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Swire Denim Series: Philip Glass’ David Bowie (15 & 16 February 2019)
Asian Premiere of Glass’ Symphony no. 4, Heroes, a tribute to David Bowie

8 FEB 2019

Hong Kong

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[8 February 2019, Hong Kong] Paying tribute to two minimalist masters, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) is excited to give the Asian premiere of Philip Glass’s Symphony no. 4, Heroes, which is itself a heartfelt tribute to the superstar David Bowie, and the China premiere of Steve Reich’s Three Movements. Conducted by André de Ridder, the HK Phil will also give Asian/China premieres of music by two legendary pop musicians - Jonny Greenwood’s music from the movie There Will Be Blood and Bryce Dessner’s music used in The Revenant. Experience the wonderful connection between classical and electronic, pop and rock music with us on 15 & 16 February in the Tsuen Wan Town Hall Auditorium.

Philip Glass and David Bowie were friends and mutual admirers for many decades. The second part of the David Bowie trilogy, Philip Glass’ Heroes Symphony, was inspired by David Bowie’s “Heroes” album. In his notes about the music, Glass writes; “Heroes, like the Low Symphony of several years ago, is based on the work of (David) Bowie and (Brian) Eno. In a series of innovative recordings made in the late 70’s, David and Brian combined influences from world music, experimental avant-garde and rock and roll, and thereby redefined the future of popular music. The continuing influence of these works has secured their stature as part of the new ‘classics’ of our time. Just as composers of the past have turned to music of their time to fashion new works, the work of Bowie and Eno became an inspiration and point of departure of symphonies of my own.”

The concert opener will be the China premiere of music from the movie There Will Be Blood, penned by Jonny Greenwood of the British rock band Radiohead. This will be followed by the Asian premiere of Lachrimae, an atmospheric piece used in the movie The Revenant, which was composed by Bryce Dessner of the Grammy®-award winning band, The National. Lastly comes the China premiere of Three Movements composed by the pioneer minimalist composer Steve Reich. The music was used memorably in the movie The Hunger Games.

Swire Denim Series: Philip Glass’ David Bowie will be held on 15 & 16 February 2019 (Fri & Sat), 8PM in the Tsuen Wan Town Hall Auditorium. Tickets price: HK$320, $280, $180, $120 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit

André de Ridder, conductor [full biography]
André de Ridder occupies a unique position among today’s conductors, maintaining his dedication to the repertoire whilst exploring the pop world with orchestras, and commissioning genre-defying contemporary projects. He performs regularly at international festivals including the BBC Proms, Iceland Airwaves, Sydney and Holland Festivals. He was awarded a Royal Philharmonic Society Award in May 2018 for Spitalfields Festival where he returns as Artistic Curator for the December 2018 programme. He also continues his Artistic Directorship of Musica nova Helsinki 2019, leading the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. 

15 & 16 | 2 | 2019
Tsuen Wan Town Hall Auditorium
HK$320 $280 $180 $120
Tickets are available at URBTIX 
For ages 6 and above

André de Ridderconductor

Click the thumbnails to download press images

André de Ridder
Photo Credit: Marco Borggreve


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 at least 2022. Maestro van Zweden is the 26th Music Director of the New York Philharmonic from the 2018/19 season.

Yu Long has been Principal Guest Conductor since 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 2017, 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 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 an epic four-year journey through Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” 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 was released in November 2018.

Conductors and soloists who have recently performed with the orchestra include Vladimir Ashkenazy, Joshua Bell, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Matthias Goerne, Stephen Hough, Evgeny Kissin, 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 in 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, the Hong Kong Arts Festival and the Hong Kong Ballet.

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.