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Special Mozart Requiem Performance

2005-03-11

Hong Kong, 4 March 2005 – Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) presents a special performance of Mozart’s Requiem by placing the masterpiece in the context of other works, including Messiaen’s L’Ascension, Gregorian chants, Mozart’s two other spiritual works, as well as readings of poems, biblical excerpts, and a letter by Mozart. Renowned conductor Manfred Honeck will lead the Portugal-based Gulbenkian Choir, four lead singers, the HKPO and narrator David Tang in a concert on 8 March 2005 (Tue) at 8pm in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall.

This show was added after a concert of the same programme and musicians, to be held on 9 March (Wed), was sold out at phenomenal speed. Classical music host of RTHK Radio 4, Jonathan Douglas will perform as the narrator on 9 March.

The concert features Mozart’s Requiem, the composer’s final and valedictory masterpiece and his profound search for meaning and solace in the face of mortality. The first half of the concert is a performance of Messiaen’s L’Ascension. In the second half, entitled “A Requiem – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Death in Music and Text”, Mozart’s Requiem will be performed in between a selection of works, including four Gregorian chants, Mozart’s Masonic Funeral Music and Ave verum corpus, as well as readings of two poems by Nelly Sachs, biblical excerpts and a letter of Mozart to his father.

Four singers – Antoinette Halloran (soprano), Fiona Campbell (mezzo soprano), Paul McMahon (tenor) and Brian Montgomery (bass) will appear on stage together with the Portugal-based Gulbenkian Choir. Founded in 1964, the Choir is an internationally renowned symphonic formation of about 100 singers. It has been working with leading orchestras and conductors including The Orchestra of the 18th Century/Bruggen (to perform The Creation), Berlin and London Philharmonic (to perform Mahler’s symphonies), to name but a few. Besides appearing regularly in Portugal, it also performs in cities throughout Europe, North America, and Asia. The Choir has recorded for Philips, Archiv-Deutsche Grammophon and others, winning a number of prestigious awards.

Austria-born conductor Manfred Honeck has held positions such as the Music Director of Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the three main conductors of the NDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig, and the Music Director of the Norwegian National Opera. As a guest conductor, Honeck has worked with various major international orchestras, and began the year 2004 with a successful debut conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Limited tickets are now available at URBTIX at HK$400, $300, $200, and $100, through reservation at 2734 9009 (URBTIX) or Credit Card Booking at 2111 5999 (Cityline). For enquiries, please visit
www.hkpo.com or call 2721 2030.