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Acclaimed Pianist Berezovsky Performs Russian Classics

2006-03-08

Hong Kong, 7 March 2006 – The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) will collaborate with acclaimed Russian pianist Boris Berezovsky, hailed as "one of the most distinctive pianists on the current scene" by The Observer, in a series of two programmes with a focus on Russian Classics. In the first programme, to be held on 17 and 18 March, 2006 in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, he will perform the best-beloved Rachmaninov's Third Concerto. In the second programme, he will star in two chamber classics by Shostakovich on 25 March, 2006 in the Sha Tin Town Hall. Both concerts will be conducted by HKPO Conductor Laureate David Atherton.

The 37-year old Boris Berezovsky has established a remarkable reputation, both as the most powerful of virtuoso pianists and as a musician of unique insight and sensitivity. He won the Gold Medal at the 1990 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Since then he has been working regularly as concerto soloist with orchestras including the Concertgebouw, Philharmonia Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and with conductors such as Kurt Masur, Charles Dutoit, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Alexander Lazarev, among others. His extensive recordings have been greeted with high critical acclaim, including the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, as well as recommendation by Le Monde de la Musique, Diapason, BBC Music Magazine and the Independent on Sunday.

His formidable technical command and tender lyricism find their perfect vehicle in Rachmaninov's sweepingly romantic Third Piano Concerto. He has performed the piece to raving reviews, under such renowned conductors as Dutoit and Litton. The Times commented on his "dazzling virtuosity and drama", "violent passion" balanced with "great delicacy", while The Independent said "much of the credit for a marvellously integrated performance of Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto goes to Boris Berezovksy". Completing the programme is the performance of Sibelius's Finlandia, as well as his delicate and pastoral Third Symphony, led by HKPO Conductor Laureate David Atherton. This is also Atherton’s continuation of his Sibelius cycle with the HKPO.

2006 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. Born in the last decade of Tsarist Russia, Shostakovich became the first voice of Soviet music in the 1920s, but soon clashed with the regime. His unique musical style spoke directly to the Russian people suffering under Stalin and his powerful and emotional symphonies have become modern classics. Berezovsky joins Guest Concertmaster of the evening, John Harding, HKPO Principal Second Violin Fan Ting, Guest Principal Violist Irina Morozov, and HKPO Principal Cello Richard Bamping in the turbulent Piano Quintet (1940), as well as John Harding and Richard Bamping in the intense Piano Trio (1944). When the Fifth Symphony was premiered in 1937, its slow movement caused open weeping but its finale inspired a tumultuous ovation.

The concerts "Cathay Pacific Discovery Series: Berezovsky plays Rachmaninov" are sponsored by Cathay Pacific.


Cathay Pacific Discovery Series:
Berezovsky plays Rachmaninov

17&18/3/2006 (FRI & SAT) 8pm
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
Tickets: HK$400, $300, $200, $100

David Atherton      conductor
Boris Berezovsky      piano

Programme
Sibelius: Finlandia
Sibelius: Symphony No.3
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3

A Shostakovich Celebration

25/3/2006 (SAT) 8pm
Shatin Town Hall Auditorium
Tickets: HK$200, $150, $100

David Atherton      conductor
Boris Berezovsky      piano

Programme
Shostakovich: Piano Trio No.2
(Featuring Boris Berezovsky, John Harding and Richard Bamping)
Piano Quintet
(Featuring Boris Berezovsky, John Harding, Fan Ting, Irina Morozov and Richard Bamping)
Symphony No.5