[26 November 2010 – Hong Kong] At the night fall, the large verdant pitch of the Happy Valley Racecourse Recreation Ground was lit up brightly with over 15,000 people cheering on. But it’s not the weekly race that this huge crowd came to witness, but the largest symphonic event of the year, the Swire Symphony under the Stars performance by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO). Well into its fourth year, this much loved musical event, free admissions, drew audiences from all walks of life – families with children, star-crossed lovers, friends, students still in their uniforms and business folks still clod in their work cloths and tourists from mainland China and other different countries. Many of them, trying to get the best vantage points on the green lawns of the Racecourse to enjoy the, arrived as early as 2 hours before the performance and lay out their picnic and drinks and sat on the blanket.
Thanks to the generous and continued support of HKPO’s Principal Patron Swire, Swire Symphony under the Stars was made possible in the past three years. It successfully introduced the tradition of outdoor concert, with which the audiences in the West are familiar, to Hong Kong, bringing the joy of classical music to the community outside of the concert hall.
Tonight, the HKPO, led by its Associate Conductor Perry So, opened the evening with Dvořák’s Carnival Overture. The audience was captivated by the Israeli-Russian pianist Boris Giltburg in Chopin’s romantic Piano Concerto No.2. The second half opened with Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina: Act I: Prelude Dawn over the Moscow River, followed by Prokofiev’s Selections from Romeo and Juliet Suites. The evening ended with Tchaikovsky’s rousing 1812 Festival Overture in a blaze of colourful fireworks and an encore of Tchaikovsky’s Trepak from his great ballet work The Nutcracker.
Swire Symphony Under the Stars Press Kit Download:
02 – Boris Giltburg, piano
03 – Leung Kin-fung, the HKPO’s 1st Associate Concertmaster, chats with the audience
04 – Natalie Lewis, the HKPO’s horn player, chats with Raymond Young, PSHA, HAB
05 – Swire Symphony Under the Stars in its fourth year, brings wonderful music to more than 15,000 music lovers
06 – The evening ends with a rousing performance of TCHAIKOVSKY: 1812 Festival Overture in a blaze of colourful fireworks.
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, attracting world-class artists to collaborate on its stage. HKPO annually touches the lives of over 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 critically acclaimed tours in Asia and Europe. In the 2010/11 season, the Orchestra undertakes a China tour of Shanghai, Xi’an and Beijing under the leadership of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Maestro Edo de Waart. The first of which is an Expo 2010 programme.
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.
# # #