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De Waart conducts HKPO and HKAPA students in
Peak Performance

27 November 2008

Hong Kong, 27 November 2008 - Following the successful collaboration over the past four years, the Hong Kong Philharmonic orchestra (HKPO) announces its fifth annual project with the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA). The concert, titled Peak Performance, will be held on 28 & 29 November at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall.

Edo de Waart, Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, will conduct the massed forces of the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Academy Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Strauss’s massive Alpine Symphony and Saint-Saëns’s Second Piano Concerto. The latter will showcase one of the academy’s most successful graduates, prize-winning pianist Colleen Lee.

Since taking up the artistic directorship of the HKPO in 2004, de Waart has been dedicated to coaching and mentoring students to invest in the future of music in Hong Kong and Greater China.

“I think Strauss’ Alpine Symphony is one of the most challenging pieces within the orchestral repertoire. In the same way that the subjects in Strauss’ Alpine Symphony conquered the mountain, I am confident that the HKAPA students will meet the challenge of this huge piece and deliver a great performance.”

During the intensive preparation period for this concert, the APA’s finest instrumentalists have been coached and mentored by the Concertmaster and principal players of the HKPO, the young musicians benefitting from the great insights of these seasoned professionals, and then having the experience of performing with them, side-by-side, under the direction of a major international maestro.

Colleen Lee Piano
Colleen Lee received training at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts under the tutelage of Eleanor Wong from the age of seven. In 2005, she won Sixth Prize at the 15th Frederick Chopin International Piano Competition. She has collaborated with many noted international orchestras such as the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the China Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. In recognition of her outstanding achievements in music, she has been awarded the Commendation from the Home Affairs Bureau in 2004 and the Commendation for Community Service by the Chief Executive in 2006.

The Hong Kong Academy For Performing Arts
The Academy School of Music provides comprehensive performance-focused training for students who aspire to become professional performers, composers, or teachers of music. All students of Western orchestral instruments participate in the Academy Symphony Orchestra. Weekly rehearsals cover the standard symphonic literature as well as modern works. The Orchestra has performed under the batons of Sir Neville Marriner, Trevor Pinnock, François-Xavier Roth, Takuo Yuasa and Joseph Silverstein, and has worked with famous soloists including Nigel Kennedy (violin), Julian Lloyd Webber (cello), Andrew Marriner (clarinet), Jean-François Heisser, Paul Badura-Skoda (piano) and Malcolm Bilson (fortepiano). The Orchestra has been invited to perform in Austria, France, Spain, UK, Vietnam and Thailand and its concerts have received much critical acclaim.


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.

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is the Venue Partner of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.