The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra's Nanjing & Shanghai Tour
under Jaap Van Zweden was a Massive Success featuring Tianwa Yang
15 SEP 2023
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“Under the baton of Jaap van Zweden, all sections of the HK Phil join forces to perform Mendelssohn's Symphony no. 4, presenting a feast of colourful and elegant melodies at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center Concert Hall.” – Mao Yiming, Xinmin News
“Jaap van Zweden conducted [the HK Phil in its performance of Mendelssohn's Symphony no. 4] with refined and concise gestures, proving his technical mastery with effortless finesse. The exquisite orchestration resembles one of chamber music, giving a faithful interpretation to the composer’s signature style: graceful, refreshing and glamorous.” – Chen Jie, Music Weekly
[15 September 2023, Hong Kong] The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) kicked off its 50th professional season with an exciting tour held at the Nanjing Jiangsu Centre for the Performing Arts Concert Hall and the Shanghai Oriental Art Center Concert Hall from 1 to 2 September 2023. Featuring a programme highly praised by local music fans, these concerts are made possible with the support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Shanghai (SHETO) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
As the HK Phil’s Music Director, Jaap van Zweden led the orchestra and renowned violinist Tianwa Yang in the performances of three famous works by Mendelssohn. The concerts opened with Mendelssohn’s The Hebrides Overture, which portrays the violent seas off the west coast of Scotland. Following Tianwa Yang’s performance of the beloved Violin Concerto, the orchestra concluded the evenings with Mendelssohn’s Symphony no. 4, filling the concert halls with blazing colours and sunbeams of Italy, the travel destination that inspired this piece.
The Director of the SHETO Laura Aron said that it was a pleasure to invite the HK Phil, and support its Nanjing and Shanghai tour. She added that, after years of separation during the pandemic, they were honoured to have the HK Phil, hailed as one of Asia’s foremost classical orchestras, making its long-awaited return under the baton of Jaap van Zweden for a reunion with the audiences. This tour also marks the opening of the HK Phil’s golden jubilee year. With the support of the National 14th Five-Year Plan, Hong Kong has been making every effort to develop into an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange. In the future, the SHETO will not only cooperate with major arts and cultural organisations and artists from Hong Kong, support their cultural exchanges in the Mainland, but will also encourage the emerging Hong Kong artists to explore cross-sectoral projects while performing in the Mainland. By nurturing talents, it opens infinite artistic possibilities and gives Mainland Chinese more opportunities to enjoy Hong Kong’s cultural and artistic diversity.
The Chief Executive of the HK Phil Benedikt Fohr emphasised the significance of touring for the orchestra, as it puts the HK Phil on the global stage and allows international audiences to experience our excellence. These tours also served as great motivation for the players to represent Hong Kong in exceptional venues. Fohr expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the HKSAR Government for its funding and support, which enables the HK Phil to tour other areas of China and the world.
In addition to Nanjing and Shanghai, the HK Phil’s Music Director Jaap van Zweden and Resident Conductor Lio Kuokman are set to return to the Greater Bay Area this November, leading the orchestra in its concerts held at the Guangzhou Xinghai Concert Hall and the Shenzhen Concert Hall respectively. Entering its 50th anniversary, the HK Phil will also tour other countries in Asia and Europe, sharing the beauty of music and forging connections with audiences from every corner of the world.