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Your HK Phil announces its 2016/17 Season

17 MAY 2016

Hong Kong

Media Contact:
Deborah Hennig
Director of Marketing
Tel: (852) 2721 9035

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

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Download 2016/17 Season Artists Photos
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[17 May 2016, Hong Kong]   The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) today announced its 2016/17 season – a line-up of 29 programmes in seven series, providing music lovers with an extensive array of concerts that feature the best international and local talent. Highlights of the season include:

-7 series to suit music lovers of all tastes (Masterworks, Classics, Swire Maestro Series, City Hall Series, Swire Denim Series, Holiday Concerts, Swire Sunday Family Concerts)
-Jaap van Zweden conducting Siegfried (Part 3 of Wagner’s Ring Cycle), Mahler symphonies, and much more
-Yo-Yo Ma opens the season
-Lea Salonga, Sumi Jo, Stephen Hough, Alexander Shelley, Xuefei Yang, Alban Gerhardt, Carmina Burana, Star Wars, and much more!

Seven Series from Classics to Pops
Our bold, sophisticated Masterworks series has many highlights: Ning Feng, Carmina Burana, French Masters, Tchaikovsky, Dvořák and more. Also on Masterworks are two Mahler symphonies plus Siegfried, part three of our four-year journey through Wagner’s Ring Cycle, conducted by our world-renowned Music Director Jaap van Zweden.

The Classics series has composers you know and love, including Gershwin, Beethoven, Shostakovich, Schubert and Mozart. Check out our Swire Maestro series for Mahler, Mendelssohn, Mozart and more. Our Swire Denim series, which will move to 8PM this year, has big appeal, with tango dancing, ping pong playing and the force awakening (Star Wars).

Our delightful two-concert City Hall series features Baroque masterpieces and Romantic charmers, and Swire Family will include a musical zoo – with Peter and the Wolf, Carnival of the Animals, and more! And finally, we invite you to take holidays to the next level by adding our five Holiday series concerts to your celebrations.

Yo-Yo Ma – Season Opening Concerts
Our season kicks off with performances by Yo-Yo Ma(9 & 10 September 2016), arguably the world’s greatest cellist. In this festive concert conducted by the HK Phil’s Principal Guest Conductor, Yu Long, Yo-Yo Ma partners with sheng virtuoso Wu Tong for Zhao Lin’s Duo, a concerto that imaginatively expresses Chinese and Western musical traditions. Subscribers will have first opportunity to purchase tickets to this concert until 22 July. Tickets go on sale to the general public on 1 August.

Bank of China (Hong Kong) is the Title Sponsor of the Yo-Yo Ma concert on 9 September 2016.

Jaap van Zweden highlights in the HK Phil 2016/17 season
Music Director Jaap van Zweden will be conducting the HK Phil for NINE exciting concert programmes, including:

Siegfried (19 & 22 January 2017). The HK Phil’s landmark Ring Cycle reaches its third instalment.  Following on from the critically-acclaimed opera-in-concert performances of Das Rheingold (2015)and Die Walküre (2016) with the HK Phil, Maestro van Zweden again unleashes immense orchestral forces and world class singers – including Matthias Goerne (Wotan), Simon O’Neill (Siegfried), Heidi Melton (Brünnhilde) and Deborah Humble (Erda) – in Wagner’s Siegfried.


Maestro van Zweden and the HK Phil begin a two-year exploration of Mahlersymphonies. The journey starts with Mahler’s Symphony no. 1 (20 & 21 October 2016) – “a sound of nature”, as the composer described it. Often nicknamed “Titan” for its large orchestral forces, this symphony sent Mahler on his way to a new symphonic language. Mahler’s mighty Symphony no. 3 (9 & 10 December 2016) reveals the secrets of the universe as Mahler heard them. Maestro van Zweden gathers the vast forces of the orchestra, ladies of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus, the Hong Kong Children’s Choir and the gorgeous voice of mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor. Symphony no. 6, a tour de force for virtuoso orchestra, combines elements of both calm and tragedy (one performance only, 22 April 2017).

-Maestro van Zweden brings the power and grandeur of Brahms’ Symphony no. 1 to our stage while violinist Ning Feng returns to capture the virtuosic passagework and sultry gypsy rhythms of Bartók’s Violin Concerto no. 2 (one performance only, 14 April 2017).
-Jaap van Zweden will conduct a concert that shines the spotlight on five players from your HK Phil (2 & 3 December 2016). Beginning with a world premiere composed by our principal timpanist, the concert also features four of the HK Phil’s principal players in Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante. The concert closes with Maestro van Zweden conducting Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony.
-There are few opportunities to experience Beethoven’s “Triple Concerto” because it requires three superb soloists, but the Storioni Trio fills the bill. In this concert Maestro van Zweden also directs one of Shostakovich’s most tumultuous works, composed in the turmoil of World War II, Symphony no. 8 (26 & 27 April 2017).
-Jaap van Zweden will also conduct a shimmering all-Mozart programme with Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan playing the sunny, lyrical Piano Concerto no. 23 (23 & 24 June 2017).
-The maestro will be joined by Renaud Capuçon in Alban Berg’s moving and heartfelt Violin Concerto, and will conductSchubert’s Symphony no. 9, rightly subtitled “Great” (16 & 17 June 2017).

