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De Waart Conducts The Emperor and the New World

2006-09-26

Hong Kong, 20 September 2005 – The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) will collaborate with Italian piano virtuoso Michele Campanella in a series of two concerts in October, under the baton of Maestro Edo de Waart. Campanella will star as the soloist in the best-beloved Emperor concerto by Beethoven, while the Orchestra will perform Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, From the new world, the composer’s last and most popular. Hong Kong composer Law Wing-fai’s Visions Beyond completes the programme. The concerts will be held on 7 & 8 October 2005 (Fri & Sat) at 8pm in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre (HKCC) Concert Hall. The concerts commence the six-concert Mastery series, in which great music is interpreted by great performers.

Michele Campanella is celebrated for his synthesis of power and elegance, two qualities which lie at the heart of the king of all piano concertos - Beethoven’s Emperor. Campanella is one of today’s most highly regarded pianists, having performed with such prestigious orchestras as the London Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra under major conductors including Abbado, Muti, and Sawallish. A leading interpreter of Lizst and Beethoven, Campanella has recorded the complete works of Beethoven concertos to great acclaims, and dedicated a whole season to the composer. He has been awarded the Grand Prix du Disque (1976, 1977, 1998) three times by the prestigious Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, in addition to recently receiving the Fondazione Premo Napoli and Fondazione Guido e Roberto Cortese awards.

“Campanella is an intelligent musician…every note, every phrase emerges action-packed and emotion-filled, so he holds your attention until the end,” praised The Washington Post. His performance in Australia has also received raving reviews, including one by the Courier Mail, “(He is) a masterful musician, a phenomenal pianist of immense power and artistry. Riveting to listen to…delivered authoritatively and with a staggering level of finesse.”

Edo de Waart assumed the post of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra at the beginning of the 2004/05 season. Previously, he was Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Opera and Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony. Past appointments have included Music Directorships of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and Minnesota Orchestras.

Besides Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 Emperor, Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 From the new World and Hong Kong composer Law Wing-fai’s Visions Beyond are also on the programme. The “New World Symphony” is Dvorak’s last and greatest symphony, written in New York and finds its inspiration in the folk music of the black and Indian cultures of North America. In the originally announced programme, Law’s Sphere Supreme was to be performed, but the programme was later changed to Visions Beyond. The latter is inspired by the paintings of the internationally renowned Chinese artist Zao Wu-ki. The composer wrote, “The orchestral work is conceived like an abstract dialogue in response to the paintings, a poetic soundscape in which the composer allows his aural imagination to roam freely and paints a musical picture of infinite shades of instrumental colour.”

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.