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Sinfonia Antartica – A Valiant Story of Man and Nature Retold by
the HK Phil and Polar Explorer, Dr Rebecca Lee, in an Exciting
Multimedia Experience (18&19 Jan 2013)

7 DEC 2012

Hong Kong

Media Contact:
Doris Chan
Director of Marketing
Tel: (852) 2721 9035
Mobile: (852) 9776 8445

Becky Lee
Media Relations Manager
Tel: (852) 2721 1585
Mobile: (852) 9201 4642

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[7 December 2012 – Hong Kong]On 18&19 January 2013, the Hong Kong Philharmonic (HK Phil), under the baton of its former Music Director David Atherton, will take you on an awe-inspiring multimedia journey to Antarctica, through Vaughan William’s Sinfonia Antartica in music, words and pictures.

The words will be spoken by renowned polar explorer Rebecca Lee, the first female explorer to reach the three extremes of the Earth (Arctic, Antarctic and Mount Everest Region), who will retell excerpts from the last entries in the ill-fated Captain Scott’s famed diary in Cantonese while Michael MacLeod, Chief Executive of the HK Phil, in English.


The important photographs to chronicle this fateful story, projected on two large screens in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, are by Herbert Ponting digitally restored in high definition. To join the HK Phil on stage to produce the Vaughan Williams’ beautiful scores of Sinfonia Antartica are Hong Kong’s own soprano Yuki Ipand The Hong Kong Children's Choir.



Vaughan Williams wrote the music for the 1948 film Scott of the Antarctic inspired by the tragic expedition to the South Pole led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott from 1910 – 1912. Captain Scott and his team endeavoured to become the first to reach the South Pole but all perished on the return journey. Some of their bodies, photographs and diaries were discovered eight months later. Vaughan Williams’ music tells the inspiring human story behind this epic and tragic journey as related in Captain Scott’s moving diary.



Holiday, Pops & More: “Antarctic Journey” will be held on 18&19 Jan 2013 (Fri & Sat), 8pm, in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Tickets priced: $400, $300, $220, $140 are now available at URBTIX. Free pre-concert talks will be given on both nights at 7:15pm, also at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. For enquiries, please visit or contact 2721 2030.



David Atherton, conductor [full biography]
David Atherton studied music at Cambridge University where his operatic conducting aroused much interest from the national press. In 1967 Sir Georg Solti invited him to join the music staff of the Royal Opera House and the following year, at the age of 24, he became the youngest conductor ever to appear there.



David Atherton was co-founder of the London Sinfonietta in 1967 and, as its Music Director, gave the first performance of many important contemporary works. Widely regarded as one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras, the London Sinfonietta has made countless recordings. His work has won an Edison Award, many Grammy Award nominations and the sought-after Grand Prix du Disque.



He became the youngest conductor in the history of the BBC Proms and subsequently appeared in thirty contiguous seasons. He has conducted leading orchestras in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Europe, including the Czech Republic (to open the Prague Spring Festival) and Germany (to open the Berlin Festival with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra).



From 1989 David Atherton was the Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. On his retirement from this position in 2000 and in recognition of his services to the music of Hong Kong, he was awarded the OBE.



Yuki Ip, soprano [full biography]
Hong Kong soprano, (Yuki) Ip Po-Ching's major performances have included being the featured soloist with José Carreras for the inaugural season of the National Centre of the Performing Arts, Beijing, Cio-Cio San in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly with MusicaViva, Hong Kong, and her European début at the Basilica di San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. Miss Ip was the soprano soloist in Bach’s B Minor Mass under the baton of Maestro Helmuth Rilling in 2011.



Recently she performed Villa-Lobos’sBachianas BrasileirasNo.5 in Verona and Cremona, Italy, and was guest soloist at the Shanghai World Exposition with Shanghai Opera House Orchestra and Micaëla in Bizet’sCarmenwith Le French May Festival Hong Kong.

Miss Ip obtained a Bachelor of Music Degree (Honours) from Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and a Master of Music Degree from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, USA.



Rebecca Lee, narrator (Cantonese) [full biography]
Founder and Director of Polar Museum Foundation, Rebecca Lee has transformed herself from a professional graphic designer, painter, photographer and writer to a polar researcher in the last 30 years.



Pursuit of innovation has resulted in her being recognized as the first Hong Kong woman explorer to reach the Arctic, Antarctic and Mount Everest region, is the author of more than fourteen books, has organised numerous educational exhibitions and produced TV documentaries about the world we live in.



Rebecca has delivered hundreds of lectures to primary and secondary school students, university undergraduates in Hong Kong, Macau and China about her work, adventure and latest scientific findings on the environment. They are inspired to take a more serious attitude towards life and to conserve and protect the environment.



Michael MacLeod, narrator (English) [full biography]
Michael MacLeod was appointed Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Philharmonic in 2011. Previous to this, he was General & Artistic Director of Glimmerglass Opera (a summer opera festival in New York State), Executive Director of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra (America's fourth oldest orchestra, based in Connecticut), Director of the City of London Festival, General Manager of Sir John Eliot Gardiner's Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Assistant Director of the National Centre for Orchestra Studies (based at the University of London) and General Manager of the Scottish Baroque Ensemble. Mr MacLeod, 59, was educated in Scotland and the United States and studied the piano, flute and viola. He took up his current position on 1 April 2011.


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 organization. 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. 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". In 2003 HKCC was awarded the "China’s Top Ten Children Chorus".

Holiday, Pops & More: Antarctic Journey
18&19 | 1 | 2013
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$400 $300 $220 $140
Available at URBTIX now



David Athertonconductor
Yuki Ip*soprano
Rebecca Lee*narrator (Cantonese)
Michael MacLeod*narrator (English)
The Hong Kong Children's Choir*chorus



Click the thumbnails to download press images





RAUTAVAARACantus Arcticus
VAUGHAN WILLIAMSSymphony No.7 Sinfonia Antartica*
Performance with images and narration 





Ticketing Information
Credit Card Booking
(852) 2111 5999
Online Booking

For programme enquiry, please call HK Phil at
(852) 2721 2030





Music Director: Jaap van Zweden

The Hong Kong Philharmonic is a vital part of Hong Kong’s cultural life, as the city’s largest and busiest musical organisation. In 2013/14 the HK Phil will celebrate its 40th professional season, but its roots are well over a century old. The HK Phil has now evolved to become 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 for 200,000 music lovers. Featuring an enviable roster of international and local artists, 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 last year.

The HK Phil’s members come from every corner of the globe, joining its 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 recently commenced a multi-CD recording project for Naxos, featuring works by Chinese composers.

The Hong Kong Philharmonic is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
SWIRE is the Principal Patron of the Hong Kong Philharmonic
The Hong Kong Philharmonic is a Venue Partner of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre


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