[Hong Kong, 27 May 2009] The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) today announced its sixth season under the artistic directorship of Maestro Edo de Waart, featuring 36 exciting programmes with an international roster of over 50 guest artists or groups.
To signify the Orchestra’s unwavering goal in bringing superb artistic achievement and music of the highest quality to our community, “In Tune with Our City” returns as this season’s theme. The 09/10 season will see the Orchestra not only in great performances in the concert halls of the Cultural Centre and City Hall, but also reach out to the other performing venues such as the Tsuen Wan Town Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, in addition to a whole array of outreach activities including a major open air concert and school visits.
Since Maestro de Waart assumed the artistic directorship in September 2004, the HKPO has gone from strength to strength, scaling new heights in artistic excellence and achieving box office and attendance successes. Audience numbers have grown impressively over the last 5 years with an average paid attendance in the 08/09 season at 80% to date. “As I raise the baton on my sixth season as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, I look back with a great sense of pride at what our wonderful body of musicians have achieved over the last five years and I look forward, with an exciting sense of expectation and promise, to the inspiring music which we have chosen to perform for you in 2009/10,” said Maestro de Waart.
For the 2009/10 season, the HKPO has invited a stellar roster of international artists to join the orchestra, including 3 divas who are sure to dazzle: the incomparable American soprano Deborah Voigt to open the season with a dramatic program of Wagner and Strauss, the beautiful Anna Caterina Antonacci and the larger-than-life Korean soprano Sumi Jo. This season’s pianist line-up is particularly impressive with Jean-Yves Thibaudet from France, Boris Berezovsky from Russia and the sensational Yundi Li, who will appear in concerto and recital, both of which salute Yundi’s favourite composer, Chopin. String greats include cellist Steven Isserlis, conducted by the famed Yan Pascal Tortelier, and violinist Sarah Chang in works by Debussy and Bruch.
“My personal highlight of the season will be the return of opera-in-concert, this time Beethoven’s only opera Fidelio, with a magnificent cast headed by Susan Bullock (whose unforgettable performances in Salome and Elektra established concert-opera in Hong Kong) and tenor Simon O’Neill who gave us a peerless Siegmund in Act I of Die Walküre last September,” said Maestro de Waart.
Designed to present the greatest music of the symphonic repertoire under the season’s most authoritative conductors, Edo de Waart’s ongoing Mahler cycle reaches its penultimate climax this season in the composer’s Song of the Earth. “Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde is a symphony in all but name and I am particularly pleased to be able to perform it in Hong Kong with two splendid singers, Robert Dean Smith and Sasha Cooke,” said Maestro de Waart.
One of the most respected and illuminating conductors of our time, Russian maestro Gennadi Rozhdestvensky conducts the Symphony No.10 by Shostakovich, whose works brought the conductor world renown, and then directs his son, Sasha, in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. And what better way to close the 09/10 season than the imposing Carmina Burana, conducted by Yu Long with a stellar cast of vocalists and the Shanghai Opera House Chorus and the Hong Kong Children’s Choir.
Swire’s New Generation
Aiming to bring the best of Asian talent to Hong Kong’s concert stages, the Swire New Generation series this season showcases five bright young soloists: the sixteen-year-old piano prodigy Kit Armstrong, harpist Dan Yu, cellist Zhao Jing with young conducting sensation Perry So, and pianist Yuja Wang who has enjoyed a meteoric rise recently, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.17, Ginastera’s Harp Concerto Op.25, Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No.1 and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.3 respectively.
Seven composers are celebrated in this series with the best of their works spotlighted: the first instalment of the multi-year Rachmaninov’s cycle with the dazzling Simon Trpčeski in back to back concertos; Maestro de Waart will reprise the beautiful Mahler Symphony No.3 while HKPO Concertmaster John Harding spearheads the Schubert Experience I & II, performing the composer’s chamber and orchestral masterpieces; Beethoven will be featured in May with British piano powerhouse Paul Lewis in the composer’s most celebrated piano concerto, Emperor, followed by the magnificent Choral Symphony; the last trio of composers featured are Shostakovich with his scandalous Symphony No.11, conducted by Alexander Lazarev, and Wagner’s Tristan & Isolde (arranged by de Vileger) together with Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite in a collaborative performance between HKPO and the APA.
