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English Supervirtuoso Stephen Hough Performs Two Piano Concertos with HKPO

2005-05-24

Hong Kong, 20 May 2005 - The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) will collaborate with piano supervirtuoso Stephen Hough to perform two concertos by Mozart and Hummel. Under the baton of HKPO Principal Conductor Samuel Wong, two performances will be held in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall on 3 and 4 June 2005 (Fri & Sat) at 8pm, followed by a meet-the-artist session by Stephen Hough on 4 June.

Since the Naumburg International Piano Competition in 1983, Stephen Hough has emerged on the international scene with his combination of infallible technique and stamina with thoughtful and searching interpretations. He has made over 30 recordings and won numerous international awards including Recording of the Year by Grammophone (1986 & 2003). He received the coveted MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2001. The Guardian praised of his “technique, musicality and stamina” in a performance in 2004, while The New York Times commented on his “consummate pianism, probing musicianship and refined taste” in a 2003 concert. His official website, www.stephenhough.com, contains comprehensive information on his various achievements and concert reviews on him.

Mozart Piano Concerto No. 21 is warm, elegant, and one of the composer's best-beloved. Hough's previous performances of this piece have been warmly received. One of which was reviewed by The Times, 'Hough sensed out its every sinew and nerve-ending, making endlessly imaginative chamber-musical repartee with the orchestra and between his own two hands. Tiny details of timing, response and fantasy would yield to limpid song; a strong, supple thread of melody gave the impetus of ardour as well as reflection to the slow movement; and Hough's sensitive articulation and formidable sprung octaves fired the finale.' For this Piano Concerto, Hough has also written his own cadenzas, which The New York Times praised as “thoroughly Mozartean”.

Hummel's Piano Concerto in A minor is a sparkling showpiece full of daunting technical challenges. Touches of Rossini, Chopin, Mozart, and Beethoven add to this masterful composition by Hummel, who was hailed by some in his days as a greater composer than Beethoven. Stephen Hough made a Grammophone Award-winning recording of the piece, and was praised by the magazine, 'in Stephen Hough's virtuosic hands, the coruscating final coda of the A minor Concerto is one of the most exciting things I've heard for years. Bravo”

Besides the two piano concertos, Beethoven's Fidelio overture and Leonore Overture No. 3 are also on the programme.

Tickets are now available at URBTIX at HK$480, $360, $240, and $140, 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.