Tour to China
The autumn of 2016 will see the HK Phil undertake a three-city concert tour to Mainland China. Under the baton of Music Director Jaap van Zweden, the orchestra will perform at the Shanghai Symphony Hall (25 October) featuring young stellar violinist Tianwa Yang in Mozart’s Violin Concerto no. 4, as well as Mahler’s Symphony no. 1. The orchestra will perform the same programme on 28 October at Tianjin’s Grand Theatre and on 29 October as the closing concert of the Beijing Music Festival.

Conductors and Soloists
Guest Conductors
The HK Phil is proud to have many international star conductors and soloists sharing its stage during the 2016/17 season. Brilliant young conductor Alexander Shelley and guitar goddess Xuefei Yang (18 & 19 November 2016) will take centre stage in performances of one of the most popular guitar concertos in the repertoire – Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez.Vassily Sinaiskyreturns to conduct a programme of masterpieces composed by Dvořák and Tchaikovsky, together with cello virtuoso Alban Gerhardt (25 & 26 November 2016). A favourite with Hong Kong audiences, German-Japanese conductor Jun Märkl will end the season with a kaleidoscope of delightful colours and shimmering sounds by French composers (7 & 8 July 2017), with world-class harp virtuosos interpreting pieces by Ravel and Debussy. The HK Phil’s Principal Guest Conductor Maestro Yu Long and soprano Rao Lan will perform Mahler Symphony no. 4, the sunniest symphony by the composer (26 & 27 May 2017).

Violinist Tianwa Yang returns to the HK Phil to capture Mozart in full flower with the graceful and lyrical Fourth Violin Concerto (20 & 21 October 2016). Internationally renowned violinist Ning Feng also returns with the dazzling excitement and sultry gypsy rhythms of Bartók’s Violin Concerto no. 2 (14 April 2017).

Star actress and singer Lea Salonga (30 September & 1 October 2016), who has thrilled audiences worldwide as Disney princesses Jasmine and Mulan, is back by popular demand after her sold-out performances with the HK Phil two seasons ago. Beloved soprano, Sumi Jo, will conjure the spirit of the immortal Maria Callas – transforming the “harmonic convergence” of divas into an unforgettable night for audiences (3 & 4 February 2017).

Dashing pianist David Fray will deliver the poetry and intimacy of Schumann’s Piano Concerto. The concert also features Mendelssohn’s powerful “Reformation” Symphony and selections from Wagner’s Parsifal
(4 & 5 November 2016). Stephen Hough will present the regal spirit and sheer poetry of Beethoven’s “Emperor” Piano Concerto (31 March & 1 April 2017).

Hong Kong Talent
Apart from internationally acclaimed artists in our 2016/17 season, the HK Phil is also proud to present outstanding local talent on our mainstage concerts.


Hong Kong born conductor Elim Chan, who is currently Assistant Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and will be the Chief Conductor of Norrlands Opera from 2017/18, will conduct the HK Phil for two nights of exciting music by Smetana, Beethoven and Rachmaninov (31 March & 1 April 2017). Hong Kong-educated Lio Kuok-man will conduct the sure-to-be-popular concert with Korean diva Sumi Jo (3 & 4 February 2017).

Hong Kong-born composer Raymond Yiu evokes the vibrancy of London through a series of colourful orchestral tableaux (7 & 8 April 2017) in a concert conducted by Lawrence Foster.


Five players from your HK Phil will be in the spotlight on 2 & 3 December. The programme includes a world premiere composed by our principal timpanist James Boznos, while a quartet of our principal players – Jing Wang, Benjamin Moermond, Michael Wilson and Richard Bamping – will be featured in Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante in an intriguing interplay of winds and strings. This concert is conducted by Music Director Jaap van Zweden.

The HK Phil has commissioned four emerging Hong Kong composers, each to supply a short orchestral piece. They will be heard in a public working session on 7 January 2017, with Jaap van Zweden publicly discussing each piece with its composer. At the end of the day, the works will be performed and the audience will vote for their favourite piece. It is our hope that one of these works will be performed by the orchestra on tour in the coming year.

One of HK’s favourite personalities, Harry Wong, will spend a Christmas that is full of fun and magic with children and the young-at-heart at HK Phil’s annual Christmas family festivities, together with Hong Kong native conductor Vivian Ip (23 & 24 December 2016). In a Swire Sunday Family concert, radio presenter Chu Funwill be the delightful storyteller , while pianist twin-sisters Chau Lok Ting and Chau Lok Ping will star in the endearing Carnival of the Animals (14 May 2017).

Last but not least, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus and the Hong Kong Children’s Choir are also featured in the 2016/17 season singing Mahler’s Symphony no. 3 (9 & 10 December 2016), under the baton of Jaap van Zweden, and Orff’s Carmina Burana, under the direction of Karina Canellakis (3 & 4 June 2017).

