Hong Kong, 28 April 2006 –The year 2006 marks the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth. In commemoration of this highly acclaimed talent, Bank of China (Hong Kong) and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) jointly present four programmes of eight concerts in the Mozart in the City series. The second programme, Mozart and Beethoven, opened tonight at the Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall.
Officiating guests of the pre-concert ceremony included Mr Peng Qinghua, Deputy Director of Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR; Mr He Guangbei, Vice Chairman & Chief Executive, Bank of China (Hong Kong); Dr Maria Moya-Goetsch, Consul General, Austrian Consulate General, Hong Kong; Dr the Hon Patrick Ho Chi Ping, Secretary for Home Affairs and Mr Edward S T Ho, Chairman of the General Committee of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society.
Bank of China (Hong Kong) is the title sponsor of Mozart in the City. Addressing the audience at the ceremony, Mr He Guangbei, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of Bank of China (Hong Kong), said: "Bank of China (Hong Kong) takes great pleasure in presenting to all people of Hong Kong the eight Gala Concerts of the Mozart in the City Series. This meaningful and spectacular event will feature famous masterpieces from different periods in Mozart's life, as well as works by Shostakovich, Beethoven and Haydn."
Victor Hugo, the French writer, said, "In music, one must think with the heart and feel with the brains'. Bank of China (Hong Kong), as a leading banking group in Hong Kong, sincerely wishes to enrich the cultural life of people in Hong Kong and facilitate the development of the arts while serving the community by providing quality banking services."
In the concert, Jaap van Zweden conducted HKPO in Mozart's Symphony No.35, Beethoven's Symphony No.5, and Mozart's Piano Concerto No.25, with pianist Igor Roma as the featured soloist.
Jaap van Zweden has now established himself as one of the world's finest conductors. Since 1995, he has conducted major orchestras in the Netherlands, Austria, Germany and Japan. Maestro van Zweden took up the position of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland last September. Igor Roma won the first prize at the 'Franz Liszt' International Competition in Utrecht (The Netherlands) together with the special prize of the Critics in 1996.
"Mozart in the City" concert series consist of four different programmes from April to June. The third programme will feature Mozart and Haydn's works, with John Harding as violinist and director, and pianist David Tong as the piano solo. Edo de Waart will lead the HKPO in the final instalment of "Mozart in the City," performing the last three symphonies of Mozart all in one concert.
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ABOUT THE HONG KONG PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is rapidly emerging as Asia's leading orchestra, since internationally renowned Edo de Waart joined as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor in the 2004/05 Season. Throughout the last three decades, the Orchestra has grown into a formidable ensemble of Chinese and international talents, attracting world-class artists to perform on the same stage. Apart from giving over a hundred performances annually, many of which are highly anticipated events in the city's cultural calendar, it performs more than 70 free orchestral and chamber concerts for 70,000 primary and secondary school students a year. The Orchestra also joins hands with the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts to help nurture aspiring professionals.
ABOUT BANK OF CHINA (HONG KONG) LIMITED
Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited ("BOCHK"), established on 1 October 2001, is a leading listed commercial banking group in Hong Kong. With over 280 branches and 450 ATMs and other distribution channels in Hong Kong, it offers a comprehensive range of financial products and services to retail and corporate customers. BOCHK is one of the three bank note issuing banks in Hong Kong. In addition, BOCHK has 14 branches and sub-branches in the Mainland of China to provide cross-border banking services to customers in Hong Kong and the Mainland. BOCHK was appointed by the People's Bank of China as the only Renminbi (RMB) Clearing Bank in Hong Kong on 24 December 2003. BOCHK also offers the comprehensive RMB Merchant Link and personal RMB services – deposits, exchange, remittance, bank cards and cheques.
BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) Limited, BOCHK's holding company, began trading on the main board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong on 25 July 2002, with stock code "2388", ADR OTC Symbol: "BHKLY".