Hong Kong, 6 September 2006 – The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) held a private party at the backstage of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall today to welcome musicians at the beginning of the new season. The Orchestra just finished its first full orchestra rehearsal with Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Edo de Waart today in preparation for the Season's opening concert, Madama Butterfly in concert.
The Hong Kong Philharmonic is delighted to welcome several talented musicians to its ranks. John Harding, distinguished violinist with a wealth of experience in leading international orchestras, joins the HKPO as Concertmaster. In the brass section, Lisa Rogers joins as Co-Principal Horn, sharing this important role with the outstanding Mark Vines. 19-year-old Sebastian Jacot, first prize winner of 3 European competitions and a student of Jacques Zoon, will be Assistant Principal Flute, substituting Donna Orbovich who has taken a year's sabbatical leave. Two orchestral fellows, sponsored by the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation, Gui Li and Xia Chun Yu, both violinists, will also take part in rehearsals and selected concerts this season.
"These fine musicians join us at a very exciting time. The Orchestra has risen to the challenge of the last two seasons with some magnificent performances that we are all proud of. Meanwhile, our audiences are growing and becoming more enthusiastic, and the reputation of the Hong Kong Philharmonic is climbing to new heights. I remain 100% committed to the continued growth and development of the HKPO as we work together in the years to come," said Edo de Waart.
On the management side, Luke Shaw joins the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra as Head of Orchestra and Operations. He was Director of Orchestral Management at the Sydney Symphony for 8 years, and Orchestra Manager at the State Orchestra of Victoria for over 10 years.
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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. It gives over a hundred performances annually, many of which are highly anticipated events in the city's cultural calendar. The Hong Kong Philharmonic reaches out to the community with such diverse activities as a comprehensive music-in-education programme for primary and secondary school students, performances at university campuses, an annual project with the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts to help nurture aspiring professionals, free pre-concert talks that provides in-depth knowledge of music and musicians and an open-air concert that gives the public free access to classical music.
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is subvented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.
SWIRE is the Principal Patron of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.