In the 2016/17 season, the HK Phil will present the world premiere of a commissioned work by Conrad Tao, who has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer. His career as composer has been honoured with eight consecutive ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and the Carlos Surinach Prize from BMI. With the support of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, the HK Phil’s Composer-in-Residence programme was launched in 2013 to support emerging Chinese composers by encouraging them to create new works and explore the links between Chinese culture and western orchestra.

Other Highlights
No music gets your blood pumping and your heart swooning like Carmina Burana – earthy and bawdy, tender and breathtakingly beautiful. Framed by the great hymn to the fickle goddess of fate, the concert hall will be filled with stellar vocal soloists, the HK Phil Chorus and HK Children’s Choir, with American conducting sensation Karina Canellakis leading the Orchestra (3 & 4 June 2017).

Explore music from the blockbuster films of our time – Star Wars – composed by the masterful John Williams and conducted by popular maestro Guy Noble. This concert includes music from the newest movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Raiders of the Lost Ark as well as from Superman. May the music’s force be with you (16 & 17 December 2016).

Subscription begins now until 22 July 2016
The 2016/17 HK Phil subscription campaign will have two phases. Current subscribers can renew their subscription before 6 June to enjoy not only the best savings and best seats but also the first opportunity to purchase tickets for our season opening concert with Yo-Yo Ma. In addition, they will receive two complimentary tickets to one of six selected concerts in the 2016/17 season.

Subscription will then be open to the public from 10 June to 22 July. During this period subscribers can still enjoy the best savings and can purchase tickets for Yo-Yo Ma.

Subscribers are eligible for discounts ranging from 10% to 25%; the more concerts purchased, the greater the savings. Students, seniors, disabled and CSSA recipients receive 50% off subscription and single ticket purchases. After July 22 there will be no discounts for the Yo-Yo Ma or Lea Salonga concerts.

How to subscribe
There are four ways to subscribe:

2.Mail :HK Phil Subscription Office, Level 8, Administration Building, HKCC, TST
4.Fax :2721 1487

Other Important Initiatives of the HK Phil
Jockey Club Keysto Music Education Programme
Thanks to generous sponsorship from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the HK Phil’s flagship education programme - Jockey Club Keys To Music Education Programme has brought beautiful music and fun experiences to more than 100,000 students in the last three years. With the funding support by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust for another three years, the HK Phil can further promote orchestral music and invest in Hong Kong’s musical future through the following purpose-designed concerts and activities including schools concerts, ensemble visits, instrumental masterclasses and teachers’ seminars.
For more information, please visit


Jockey Club Keys to Music Education Programme is sponsored by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust

The Tung Foundation – Young Audience Scheme
Our Young Audience Scheme has been running for 20 years, offering young people aged 6 to 18 the chance to know the HK Phil. Members can buy tickets at special discounts, attend selected concerts and events for free, save on their shopping with participating merchants, and have heaps of fun! A Young Audience membership is the perfect gift of music for your child. For more information, please visit


The Young Audience Scheme is sponsored by The Tung Foundation

The HK Phil – OCBC Wing Hang Community Concert
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra – OCBC Wing Hang Community Concert will be held in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall on 2 April 2017 as a FREE performance to the community. The HK Phil will collaborate with local community groups to inspire children’s creativity through classical music, allowing a platform for music appreciation and students’ participation. Stay tuned for more details at

The HK Phil – OCBC Wing Hang Community Concert is sponsored by OCBC Wing Hang Bank

Connect with Us!
The HK Phil’s informative website hkphil.orgoffers the latest concert and ticketing information. Music lovers can also stay tuned through the HK Phil’s updates on Facebook, Twitter at Sina Weibo at Video from the HK Phil is also available on YouTube at

Radio and TV Broadcast by Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK)
Music lovers can enjoy some of the most memorable performances by the HK Phil through the broadcasts of Radio Television Hong Kongwhich connect the HK Phil with audiences in all parts of the world.

The HK Phil would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to the following partners for their support:
The Government of the HKSAR
Principal Patron SWIRE
Venue Partner Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Maestro Podium Sponsor



Programme Sponsors



-Bank of China (Hong Kong)
-Sunwah Kingsway
-Wing Lung Bank

Education Project Sponsors



-The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust
-Drs Richard Charles & Esther Yewpick Lee Charitable Foundation
-OCBC Wing Hang Bank
-The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation
-The Tung Foundation

Honorary Auditor






-The HK Phil’s 2016/17 Season starts on 9 September 2016 (Friday)
-Subscribers’ benefits include priority seats, flexible ticketing services and best savings
-Season Subscriptions Booking deadline: 22 July 2016 (Friday)
-Season SubscriptionsEnquiries: 2721 2332 / 2721 0132 or


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, 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 for an initial three-year term in the 2015/16 season as Principal Guest Conductor.

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 second of this four-year journey, performing one opera annually 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.