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Lu Jia to Perform Italian Symphony in Anticipated Return

2006-05-02

Hong Kong, 2 May 2006 – The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) will present "Cathay Pacific Discovery Series – Italian Symphony" on 12 and 13 May, under the baton of exceptional conductor Lu Jia. Hailed by The Guardian as "a young conductor of immense gift", the Shanghai-born conductor is returning to conduct the HKPO again upon enthusiastic responses from critics and audience alike. Concert programme includes the Italian Symphony by Mendelssohn, Rossini's William Tell overture, as well as Chen Yi's Percussion Concerto. The latter features HKPO Principal Percussion Adrian Stefanescu as well as a special recitation of poetry from the Sung Dynasty by Peking opera singer Ma Shui.

Currently residing in Italy, Shanghai-born conductor Lu Jia has established himself as one of the most outstanding conductors to have emerged from Asia in recent years.  He has been developing his career throughout Europe, and he has worked with distinguished orchestras including the Chicago Symphony (at the Ravinia Festival), Sydney Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and the City of Birmingham Symphony orchestras, as well as Leipzig Gewandhaus, Oslo Philharmonic, and Orchestre National de Lyon with great success. Lu Jia last collaborated with HKPO in March 2004, and was voted by HKPO musicians as one of the most popular guest conductors in the season. The Daily Telegraph praised his “conducting of exceptional quality”, while The Times said he has “a flawless sense of design…an overwhelming experience.”

Principal Percussion with the HKPO since the 2003/04 season, Adrian Stefanescu has collaborated with The Romanian National Radio Chamber Orchestra, Delaware Symphony, Curtis Institute and Temple University Orchestras among others. Stefanescu is the winner of the 1998 National Solo Percussion Contest in Bucharest, and winner of the PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention) 2001 orchestral audition. Co-founder of Game percussion ensemble, he was a featured soloist at the 1998 Festival of New Music in Bucharest and the 1997 Contemporary Music Days in Bacau (Romania). Additionally, he appeared in Jazz festivals across Europe and was a clinician-performer at the 2005 PASIC.

Born in Guangzhou, Chen Yi is one of today’s most celebrated composers. Her Percussion Concerto was written for Evelyn Glennie who gave the world première with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra on 8th March 1999. The first movement is inspired by the tune "The Night Deepens" from the traditional Beijing opera Farewell to My Concubine.  The second movement is a realization of the poem, Prelude to Water Tune, by Su Shi (1036-1101). The soloist plays various percussion instruments while a Peking Opera singer vocalizes in the exaggerated reciting style of this art form. The third movement uses the fixed rhythmic pattern used to accompany martial scenes in Peking Opera. 

The concerts are sponsored by Cathay Pacific Airways.

Cathay Pacific Discovery Series - Italian Symphony
12&13/5/2006 (FRI&SAT) 8pm
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
Tickets: HK$250, $200, $150, $100

Lu Jia                                  conductor
Adrian Stefanescu               percussion
Kathy Lam               narrator (Fri in Cantonese)
Ben Pelletier              narrator (Sat in English)

Programme
Rossini: William Tell overture
Chen Yi: Percussion Concerto
Schubert: Overture in the Italian Style
Mendelssohn: Symphony No.4 Italian

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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.