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Awards-winning Pianist Rashkovskiy First Time on Stage with de Waart

2005-11-09

Hong Kong, 9 November 2005 – The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) will collaborate with rising star pianist Ilya Rashkovskiy, under the baton of Maestro Edo de Waart. Rashkovskiy recently won the first prize of the 2005 Hong Kong International Piano Competition, whose members of the jury include such maestros as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Leon Fleisher, and Gary Graffman. Featuring Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2, an all-time favourite in the repertoire, the concerts will take place at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on 18 and 20 November.

This is the third major piano championship won by the Russian pianist in the last 2 years. Rashkovskiy has performed in several important venues in Europe, Japan, and Russia, including the Bolshoi Hall of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the Theatre du Chatelet and Salle Gaveau in Paris, Osaka Symphony Hall, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, since he gained international attention upon receiving the second prize at the coveted Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition in 2001. As a soloist with orchestra, he has collaborated with the Czech National Symphony, the New Japan Symphony, and the Orchestre National de Lille. The Dallas Morning News praised his performance as “confident, lyrical, subtle and emotionally involving.”

This season he took part in the La Roque d'antheron Piano Festival in France and toured Holland with the Limburg Symphony Orchestra. Rashkovskiy currently studies with Vladimir Krainev at the Hochschule fur Musik und Theatre in Hannover, Germany. He demonstrated his music talents early, beginning to perform his own compositions for piano at age six.

Edo de Waart assumes 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 Rotterdam Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and Minnesota Orchestras.

Featured on the programme is Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto, the composer's triumph over a three-year period of depression. Since its premiere in October 1901, the stormy, passionate, and hauntingly romantic work has been one of the best-beloved in the repertoire. Dvorak's Serenade for Wind was written at a time when the composer freshly gained international success. The serenade deeply impressed Brahms, who praised it as a refreshing impression of Dvorak's rare and charming talent. Beethoven's Grosse Fugue is an intricate amalgam of the freedom of expression and refined composition techniques. Like his many masterpieces, the work stands as a monument of its genre.

In addition to the Hong Kong International Piano Competition, Rashkovskiy has won four other international competitions since 1998. They include the Jaen International Piano Competition (First Prize, 2005) in Spain, the Valsesia-Musica International Piano Competition (First Prize, 2005) in Italy, the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud International Piano Competition (2001, Second Prize) in France, as well as the Vladimir Krainev International Young Pianists Competition (First Prize, 1998) in Ukraine.

An Evening with the Piano Laureate
18 & 20/11/2005 (Fri & Sun) 8pm
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK $250, $200, $150, $100
Tickets available at URBTIX now
Reservation: 2734 9009/ 2111 5999
Enquiry: 2721 2030/
www.hkpo.com

Edo de Waart conductor
Ilya Rashkovskiy piano

Programme:
Dvorak Wind Serenade Op. 44
Beethoven Grosse Fuge Op. 133
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2