Mozart in the City
The City Hall Concert Hall is a perfect place for listening to music of the Classical period, particularly that of Mozart. This season, 4 exquisite programs will be showcased in this highly successful series: Kolja Blacher directs Mozart’s Symphony No.41 and then assumes the solo part in Schumann’s Violin Concerto; Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 will be paired with Haydn’s London Symphony, conducted by Gérard Korsten; the celebrated Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt directs and plays the solo parts in 4 Bach and Mozart concertos; last but not least, Japanese conductor Masaaki Suzuki directs Barnabás Kelemann in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.3, followed by Mendelssohn’s exuberant Italian Symphony.
The series celebrates the Orchestra’s flexibility, from the raucous showbiz pizzazz of Bravo Broadway & Hollywood (with conductor Stuart Malina and vocalists Rachel York, Gary Mauer, Doug LeBreque) and the jazzy world of Gershwin to the unique sound worlds of Tan Dun’s The Map (with Cellist Richard Bamping directed by Lawrence Renes) and the Butterfly Lovers. Two festive programmes, the Christmas and New Year Galas, round out this eclectic series.
The 09/10 season subscription is now on!
Patrons who subscribe by 4 July 2009 could enjoy up to 30% discount and Club Bravo membership, enjoying year-round privileges. Students, citizens aged 60 or over, people with disabilities or CSSA recipients enjoy up to 50% discount. Programme details are available on HKPO’s website www.hkpo.com from 27 May 2009. Brochures are also available at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong City Hall and other performing venues, URBTIX outlets, and selected bookshops and music stores.
The subscription concerts are the core of the Hong Kong Philharmonic’s 44-week season, yet the Orchestra has even more to offer the community of Hong Kong by bringing the excitement of the concert experience to unusual venues ranging from the Tsuen Wan Town Hall and Queen Elizabeth Stadium to open air venues and universities. Widest possible audience is further reached by the HKPO’s radio and TV broadcasts on RTHK, Creative Notes (HKPO’s own music-in-education that reaches 50,000 primary, secondary and special school children) and overseas touring.
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the below partners for their support:
BOCHK Charitable Foundation
Lam Kin Chung Morning Sun Charity Fund
The Open University of Hong Kong
The Robert H N Ho Family Foundation
Shun Hing Group
Mr. Y.S. Liu, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society
Edo de Waart, Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of HKPO and Perry So, Assistant Conductor of HKPO present programmes of the 2009/10 Season.
Photo 3, 4
Edo de Waart conducts the 1st movement of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony.
Photo 5, 6, 7
Guests perform the 1st movement of Leopold Mozart’s Toy Symphony with musicians of HKPO.
(left to right) Mr. Nicholas Sallnow-Smith, Member of the Board of Governors of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society, Mr. James Thompson, Club Maestro Diamond Member , Ms Teresa Au, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Asia Pacific Region, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Prof. John Leong, President of the Open University of Hong Kong.
Photo 9, 10
Perry So conducts 1st movement of Leopold Mozart’s Toy Symphony.
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ABOUT THE HONG KONG PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) is one of Asia’s leading orchestras. 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. HKPO annually touches the lives of 200,000 music lovers through more than 150 performances. HKPO stays in tune with our city by presenting the biggest outdoor symphonic concert of the year, Swire Symphony Under the Stars at Happy Valley in the 07/08 season. In the 08/09 season the Orchestra undertook a major six-concert tour of China, including the Xinghai Concert Hall in Guangzhou, Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts and Shanghai Grand Theatre under the leadership of Maestro Edo de Waart.
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.
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is the Venue Partner of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.