra of the Year.

 

The programme will conclude with selections from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, the dramatic ballet score the composer intended to reach “the hearts of all listeners” on its own merits regardless of dance and theatrical elements.

 

Title Sponsor of Opening Night Concert on 6 September 2019: United Overseas Bank

 

 

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The second week of these opening concerts, JAAP | Symphonie Fantastique (13 & 14 September) reflects the height of Romanticism with works by Brahms, Mahler and Berlioz. The concert begins with Brahms’ elegant and joyful Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn—although not actually based on a theme by Haydn, unbeknownst to Brahms. 

 

This is followed by two autobiographical musical works defined by unrequited love—Mahler’s Lieder Eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) and Berlioz’ Symphonie fantastique. Mahler’s song cycle was written in the wake of his unhappy love for a famous soprano. The piece has four movements based on lyrics by Mahler himself and follows a path of grief, joy, despair and solace. Internationally recognised German baritone Stephen Genz, known for his excellence in lied repertoire, will sing the highly expressive texts with “moving artistry and great intensity”.

 

Closing the programme is Berlioz’ Episode de la vie d’un artiste (An Episode in the Life of an Artist), best known as Symphonie fantastique. The five movements of this “Fantastical Symphony” each depict a dreamlike, opium-induced episode in an artist’s life (likely Berlioz’s) who is driven mad by failed love. The piece was inspired by Berlioz’s ill-fated passion for the Irish-born actress Harriet Smithson. The work is grand, progressive and wild.

 

 

JAAP!: Season Opening: JAAP | Seong-Jin Cho will be held on 6 & 7 September (Fri & Sat), 8PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Tickets are $1,280, $880, $580 and $380 and are available at URBTIX.

 

JAAP!: JAAP | Symphonie Fantastique will be held on 13 & 14 September (Fri & Sat), 8PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Tickets are $580, $480, $380 and $280 and are available at URBTIX.

For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit hkphil.org.
 

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Artists (JAAP!: Season Opening: JAAP | Seong-Jin Cho)

Jaap van Zweden, conductor [full biography]

Over the past decade, conductor Jaap van Zweden has become an international presence on three continents.  Currently Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, he is also Music Director of the New York Philharmonic – a post he has held since the 2018/19 season. Guest engagements this season include the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. 

 

Seong-Jin Cho, piano[full biography]

Seong-Jin Cho is considered one of the most distinctive artists of his generation. He won First Prize at the Chopin International Competition in Warsaw in 2015. The following year he signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. The first recording was released in November 2016 featuring Chopin’s First Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda and the Four Ballades. A solo Debussy album was released in November 2017 followed in 2018 by a Mozart album featuring Sonatas and the D minor Concerto with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.  

 

Artists (JAAP!: JAAP | Symphonie Fantastique)

Jaap van Zweden, conductor [full biography]

Over the past decade, conductor Jaap van Zweden has become an international presence on three continents.  Currently Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, he is also Music Director of the New York Philharmonic – a post he has held since the 2018/19 season. Guest engagements this season include the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. 

 

Stephan Genz, baritone[full biography]

Born in Erfurt, Germany, Stephan Genz is an internationally recognised baritone known particularly for his excellence in the Lied repertory. After receiving his first musical training as a chorister in the Thomanerchor in Leipzig, he pursued his vocal studies with Hans-Joachim Beyer at the Leipzig Conservatory, and with Mitsuko Shirai and Hartmut Höll at the Karlsruhe Conservatory. He later studied with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. He came to prominence after winning the International Johannes Brahms Competition in Hamburg (1994) and the International Hugo Wolf Competition in Stuttgart (1994). In 1998 he was awarded the “Brahms-Prize” of Schleswig-Holstein, and in 2000 the Belgium music critics elected him “Young Artist of the Year”.


 

JAAP!: SEASON OPENING: JAAP│SEONG-JIN CHO

6 & 7 | 9 | 2019

FRI & SAT 8PM

Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall

HK$1280 $880 $580 $380

Tickets are now available at URBTIX.

For ages 6 and above
 

Title Sponsor of Opening Night Concert on 6 September: United Overseas Bank
HKCC

 

Artists

Jaap van Zwedenconductor
Seong-Jin Chopiano

 Click the thumbnails to download press images

Photo - 1
Jaap van Zweden
Photo Credit: Cheung Chi-wai/HK Phil
Photo - 1
Seong-Jin Cho
Photo Credit: Harald Hoffmann / DG
Photo - 1
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo Credit: Eric Hong/HK Phil


Programme

WAGNERDie Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Prelude to Act I
RACHMANINOVPiano Concerto no. 2
PROKOFIEVSelections from Romeo & Juliet

 

JAAP!: JAAP | SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE

13 & 14 | 9 | 2019

FRI & SAT 8PM

Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall

HK $580 $480 $380 $280

Tickets are now available at URBTIX.

For ages 6 and above
 

Artists

Jaap van Zweden

conductor
Stephan Genzbaritone

Click the thumbnails to download press images

Photo - 1
Jaap van Zweden
Photo Credit: Wong Kin-chung/HK Phil
Photo - 1
Stephan Genz 
Photo Credit: stephan-genz.com
Photo - 1
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo Credit: Cheung Wai-lok/HK Phil

Programme

BRAHMSVariations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn
MAHLERLieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer)
BERLIOZSymphonie fantastique

 

 

 

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