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The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra presents
Swire Classic Insights
Three free concerts at HKU with different themes

29 JAN 2016

Hong Kong

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Deborah Hennig
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Tel: (852) 2721 9035

Becky Lee
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[29 January 2016, Hong Kong] Great music will be explored and ‘unpacked’ through multi-media, live performance and on-stage commentary in three concerts to be held on 17 February (Wed), 18 February (Thu) and 27 February (Sat) at 8pm in the Grand Hall, Lee Shau Kee Lecture Centre, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong. Registration is required. The registration period for the general public begins on 2 February.

(1)    Monet and Debussy – The Impressionists? (17 February 2016, Wednesday, 8 pm)
Impressionism: the sensual play of light and shade. Monet was a master of this style in painting. Debussy objected when the word was used to describe his music, yet we still call him an impressionist. In this concert, conductor Jung-Ho Pak explores the links between Monet’s art and Debussy’s music. From its inspirations in Japanese art and French poetry, to the great masterpieces of Water Lilies and the Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun – join us for an exploration of luminous beauty.


Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun


La mer (excerpts)



Jung-Ho Pak


Professor Greg M. Thomas
Professor, Department of Fine Arts of The University of Hong Kong

(2)    The 1812 Overture – Battle of the Tunes (18 February 2016, Thursday, 8 pm)
Few musical works are as well-known and rousing as the 1812 Overture. A straight-out battle between French and Russian anthems with added cannon effects makes for a thrilling piece of music. But Tchaikovsky himself had no great love for the 1812, and the melodies he chose to represent each side of the battle are fraught with fascinating problems. Find out why when Jung-Ho Pak deconstructs this classic work.






1812 Overture


Marche Slave





Jung-Ho Pak

Special guest speaker

Dr Oscar Sanchez-Sibony,
Assistant Professor of History at The University of Hong Kong


(3)    Coronations (27 February 2016, Saturday, 8 pm)
Composers throughout history have written some of their best music for coronations. The pomp, majesty and mystery of this ceremony excite our imagination, even today. Join the HK Phil Chorus and conductor Philip Chu for a concert of regal music and readings from the royal courts of Venice, Versailles and Westminster.







Crown Imperial


I Was Glad


Omnes Gentes


Jubilate Deo


Te Deum (featuring Apollo Wong as soloist)


Zadok the Priest





Philip Chu


Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus


Caroline Wilson, the British Consul General

All three concerts are free admission. Seats are limited and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested parties can register online as follows:

Monet and Debussy – The Impressionists?

The 1812 Overture – Battle of the Tunes






Sponsored by

With support from

Jung-Ho Pak, conductor [full biography]
Described by the Los Angeles Times as “a real grabber,” Jung-Ho Pak, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, firmly believes the orchestra doesn’t exist simply to play notes, but to “grab souls”. This desire to create a “passionate synergy” with the orchestra has earned him a reputation as a revolutionary thinker in the world of classical music. He served as the principal conductor of the Emmy-nominated Disney Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra for eight years. As a guest conductor, he has travelled to Europe, the former Soviet Union, South America and Asia.

Philip Chu, conductor [full biography]
Born in Hong Kong, Philip Chu completed a Masters degree in conducting at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, under the tutelage of Imre Pallo. Philip has taken on roles such as assistant chorus-master at Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, music director/conductor of Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and Choir, 2MBS ensemble Ambrosia, and Eminence Symphony Orchestra. He has been guest/assistant conductor for Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Cantillation, Sydney Philharmonic Choirs, Sydney Youth Orchestra and Sydney Chamber Choir.






Click the thumbnail to download photos
34HK Phil_20140404_(c) Cheung Chi Wai (1)_lo  

Jung-Ho Pak

Philip Chu

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






Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Music Director: Jaap van Zweden






The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) is recognised as Asia’s foremost classical orchestra. The Orchestra presents over 150 concerts within a 44-week season and attracts more than 200,000 music lovers annually.

Jaap van Zweden, one of today’s most sought-after conductors, is the Orchestra’s Music Director, a position he has held since the 2012/13 concert season. Maestro van Zweden was recently announced as the next Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. This appointment will not affect his tenure with the HK Phil; his commitment to the HK Phil extends at least to the summer of 2019.

Yu Long was appointed Principal Guest Conductor in the 2015/16 season for an initial three-year term.

Under Maestro van Zweden, the HK Phil is undertaking a variety of projects including a four-year project to perform and record the complete Ring of the Nibelung (Richard Wagner). The Orchestra is in year two of this four-year journey, performing one opera each year in concert. The performances are being recorded live for the Naxos label and mark the first performances by a Hong Kong or mainland Chinese orchestra of the entire Ring cycle.

Also under van Zweden, the orchestra undertook a highly successful five-country, seven-city tour of Europe in the 2014/15 season, with concerts in London, Vienna, Zurich, Eindhoven, Birmingham, Berlin and Amsterdam. Performances were met with enthusiasm and universally positive reviews. The concert in Vienna’s Musikverein was filmed for broadcast on TV.

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 and Yuja Wang.

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’s history stretches back to 1895, when it was formed as the Sino-British Orchestra. It was re-named 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

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