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Painting with Sound closes the HK Phil’s 2016/17 Season

19 JUN 2017

Hong Kong

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[19 June 2017, Hong Kong] On 7 & 8 July in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) will close its 2016/17 Season with a dazzling palette of vibrant colours and shimmering sounds. Two world-class harp virtuosos – Isabelle Morettiand Xavier de Maistrewill perform music by Debussy and Ravel as well as an enchanting arrangement for harp and orchestra of a Mozart piano concerto. Conductor Jun Märkl will also direct the HK Phil in Debussy’s Images which dips into the folk melodies of Britain, Spain and France, and is sure to leave you breathless with its spectacular aural images.

Audiences will hear French Harpist Xavier de Maistre performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 19. In 2013 he decided to enlarge the repertory of his instrument by selecting some works by Mozart and arranging them for harp. Among these was Mozart’s 19th Piano Concerto, which was originally completed in Vienna in December 1784. Its suitability for the harp lies largely in the fact that the orchestra comprises just gentle strings and woodwind. 

Isabelle Moretti will be featured in Debussy’s voluptuous Sacred and Profane and Ravel’s lush Introduction and Allegro, two of the great masterpieces of the French harp and orchestra repertory, both of which show their composers’ marvellous gifts for instrumental timbre and orchestral colour. Their rich and sumptuous harmonies along with their magical melodies provide a warm glow to music of almost sensuous beauty, 

Finally, Jun Märkl leads the orchestra through three countries of which Debussy had first-hand experience in his three-movement orchestral suite, Images. The first movement offers his view of Northern England, the second the colourful dances of Spain and finally the joyful celebrations of springtime in France.

Masterworks: Painting with Sound will be held on 7 & 8 July (Fri & Sat) at 8PMin the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Ticket prices: HK$480, $380, $280, $180 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit

Partner: World Harp Congress

Jun Märkl, conductor[full biography]
Jun Märkl has long been known as a highly respected interpreter of the core Germanic repertoire from both the symphonic and operatic traditions, and more recently for his refined and idiomatic explorations of the French impressionists. His long-standing relationships at the state operas of Vienna, Berlin, Munich and Semperoper Dresden have in recent years been complemented by his Music Directorships of the Orchestre National de Lyon (2005-11) and MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig (to 2012). He was appointed Principal Conductor of the Basque National Orchestra for 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons. His busy schedule takes him to guest conduct the world’s leading orchestras including the Cleveland, Philadelphia, NHK Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic and Tonhalle Orchester Zürich.

Isabelle Moretti, harp[full biography]
Isabelle Moretti has been awarded prizes at international harp competitions in Geneva, Munich and Israel, and has performed all over the world. She has appeared with many orchestras including the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischer Rundfunks, Orchestre National de Lyon, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and more. Moretti’s solo repertoire ranges from the eighteenth century and the first sonatas for pedal harp to the most complex contemporary world premieres, which she frequently programmes in her recitals.

Xavier de Maistre, harp[full biography]
Xavier de Maistre belongs to an elite category of soloists who are redefining what is possible with their instrument. Aside from commissions from composers such as Kaija Saariaho, he performs works like Smetana’s Má Vlast presenting masterful arrangements of works that are usually played by an entire orchestra. The interpretation of these works has contributed to his reputation as one of the most creative and extraordinary musicians of his generation.

7 & 8 | 7 | 2017
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$480 $380 $280 $180
Tickets are now available at URBTIX
For ages 6 and above


Jun Märkl


Isabelle Moretti


Xavier de Maistre


Click the thumbnails to download press photos

Jun Märkl
Photo Credit: Jean Baptiste Millot

Isabelle Moretti

Xavier de Maistre
Photo Credit: Felix Broede

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra Photo Credit: Cheung Wai Lok/HK Phil






Piano Concerto no. 19 (arranged for harp)


Sacred and Profane Dances


Introduction and Allegro




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. The orchestra presents more than 150 concerts over a 44-week season and 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. In addition, Maestro van Zweden will also be the next Music Director of the New York Philharmonic starting with 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 Maestro van Zweden, the HK Phil is undertaking a variety of initiatives including a four-year project to perform and record the complete Ring of the Nibelung (Richard Wagner). The orchestra is in the third of this four-year journey, performing one opera annually in concert. The performances being recorded live for the Naxos label are winning rave reviews internationally; and mark the first performances by a Hong Kong or mainland Chinese orchestra of the entire Ring cycle.

Also under van Zweden, the orchestra has toured to Taiwan, Europe and Mainland China. The orchestra just completed an ambitious five-city tour to Seoul, Osaka, Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney in April - May 2017 in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR.

Conductors and soloists who have recently performed with the orchestra include Yo-Yo Ma, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Ning Feng, Matthias Goerne, Lang Lang, Yu Long, Yundi Li, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Yuja Wang and the late Lorin Maazel.


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 tens 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.

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.

Thanks to a 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.

The orchestra was originally called the Sino-British Orchestra. It was renamed as the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in 1957 and became fully professional in 1974.

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.