Hong Kong, 16 March 2006 – The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) announces today that Boris Berezovsky has had to cancel his appearances in Hong Kong owing to a sudden illness. At this short notice, another brilliant Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein has agreed to step in for him as soloist in Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No.3. The concerts on 17 and 18 March (Friday and Saturday) will be held at 8pm in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. In the same programme, HKPO Conductor Laureate, David Atherton will lead the Orchestra in Sibelius' Symphony No.3 and Finlandia.
Kirill Gerstein was the First Prize winner at the 2001 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition in Tel Aviv, was chosen to receive a 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award and was selected as Carnegie Hall's "Rising Star" for the season 2005/06. Koelnische Rundschau, Cologne's major news daily has only the highest praise for Gerstein's performance of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No.3 with Gurzenich Orchestra: "Through long phrases he develops the piece with almost unbelievable transparency, which opens new dimensions in the work. The feared cadenza pleased everyone more so given his ability to bring to life every note nobly and with apparent ease." The New York Times critic Allan Kozinn, also praised Gerstein for his "poetic touch" in his performance at "The Carnegie Hall Millennium Piano Book". Born in 1979 in Voronezh, Russia,
Gerstein made his major orchestral debut in September 2000 with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra and David Zinman and was immediately re-engaged to play Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No.3. He made his US concerto debut at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony and Christoph Eschenbach in 2002. His engagements in the 2006/07 Season include appearances with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony and an extensive tour throughout Germany with the Moscow Philharmonic.
The concerts are sponsored by Cathay Pacific Airways. 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 call 2721 2030.