Hong Kong, 23 April 2007 – The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) will appear in this year’s Shanghai Spring International Music Festival, one of China’s most prestigious and longest-running music festivals in a one-night-only concert on 7 May (Monday) at the Oriental Concert Hall of the Shanghai Oriental Art Center. Kolja Blacher, former first concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, will lead the HKPO in a classical programme of Mozart’s 33rd and Haydn’s 39th symphonies as well as directing and soloing in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, one of the most popular violin concertos ever written, using his previous ‘Tritton’ Stradivarius dating from 1730. Before the Shanghai tour, HKPO and Blacher will present two concerts at the Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall on 4 and 5 May.
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is rapidly emerging as one of Asia’s leading orchestras. Enriching Hong Kong’s cultural life for over a century, the Orchestra has grown into a formidable ensemble of Chinese and international talents in the last three decades, attracting world-class artists to perform on the same stage. Since the internationally renowned Edo de Waart joined as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor in the 2004/05 Season, HKPO has reached new heights of artistic excellence. The continuing cycle of Mahler symphonies, opera-in-concert performances and challenging programming outside the traditional repertoire, have become highly anticipated events for the audience as well as musical milestones for the Orchestra. HKPO, led by Edo de Waart, last visited Shanghai in 2004 to perform in a month-long festival celebrating the grand re-opening of the Shanghai Concert Hall. The next day the Shanghai papers published a review entitled “HKPO could not leave the stage” to describe the overwhelming success of the Orchestra’s outstanding performance. Another critic also wrote: “It’s very possible that HKPO will become Asia’s leading orchestra under the leadership of Edo de Waart.” (Prof. Liu Ching-chih, a.m. post, 2004)
As a soloist Kolja Blacher is often seen performing with the world’s most outstanding orchestras and leading conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Carlo Maria Giulini, Mariss Jansons and Lorin Maazel. Blacher has a deep musical friendship with Claudio Abaddo and regularly participates in the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, which Abbado formed in the summer of 2003. The violinist left his native city Berlin as a 15-year-old to study with Dorothy Delay at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. Subsequently, he went on to Salzburg, where he completed his studies with Sándor Végh, and started a remarkable solo career. His recording of the Berg and Stravinsky concertos with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Claudio Abbado received a Diapason d’or and the Deutsche Schallplattenkritik’s Vierteljahrespreis in May 2006. His recording of Boris Blacher’s violin concerto also received a Diapason d’or and his Hindemith Kammermusik No. 4 under the baton of Claudio Abbado was awarded the Deutsche Schallplattenkritik’s Vierteljahrespreis with the title “Best Small Ensemble Performance”. He has also recorded the Bach violin concertos and his disc with a collection of violin sonatas by Schumann, Bártok and Holliger (with Bruno Canino) has received enthusiastic press attention. In the words of Fono Forum, “His recordings display not only an extraordinary technical mastery of his instrument, but also a deeply reflective musicality.” In May 2007 he will appear with the Berlin Philharmonic and Clauddio Abbado in the Weill violin concerto. Kolja Blacher plays the “Tritton” Stradivarius violin (circa 1730), instrument bought and loaned to him by Mrs Kimiko Powers.
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Tam Wah Ching Foundation sponsors
Mozart in the City -
Kolja Blacher directs
4 & 5 | 5 | 2007
Friday and Saturday
HK City Hall Concert Hall
HK$250, $200, $150, $100
Reservations: 2734 9009
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Enquiries: 2721 2030
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra at
Shanghai Spring International Music Festival
7 | 5 | 2007
Oriental Concert Hall, Shanghai Oriental Art Center
380, 280, 220, 160, 80 yuan (RMB)
Enquiries: +86 021 962388
+86 021 68541234
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Violin and director
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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 financially supported by the HKSAR Government.
SWIRE is the Principal Patron of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.