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Yundi Li to perform 3 concerts with De Waart and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in January

4 January 2008

Hong Kong, 4 January 2008 – The world-renowned Chinese pianist Yundi Li will be making a much awaited return visit to Hong Kong in Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No.2, with Maestro Edo de Waart conducting the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO). Nearly 6000 tickets to his concerts on 25 and 26 January at 8pm, and the extra show added on 27 January 5pm were sold out immediately after the opening of the box office; limited tickets in the choir stalls for 27 January are now on sale by popular demand. These concerts mark the artist's first appearance with his home city's orchestra after gaining his Hong Kong citizenship. The concerts are title sponsored by Bank of China (Hong Kong). The last concert will also be followed by a fundraising dinner for the Hong Kong Philharmonic, organized by Mrs Michelle Ong Cheung, Chair of the Fundraising Committee of Hong Kong Philharmonic Soceity’s Board of Governors.

Yundi Li’s Prokofiev
Pianist Yundi Li will be performing Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2, featured in his most recent recording with the Berlin Philharmonic, recently selected as a Recording of the Year in 2007 by The New York Times. He was praised by Seiji Ozawa as an artist who is hard to find these days, being both “a music poet” and “having all this facility in his fingers.”

Piano Concerto No. 2 by the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev is a tour de force for the soloist, a signature work previously tackled by such great Russian pianists such as Ashkenazy, Berezovsky and Kissin.

Yundi Li said: “I look forward to introducing this brilliant and challenging work to the audience and I look forward to working with Maestro de Waart and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra again. I wish that my performance of the Prokofiev Second Piano Concerto will take Hong Kong’s music lovers to a new level of appreciation of the composer’s music.” Yundi last collaborated with Maestro de Waart and the Hong Kong Philharmonic in January 2006, performing Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1.

In the same programme, Maestro de Waart will also conduct Rachmaninov's Third Symphony, a much-anticipated event as de Waart's most recent recording of the complete Rachmaninov symphonic works on EXTON has received rave reviews. It will be the first time the Dutch conductor performs this magnificent symphony with the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

Speech by Mrs Michelle Ong Cheung, Chair of the Fundraising Committee, Board of Governors of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society Speech by Mr Lawrence Law, Head of Personal Banking (General Manager), Bank of China (Hong Kong)
   
World-renowned Chinese pianist Mr Yundi Li in a question-and-answer and interview session with the media
   
Bank of China (Hong Kong)’s Mr Lawrence Law presented a souvenir, "Welcome to the Olympics - BOCHK Dynamic Action" Photo Competition Album” to Mr Yundi Li in celebration of the 2008 Beijing Olympics
   

Group photos of Mrs Michelle Ong Cheung, Chair of the Fundraising Committee, Board of Governors of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society, world-renowned Chinese pianist Mr Yundi Li and Mr Lawrence Law, Head of Personal Banking (General Manager), Bank of China (Hong Kong)

Edo de Waart and the Chinese Musicians

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra begins 2008 with four consecutive weeks of concerts all featuring outstanding Chinese musicians, beginning with cellist Wang Jian on 11 and 12 January, followed by violinist Huang Mengla, pianist Yundi Li and guitarist Yang Xue-fei. De Waart will also lead the Orchestra to Guangzhou on 31 January in its debut at the Xinghai Concert Hall.

Edo de Waart said: “The amount of talent in China is enormous and it would be a waste if Hong Kong's own orchestra does not showcase them. Yundi Li is a very talented and intelligent young man and I have enjoyed working with him very much. I look forward to working with the other three artists for the first time.”

Next week, cellist Wang Jian will perform the much loved Dvorak Cello Concerto with HKPO in his first collaboration with the Maestro. Wang Jian has risen from child prodigy in Isaac Stern's documentary From Mao to Mozart, to one of the world's most sought after cellists. The warmth of his tone colour combined with technical virtuosity has captured millions of fans around the world, recently with his recording of the complete Cello Suites by J.S. Bach.

One of most promising violin stars to come from China in recent years, violinist Huang Mengla, the Gold Medal winner of the Paganini Competition in 2002 and the youngest professor at the Shanghai Music Conservatory, will perform the popular Bruch's Scottish Fantasy. He became more widely known to Hong Kong’s music lovers after collaborating with Canto-pop star, Hacken Lee, in one of his albums.

Guitarist Yang Xuefei, a Beijing-born classical guitarist based in the UK, will treat audiences to the best loved guitar work of all time – Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez. Xuefei‘s playing was highly praised by the composer who heard her when she was young (“I could not believe that it was the performance of a 14-year-old”). De Waart will lead Xuefei and the Orchestra to appear first in Guangzhou's Xinghai concert hall on 31 January, followed by two performances in Hong Kong on 1 and 2 February.

Programme Details:

Swire Maestro: De Waart meets Wang Jian
11 & 12 / 1 / 2008 (Friday and Saturday)
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
8 PM
HK$380, $280, $180, $120
Available at URBTIX outlets
URBTIX website: www.urbtix.hk
Reservations: 2734 9009
Credit Card booking: 2111 5999
Programme Enquiries: 2721 2030

Performers
Edo de Waart conductor
Wang Jian cello

Programme
Chen Qigang The Five Elements
Dvořák Cello Concerto
Schumann Symphony No.3 Rhenish

Swire New Generation: Huang Mengla’s Scottish Fantasy
18 & 19 / 1 / 2008 (Friday and Saturday)
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
8 PM
HK$250, $200, $150, $100
Available at URBTIX outlets
URBTIX website: www.urbtix.hk
Reservations: 2734 9009
Credit Card booking: 2111 5999
Programme Enquiries: 2721 2030

Performers
Edo de Waart conductor
Huang Mengla violin

Programme
MacMillan Britannia!
Bruch Scottish Fantasy
Elgar Symphony No.1

Bank of China (Hong Kong) proudly sponsors:
Yundi Li’s Prokofiev

25 & 26 / 1 / 2008 (Friday and Saturday)
8 PM
27/1/2008 (Sunday)
5 PM
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$580, $440, $300, $160
Available at URBTIX outlets
URBTIX website: www.urbtix.hk
Reservations: 2734 9009
Credit Card booking: 2111 5999
Programme Enquiries: 2721 2030

Performers
Edo de Waart conductor
Yundi Li piano

Programme
Rachmaninov Symphony No.3
Prokofiev Piano Concerto No.2

Swire New Generation: Rodrigo’s Guitar Concerto
1 & 2 / 2 / 2008 (Friday and Saturday)
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
8 PM
HK$250, $200, $150, $100
Available at URBTIX outlets
URBTIX website: www.urbtix.hk
Reservations: 2734 9009
Credit Card booking: 2111 5999
Programme Enquiries: 2721 2030

Guangzhou Tour
31/1/2008 (Thursday)
8 PM
Xinghai Concert Hall, Guangzhou
RMB680, 480, 280, 180, 100
Enquiry No: (86) 20-87353869
Programme Information: www.concerthall.com.cn
Ticket Booking Website: www.gdwhp.com

Performers
Edo de Waart conductor
Yang Xuefei guitar

Programme
Respighi Suite for Organ and Strings
Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez
Beethoven Symphony No.4

Tour Sponsor: Swire Properties

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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 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 200,000 music lovers through more than 150 performances, including a series of outreach activities including the city’s largest outdoor symphonic concert in Happy Valley, Swire Symphony under the Stars. 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.