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HKPO Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Edo de Waart named Chief Conductor of Premier Summer Opera festival in USA - Sante Fe Opera

25 July 2007

Hong Kong, 25 July 2007– Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra's Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, Edo de Waart, has been named Chief Conductor of one of the United States' premier summer opera festivals, The Santa Fe Opera, beginning 1 October, 2007. Edo de Waart made his American debut at The Santa Fe Opera in 1971, and has had a long association with the festival, having conducted ten productions from 1971 until 1998. He is currently Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, a position that he will continue together with his new position in Santa Fe.

"We warmly congratulate Edo on this prestigious summer appointment in the United States. His busy international schedule of symphonic concerts takes him to Europe, the US and the Asia-Pacific region every year and now the Santa Fe will offer him the chance to satisfy his other burning passion – opera. Seeing the artistic transformation of the Hong Kong Philharmonic under his leadership in the last three years, the Santa Fe Opera can be assured of a brilliant future, and Edo himself will no doubt enjoy this perfect balance of great symphonic conducting in Hong Kong and great opera work in Santa Fe," said Timothy Calnin, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.

"Santa Fe is a stunningly beautiful place to be staging opera in the summer. In the middle of the New Mexico desert stands a state-of-the-art, semi open-air theatre, where you can see the breath-taking scenery of the Jemez mountains to the west and the Sangre de Cristos to the east. It is an extraordinary counterpart to the East-meets-West, high-energy metropolis that is Hong Kong. As an artist and a musician, the contrast gives me added inspiration and energy," said Edo de Waart.

As Chief Conductor Maestro de Waart's primary responsibility will be to oversee the orchestra. He has agreed to a four year contract and will conduct at least one opera every summer. He is scheduled to lead Britten's Billy Budd in the 2008 season.

Renowned as an 'orchestra builder' and a highly regarded opera conductor, Edo de Waart became Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic from 2004. He has held such distinguished positions as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony, Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Opera, as well as Music Directorship of San Francisco Symphony. He has conducted in Covent Garden and Bayreuth, and has led highly regarded Wagner Ring Cycles in San Francisco and Sydney. Among his many acclaimed productions, he gave the world première of John Adams' Nixon in China at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, conducted Der Rosenkavalier at Opera de Bastille and the Netherlands Opera, and Figaro for the Metropolitan Opera and the Salzburg Festival. In recent seasons, he conducted concert performances of Salome, Elektra and Madama Butterfly with the Hong Kong Philharmonic to critical acclaim. He will open the 2007/08 season of the Hong Kong Philharmonic with Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier in concert.

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ABOUT THE HONG KONG PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Hailed as "one of Asia's top orchestras", the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) is one of the leading orchestras in the region, led by the internationally renowned Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Edo de Waart. 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. In April 2006, The Swire Group Charitable Trust became the Hong Kong Philharmonic’s Principal Patron, committing HK$36 million over three years to enable Maestro de Waart’s artistic vision for the Orchestra to be realized. HKPO annually touches the lives of nearly 200,000 music lovers through more than 150 performances, including a series of outreach activities such as the free outdoor concert Symphony under the Stars which attracted nearly 20,000 people this season. Please visit www.hkpo.com for more information about the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

SWIRE is the Principal Patron of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.