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BeethovenFest from 7 to 20 May
A Stellar Line-up in Three Quintessential Beethoven Programmes

23-03-2010

[23 March 2010 –Hong Kong] Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) proudly presents the BeethovenFest from 7 – 20 May, a brainchild of its Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Edo de Waart. Celebrating six of Beethoven’s masterpieces, the Festival pays homage to the great composer who changed the course of music forever. BeethovenFest I: Paul Lewis plays the Beethoven (7 & 8 May, Fri & Sat), BeethovenFest II: Fidelio, Opera in Concert ( 15&17 May, Sat & Mon) and BeethovenFest III: Bank of Communications Brings to You: De Waart’s Beethoven 9 (19&20 May, Wed & Thu) will all be held at 8pm at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Tickets for all three programmes are going fast. Don’t miss your chance to hear not one but three definitive and not-to-be-missed all Beethoven’s performances.

The opening concert of BeethovenFest: Paul Lewis plays Beethoven,is sponsored by CIC Investor Services Limited. The 2nd performance of BeethovenFest: Fidelio Opera in Concert is the HKPO’s Donors’ Concert while BeethovenFest: Bank of Communications Brings to you: Edo de Waart’s Beethoven 9 is sponsored by Bank of Communications

Every autumn, the Beethovenfest is held at the composer’s native city of Bonn. This tradition dates back to 1845, when a three-day music festival was held on the occasion of the dedication of a Beethoven Monument to mark the 75th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Franz Liszt conducted during the festival and Hector Berlioz was one of the guests. This year, Beethoven authority, pianist Paul Lewis will open the curtain on the Hong Kong version of the BeethovenFest with his unmissable Emperor Concerto while a glistening cast of world-famous opera stars, led by Maestro de Waart, brings Fidelio, the only opera by Beethoven to the Cultural Centre stage in the Orchestra’s honored tradition of Opera in Concert. The Festival will come to a glorious close when Maestro de Waart will be joined by a stellar quartet of the world’s greatest singers and the brilliant Shanghai Opera House Chorus in the composer’s monumental Ninth Symphony.

Paul Lewis, One of the Finest Beethoven Interpreters of Today
Widely celebrated for his considered and profound interpretations of the classical repertoire, Paul Lewis is recognised internationally as one of today’s most distinctive and poetic pianists. Between 2005 and 2007, he performed the complete Beethoven Sonatas at venues throughout Europe and North America to great critical acclaims, and his recordings of the complete Beethoven sonatas for Harmonia Mundi have received unanimous praise throughout the world and every volume of which is a Gramophone Editor’s Choice. Recent highlights have included opening the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York with Beethoven’s fifth concerto and a complete Beethoven Concerto cycle with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko. In spite of being the most famous piece of music in history, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony has lost none of its power to shock, thrill and uplift after 200 year’s of constant performance. As the Symphony slams the door on the Classical era, the Emperor Piano Concerto casts the soloist as the hero of a historic moment from the very opening bar, stealing the orchestra’s triumphant E-flat major chord and taking charge with the confidence of a born general.

The Finest Lenore Rescues the Best Florestan
As the 18th century turned into the 19th, and as the Classical era metamorphosed into the Romantic, a truly creative radical thinker was at the helm of music. Beethoven changed the course of music with his nine monumental symphonies, his many concertos, string quartets, sonatas, songs and chamber music. But there is only one opera in the Beethoven legacy – Fidelio. Its story of unfailing love and devotion set against a background of political imprisonment and eventual freedom from tyranny still resonates in the 21stcentury, elevated by Beethoven’s enlightened music and revolutionary ideals. Returning to Hong Kong following the triumph of her performances as Salome and Elektra in de Waart’s first two concert-opera projects, Susan Bullock is joined by tenor Simon O’Neill as the couple finally reunited in the opera’s glorious finale.

The classic First and monumental Ninth, Beethoven’s Metamorphosis
The pinnacle of Beethoven Symphonies, the Ninth’s theme of universal brotherhood finds resonance in today’s world, and the Symphony is frequently performed on occasions of great public celebration, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall or the inauguration of a new concert hall. With a stellar quartet of soloists and the combined forces of the chorus of Shanghai Opera House and the HKPO, this will be a Ninth to remember. One of the brightest mezzo-sopranos in the operatic world, Ning Liang has appeared in many of the world's leading opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, the Hamburg State Opera, Vienna State Opera, Berlin State Opera and the Deutsche Oper Berlin among others. Festival and such distinguished opera houses as, La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Opéra National de Paris and Vienna State Opera, Eike Wilm Schulte has collaborated with conductors including Claudio Abbado, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Christoph von Dohnányi and James Levine.

Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, Maestro Edo de Waart
Edo de Waart is the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Renowned as an “orchestral builder” who has the enviable ability to transform his orchestras into world-class ensembles, Edo de Waart has held such distinguished positions as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony, Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Opera, as well as Music Directorships of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and Minnesota Orchestras. He has also taken up the Music Directorship of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra from the 2009/10 season.

Paul Lewis plays Beethoven
Opening performance is ponsored by: CIC Investor Services Limited
7&8 | 5 | 2010
fri & sat 8pm
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$480 $320 $220 $160
Available at URBTIX now

Artists

Edo de Waart

conductor

Paul Lewis

piano


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Programme
An ALL-Beethoven Programme

Leonore : overture No.3

Piano Concerto No.5 Emperor

Symphony No.5



Beethoven’s Fidelio –opera in concert
15&17 | 5| 2010
sat & mon 8pm
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$520 $380 $280 $180
Available at URBTIX now

Artists

Edo de Waart

conductor

Simon O’Neill

Florestan

Susan Bullock

Leonore

Jon-Michael Ball

Jaquino

Lisa Larsson

Marzelline

Kristinn Sigmundsson

Rocco

Eike Wilm Schulte

Don Pizarro

Gidon Saks

Don Fernado

Shanghai Opera House Chorus

David Pountney

Director and Narrator


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Programme

BEETHOVEN : Fidelio opera in concert



Bank of Communications Brings to You: De Waart’s Beethoven 9
Sponsored by: Bank of Communications
19&20 | 5 | 2010
wed & thu 8pm
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$480 $320 $220 $160
Available at URBTIX now

Artists

Edo de Waart

conductor

Susan Bullock

soprano

Simon O’Neill

tenor

Ning Liang

mezzo-soprano

Eike Wilm Schulte

bass

Shanghai Opera House Chorus


Click the thumbnail to download photos

Programme
An ALL-Beethoven Programme

Symphony No.1

Symphony No.9




HONG KONG PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Edo de Waart
Artistic Director and Chief Conductor

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 including its extensive education activities for children and adults alike, and free concerts such as the popular Swire Symphony Under the Stars, and regular broadcasts and telecasts. Outside of Hong Kong, HKPO has made a number of successful tours in Asia and Europe including a major six-concert tour of China in the 08/09 season under the leadership of Maestro Edo de Waart, drawing great critical acclaims. [Full Biography]

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.

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