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HKPO 2007/08 season closes with the high-spirited epic
The Leningrad Symphony

23 June 2008

Hong Kong, 23 June 2008 – After a triumphant season of spectacular performances, extensive outreach and educational programmes, and many more community efforts to bring music to our city and beyond, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2007/08 season closes with the high-spirited epic – Shostakovich’s Symphony No 7 in The Leningrad Symphony, proudly sponsored by CIC Banque Privée. Two concerts will be held on 4 and 5 July (Fri and Sat) at 8pm at HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall.

The concert starts with Hummel’s enjoyable and technically demanding concerto; an ideal vehicle for the talents of celebrated trumpeter Alison Balsom, who was named Best Young British Performer at the 2006 Classical Brit Awards and was honoured with the Classic FM Listener’s Award at the 2006 Gramophone Awards. Her recent performance with the Brighton Philharmonic had one critic remarking, “she gave a masterful performance of Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto in E flat that captivated the audience.”

Lauded by The Times as “Britain’s new trumpet star”, Alison Balsom caught the ear of EMI Classics, for whom she now records exclusively, whilst represented by the Young Artists Concert Trust. Under the auspices of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists scheme, of which she was a member until recently, Balsom has given concerts at the Wigmore Hall, and with all of the BBC orchestras. The summer of 2006 saw her take part in the BBC’s celebrated ‘Last Night of the Proms’.

Also on the programme is Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony, a masterful work which marches defiantly out of the war-ravaged city in which it was composed. The deprivation of the German siege is one of the blackest pages in Russian history, but the Symphony resounds as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the city and its inhabitants. The Symphony remains one of the greatest public triumphs of the composer’s life, and the music has turned out to be far more powerful even than its initial popular success suggested.

Conductor David Atherton was co-founder of the London Sinfonietta. His recording of Tippett’s opera King Priam won the coveted International Record Critics’ Award, generally regarded as the world’s top recording prize. From 1989 Atherton was the Music Director of HKPO. On his retirement from this position in 2000 and in recognition of his services to the music of Hong Kong, he was awarded the OBE and made the Orchestra’s Conductor Laureate.

Programme Details

The Leningrad Symphony
Proudly sponsored by CIC Banque Privée

4 & 5 / 7 / 2008 Friday and Saturday HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall 8 pm
$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
HKPO Website: www.hkpo.com

Artists
David Atherton Conductor
Alison Balsom Trumpet

Programme
Hummel Trumpet Concerto
Shostakovich Symphony No 7 Leningrad

To download photos of Alison Balsom and David Atherton, please access:
http://download.hkpo.com/files/press/20080620/press20080620.zip

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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 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.