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“Wizard of the Piano” Evgeny Kissin bringing a romantic breeze to the city in works by Liszt
Classics: Kissin Plays Liszt (5 Dec, ONE performance only)


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[31 August 2018, Hong Kong] To kick start the first concert in the Classics Series, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) is pleased to welcome back Evgeny Kissin, a living legend of the piano world, with the innovative and thrilling Piano Concerto no. 1 by Liszt under the baton of Andris Poga, in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall on 5 December 2018. Tickets will be available at URBTIX from tomorrow, 1 September. One performance only so don't miss the chance!

“Without question he [Evgeny Kissin] is a phenomenal pianist, a deeply intuitive and sensitive musician”
--- The New York Times

Evgeny Kissin is a natural musician. A former child prodigy, Kissin made his debut at the age of ten and gained international attention in 1984 at the age of twelve, when he played and recorded both of Chopin's piano concertos with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Kissin was the youngest instrumentalist to win Musical America in 1995, and was the recipient of one of Russia’s highest musical honours, The Shostakovich Award. He has dazzled audiences worldwide with his poetic artistry and captivating interpretations of masterworks by Liszt, Chopin and Rachmaninov. This evening, after years of anticipation, Kissin joins hands with the HK Phil for the first time, showcasing his expertise in Liszt.

Considered to be one of the greatest pianists of all time, Franz Liszt was also a revolutionary composer. His First Piano Concerto has been described as a “truly seminal work in the history of piano literature”. It dispensed with the traditional three-movement structure and opted instead for a single movement which, with its succession of fast and slow sections, provided an exceptional level of integration. The opening work in the programme, Liszt’s Les Préludes, is the third of thirteen symphonic poems, a genre invented by the composer, consisting of one movement retelling a story or non-musical theme. Les Préludes ponders the issues of life, love, hatred, joy, struggle and death.

The concert concludes with another symphonic poem, this time by Richard Strauss - Thus Spake Zarathustra, most memorably used in Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Beyond this familiar opening, the work follows the epic tale by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche which charts the development of Zarathustra’s philosophical journey.

Classics: Kissin Plays Liszt will be held on 5 Dec (Wed), 8PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Tickets priced: HK$780 $580 $380 $280 will be available at URBTIX on 1 Sep (Sat). For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit

Andris Poga, conductor [full biography]
Andris Poga has been the music director of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra since the 2013/4 season. Highlights of recent seasons have included concerts with the leading orchestras of Germany, France, Italy, Japan and other countries. After the first successful collaborations he has been invited back to the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester Hamburg, WDR Symphony Cologne, Munich Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphony-Orchester Berlin, Dresden Philharmonic and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig.

Evgeny Kissin, piano [full biography]
Evgeny Kissin’s musicality, the depth and poetic quality of his interpretations, and his extraordinary virtuosity have earned him the veneration and admiration reserved only for the most gifted classical pianists of his generation and, arguably, generations past. He is in demand the world over, and has appeared with many of the world’s great conductors including Abbado, Ashkenazy, Barenboim, Dohnányi, Giulini, Levine, Maazel, Muti and Ozawa, as well as all the great orchestras of the world.

5 | 12 | 2018
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$780 $580 $380 $280
For ages 6 and above


Andris Poga


Evgeny Kissin


Click the thumbnails to download press photos

The HK Phil_(c) Philip Chau

Andris Poga
Photo Credit: Noslegums kvadr

Evgeny Kissin
Photo Credit: EMI

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo Credit: Philip Chau/HK Phil

LISZT Les Préludes
LISZT Piano Concerto no. 1
R STRAUSS Thus Spake Zarathustra

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Music Director: Jaap van Zweden
Principal Guest Conductor: Yu Long

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) is recognised as Asia’s foremost classical orchestra. Presenting more than 150 concerts over a 44-week season, the HK Phil attracts more than 200,000 music lovers annually.

Jaap van Zweden, one of today’s most sought-after conductors, has been the orchestra’s Music Director since the 2012/13 concert season, a position he will continue to hold until 2022. Maestro van Zweden will be the next Music Director of the New York Philharmonic from the 2018/19 season.

Yu Long was appointed Principal Guest Conductor with the HK Phil for a three-year period commencing with the 2015/16 season.

Under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Jaap van Zweden, the HK Phil has attained new heights of artistic excellence, garnering international critical acclaim.

Following on from the success of the European tour which included a filmed concert from Vienna’s Musikverein, the HK Phil has toured extensively within the mainland China. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, and with support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices, the orchestra recently performed in Seoul, Osaka, Singapore, Melbourne and at the Sydney Opera House.

Jaap, the HK Phil, a superb cast of soloists and a chorus successfully completed the four-year epic “Ring Cycle” journey in January 2018. The concert performances and live Naxos recordings have been enthusiastically received by audiences and praised by critics at home and abroad. The recording of Götterdämmerung will be released towards the end of 2018.

Conductors and soloists who have recently performed with the orchestra include Vladimir Ashkenazy, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Matthias Goerne, Stephen Hough, Lang Lang, Yo-Yo Ma, Ning Feng and Yuja Wang.

The HK Phil promotes the work of Hong Kong and Chinese composers through an active commissioning programme, and has released recordings on the Naxos label featuring Tan Dun and Bright Sheng, each conducting their own compositions. Its acclaimed education and community engagement programmes in schools, hospital and outdoor space, bring music into the hearts of tens of thousands of children and families every year.

The Swire Group has been the Principal Patron of the HK Phil since 2006. Through this sponsorship, which is the largest in the orchestra’s history, Swire endeavours to promote artistic excellence, foster access to classical music and stimulate cultural participation in Hong Kong, and to enhance Hong Kong’s reputation as one of the great cities of the world.

Thanks to a significant subsidy from the Hong Kong Government and long-term funding from Principal Patron Swire, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and other supporters, the HK Phil now boasts a full-time annual schedule of core classical repertoire and innovative popular programming, extensive education and community programmes, and collaborations with, among others, Opera Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Arts Festival.

Originally called the Sino-British Orchestra, it was renamed the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in 1957 and became fully professional in 1974. The HK Phil is a charitable organisation.

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and is Venue Partner of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.
SWIRE is the Principal Patron of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.