Hong Kong, 11 July 2006 – Having closed the 2005/06 season with the 'hottest' concert of the year during last Saturday's air-conditioning crisis at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) is proud to announce fantastic results at the box office this Season: an increase of 22% in total paid attendance, as compared with the 2004/05 Season. The total number of ticket-buying audience is close to 110,000 and the average paid attendance is 74.48%.
"We are thrilled that, throughout our 2005/06 Season, Hong Kong's music loving public has responded so enthusiastically to Edo de Waart's directorship of the Hong Kong Philharmonic. This winning partnership between the Orchestra and its Artistic Director, as well as the rich and varied programme mix, has had tremendous appeal for the audience, resulting in impressively strong growth in ticket sales, rapturous applause and vocal ovations at the end of each concert. The Orchestra is committed to the pursuit of artistic excellence and to reaching the widest public, making our performances one of the most prized cultural assets of this great city," said Mr Timothy Calnin, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.
The 44-week Season of HKPO comprised 73 ticket-selling concerts, starting last September, with Edo de Waart conducting Richard Strauss's emotionally charged one-act opera Elektra in concert format, and ended on 8 July with the final instalment of the three–week festival, A Portrait of Tchaikovsky, featuring guest conductor Gianluigi Gelmetti in Symphony No.6 Pathetique and Simon Trpceski as the soloist in Piano Concerto No.1.
Apart from its regular subscription concerts, HKPO reached out to the community with such diverse activities as the annual Canto-pop concerts, HKPO vs Anthony Wong LIVE; a series of free lunchtime concerts, Lunchtime Harmonies, at the new AIG Tower; and two Christmas concerts, There's More to Life, for inmates at the Pak Sha Wan Correctional Institute. It also gave 78 performances to over 60,000 students through the Hang Seng Bank Blossom-with-Music education programme, and continued its annual collaboration project with students of the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts. The highly successful joint concert, Metamorphoses, was one of HKPO's concerts that was filmed and recorded by Radio Television Hong Kong and broadcast/televised to millions of listeners/viewers via Radio 4, TVB or ATV this Season.
The Hong Kong Philharmonic's new season will begin on Saturday, 16 September, with Edo de Waart conducting one of the world's most famous operas, Puccini's Madama Butterfly, in concert, with the renowned Chinese soprano He Hui in the title role. Other highlights of the 2006/07 Season include Mahler's Third Symphony, part of Edo de Waart's five-season Mahler cycle; concerts featuring such world-class musicians as the opera diva Renée Fleming and conductor Charles Dutoit; as well as entertaining and mass appeal programmes, featuring the Taiko drum and Broadway hits. Full details are available on the HKPO website: www.hkpo.com
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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 free orchestral and chamber concerts for primary and secondary school students. It also joins hands with the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts to help nurture aspiring professionals.