Hong Kong, 26 July 2007– The Swire New Generation Pianathon, a fundraising piano marathon organized by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO), will be held on 26 August, Sunday, 1 to 7 pm in Cityplaza, Taikoo Shing, to promote the love of piano playing among the youths. Aspiring pianists are encouraged to enroll in this event to gain stage experience. Three local award-winning pianists – Aristo Sham, Wong Wai Yin and Rachel Cheung – will also perform and share their experience with other participants at the Pianathon. Participants will each need to raise $300 or more and all proceeds go to the Young Audiences Scheme of the HKPO, which promotes appreciation of classical music among youths and encourages their participation in music-related community activities. Enrolment runs from 30 July (Monday) until 11 August (Saturday). For enquiries, please call 2721 2030 (Marketing Department) or go to HKPO’s website: www.hkpo.com.
Apart from the Pianathon, the Hong Kong Philharmonic has lined up five Chinese pianists – Aristo Sham, Wong Wai Yin, Rachel Cheung, Chen Sa and Sun Yingdi – to perform the five Beethoven piano concertos within two days, under the direction of Edo de Waart. Beethoven + 5 Pianists is the first programme in the Swire New Generation Series, which showcases gifted young Chinese classical musicians. It will be held on 8 and 9 September (Saturday and Sunday), 3pm, at the Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall. The five pianists will meet the audience after the concerts.
The five Beethoven concertos mark the path from youth to maturity for the composer. The youngest performer, Aristo Sham, will perform Piano Concerto No. 1. “I have already played the first movement with my school orchestra before and I am now learning the second and third movements,” said Aristo. “I like the third movement very much because it is light-hearted and rhythmic. Even though this movement is quite difficult, I love taking on challenges! I really look forward to this performance!”
Aristo Sham, Wong Wai Yin and Rachel Cheung are all outstanding students of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA). Eleven-year-old Aristo Sham and fifteen-year-old Rachel Cheung are both students of Eleanor Wong, Artist-in-Residence and Senior Lecturer at the HKAPA, while fourteen-year-old Wong Wai Yin is a student of Gabriel Kwok, Head of the Keyboard Department. Aristo has won more than 20 awards so far, including First Prize of the Beethoven Piano Competition in 2004, and First Prize of Category A (under age 15) of the 10th Ettlingen International Piano Competition for Young Pianists in Germany. Rachel has won numerous prizes including the First Prize at the 2004 Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition in Salt Lake City and First Prize at the 5th International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz in Ukraine in May 2003. Wai Yin is the youngest Gold Medal winner in the Intermediate Group (age 14 – 19) of the 7th International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz held in Ukraine earlier this year.
Both Chen Sa and Sun Yingdi are aspiring pianists in their twenties who are making a name for themselves in the international classical music scene. Both have performed with Edo de Waart and HKPO last season with great success – Chen Sa in Mozart’s 23rd and Yingdi in the Yellow River Concerto. A Crystal prize winner of the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Chen Sa has performed in various European capitals and collaborated with world-renowned maestros. A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, Chen Sa now resides in Germany and frequently returns to perform in her motherland, including the Beijing Music Festival. Yingdi was First Prize at the prestigious 7th International Franz Liszt Piano Competition, which took place in Utrecht in the Netherlands, and now resides in Shanghai. Recently, Yingdi toured New Zealand with great success, and played in Utrecht, Weimar, Budapest and Paris at the “European Liszt Nights Festival” in November, 2006, winning critical acclaim. ('Sun was the only pianist who flawlessly performed Liszt’s gruesome octave jumps and maintained the tension in both pieces to the very end.-
Swire New Generation Series: Beethoven + 5 Pianists
8&9 | 9 | 2007
Saturday and Sunday
HK City Hall Concert Hall
$300, $240, $180, $120
Available at URBTIC outlets
URBTIX website: www.urbtix.hk
Reservations: 2734 9009
Credit Card booking: 2111 5999
Programme Enquiries: 2721 2030
HKPO Website: www.hkpo.com
|Edo de Waart||conductor|
|BEETHOVEN||Piano Concerto No.1||Aristo Sham, piano|
|Piano Concerto No.2||Wong Wai-yin, piano|
|Piano Concerto No.3||Rachel Cheung, piano|
|Edo de Waart||conductor|
|BEETHOVEN||Piano Concerto No.4||Chen Sa, piano|
|Piano Concerto No.5||Sun Yingdi, piano|
Meet-the-artist sessions will be held after each concert.
Special thanks to Cityplaza for providing the venue for Swire New Generation Pianathon
Swire New Generation Series: Beethoven + 5 Pianists is title sponsored by Swire; the major sponsor is Tom Lee Music Co. Ltd. and the venue sponsor is Cityplaza.
– END –
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.