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De Waart and Hong Kong Philharmonic's Beijing Tour a Great Success

6 October 2007

[Hong Kong, 6 October 2007] – Hong Kong Philharmonic’s Beijing Tour, made possible by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, ended in triumph at the Forbidden City Concert Hall last Thursday (4 October), winning high praise and great enthusiasm from audience alike. The all-Wagner concert, conducted by Edo de Waart and featuring the world-renowned dramatic soprano Elizabeth Connell, was a celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Hong Kong's Return to China as part of the 10th Beijing Music Festival.

Among the audience were prominent figures and music critics from the music field, including eminent composers Wu Zuqiang, Du Mingxin and Ye Xiaogang, violinist Lu Siqing and erhu virtuoso Chen Jun. Many of them who had listened to de Waart's inaugural concert with HKPO in Mahler's Symphony No. 1 agreed that the performance demonstrated the great advancement of the Orchestra's standard under Maestro de Waart’s leadership, saying that the Philharmonic is now undoubtedly one of Asia’s top orchestras. In particular, they praised the tone colour of the strings and the fine balance among the various sections. The Hong Kong Philharmonic mastered the difficult score well, having accumulated ample experience in performing large-scale repertoire such as operas by Richard Strauss and Mahler's symphonies since Maestro de Waart became artistic director three years ago.

The enthusiastic response of the audience elicited two encores from the Orchestra - The Ride from the Valkyries and The Chinese Wall by Belgium composer Dick Brossé, based on a Chinese folk tune.

Related Photos:

1. Artistic Director Edo de Waart and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra gathered for a group photo outside the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing 2. Edo de Waart and Elizabeth Connell returned to the stage many times to thank the audience. In the end, de Waart and the Orchestra played two encores in return for the audience’s warm applause

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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. 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.