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Email:doris.chan@hkphil.org

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Email:jenny.lee@hkphil.org

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra’s Christmas Gift to the Community – Symphony Under the Stars

2006-11-16

[16 November 2006 – Hong Kong] The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) will present a free admission, open-air classical music concert at the Hung Hom Ferry Pier on 1 December from 8 to 10 pm. Tickets will be distributed from 20 November on a first-come, first-served basis.The public is free to enjoy food and drinks from a variety of vendors while enjoying a programme of light and popular classics performed by one of Asia’s leading orchestras. Distinguished Chinese musicians, conductor Lu Jia and violinist Lu Siqing, will perform with the Orchestra. Patrick Dunn Tse Fung will be the evening’s master of ceremony. Goldman Sachs is the title sponsor of Symphony Under the Stars.

“On a magical site right next to Victoria Harbour, with the iconic Hong Kong skyline forming a breathtaking backdrop, the Hong Kong Philharmonic will present an evening of great music free of charge to our community,” said Timothy Calnin, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. “The New York Philharmonic performs open-air concerts in Central Park, the Berlin Philharmonic in the Waldbühne and the Sydney Symphony in The Domain, but no city in the world could rival Hong Kong’s stunning location. The Hung Hom site is an inspiring vantage point from which to appreciate both our thrilling city and an inspiring concert performed by our wonderful musicians. This is our Christmas gift to the people of Hong Kong,”

Expected to draw more than 15,000 people from all over Hong Kong, Symphony Under the Stars is a large-scale community outreach project that form part of Edo de Waart’s grand vision for the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Apart from staging concerts in cultural venues, HKPO has greatly extended its reach to different sectors of the community by bringing classical music to the prison at Christmas, giving free lunchtime concerts in the central business district. HKPO also promotes classical music to over 70,000 primary, secondary and university students each year by presenting a variety of free music-in-education programmes that includes illustrated symphonic concerts, instrumental ensemble visits to schools and masterclasses hosted by HKPO’s musicians. 

Chinese conductor Lu Jia will conduct HKPO in a programme of popular classics, such as Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, Ravel’s Bolero and Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance. Violinist Lu Siqing will be the soloist in the all-time Chinese classical favourite Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto by He Zhan-hao and Chen Gang.

“As music director of the biggest open-air opera house in the world, Verona Arena Opera, seating 16,000, I feel so excited that I will be in Hong Kong this December, conducting an open-air concert with one of the leading orchestras of Asia, the Hong Kong Philharmonic. I have had many wonderful experiences and successful concerts with this orchestra and it will feel like I’m home in Verona,” said conductor Lu Jia.

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.  Since winning the Antonio Pedrotti Competition in Trento, Italy in 1990, he has worked with many distinguished orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic and the City of Birmingham Symphony orchestras with great success. He is music director of the Verona Arena Opera from 2006 and music director of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra. He was praised by Il Secolo as “the most talented Opera Conductor at the moment" after a very successful production of Turandot in Turin this October. His upcoming projects include Turandot in Shanghai, La Gazza Ladra at the Pesaro Rossini Festival and Ligeti’s Requiem in Verona. Lu Jia last collaborated with HKPO in May 2006.

Lu Siqing was the first Chinese violinist to have won the coveted Paganini International Violin Competition in Italy. His interpretation of the Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto has been widely considered the best, having made four recordings of the concerto and sold well over a million copies worldwide. Lu Siqing has appeared in over thirty countries in Europe, America and Asia, in such prestigious halls as the Avery Fisher Hall and the Wigmore Hall, collaborating with many orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic and Halle Orchestra. His many recordings are both popular and critically acclaimed. He uses a 1742 Wieniawski Guarneri del Gesu violin, generously loaned to him by the Stradivari Society in Chicago. He last played with HKPO in March 2006.

Free tickets are distributed at a first-come, first-served basis at selected Tom Lee Music stores or from the website www.hkpo-sus.com from 20 November 2006. Full information can be found on the website: www.hkpo-sus.com from 17 November.

Programme Information:

Goldman Sachs proudly sponsors
Symphony Under the Stars
1 | 12 | 2006 Friday
Hung Hom Ferry Pier
8:00 PM (gate open from 6pm)
FREE admission with tickets
Picnic mats will be available
Enquiry: 2721 2030 (HKPO)
Website: www.hkpo-sus.com

Artists

Lu Jia conductor
Lu Siqing violin

Master of ceremony:
Patrick Dunn Tse Fung

Programme

R.Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra: opening
Dvořák Slavonic Dance, Op. 64 Op.8
Ravel Pavane pour une Infante défunte
Mussorgsky Night on the bare mountain
Ravel Bolero
Copland Rodeo: Hoe-down
He/Chen Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto
Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture

Goldman Sachs is the title sponsor of Symphony Under the Stars.

Symphony Under the Stars is presented by Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, in association with the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

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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.