Great Conductor Jaap van Zweden Conducts Schubert's 'Great' Symphony

Robert Schumann said he was "in seventh heaven" after hearing Schubert's Ninth Symphony. From its majestic opening horn call to the finale that salutes Beethoven's "Ode to Joy", the subtitle "Great" is entirely suited to this marvellous musical feast. The Symphony will be conducted by maestro Jaap van Zweden, Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil). The concerts to be held on 16 & 17 June 2017 in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall will also feature Renaud Capuçon in Alban Berg's affecting Violin Concerto.

Most of Schubert's output remained unpublished during his lifetime, including his "Great" Symphony. Its first public performance came over a decade after his death, when the composer Schumann discovered the manuscripts in the home of Schubert's brother. The performance was conducted by Felix Mendelssohn and it quickly became one of Schubert's most widely admired works, Schumann admiring "the brilliance and novelty of the instrumentation, the fascinating fluctuations of emotion and above all Schubert's great mastery".

French violinist Renaud Capuçon will be featured in Berg's Violin Concerto, which the composer, who, like Schubert, was Austrian. The piece was dedicated to the composer's close friend's daughter who passed away from polio at the age of 18. He inscribed the work "To the Memory of an Angel".

Classics: Schubert "Great" Symphony will be held on 16 & 17 June (Fri & Sat) at 8PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Ticket prices: HK$680, $480, $380, $280 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit

Classics: Schubert "Great" Symphony is Le French May Associated Project


Jaap van Zweden, conductor [full biography]

Jaap van Zweden has risen rapidly in the past decade to become one of today's most distinguished conductors. Starting with the 2018/19 season, he will be the Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. Currently, he is Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2008, and has been Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012. Van Zweden was named Musical America's 2012 Conductor of the Year. Born in Amsterdam, Jaap van Zweden was the youngest ever concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He began his conducting career in 1995.

Renaud Capuçon, violin [full biography]

Born in Chambéry in 1976, Renaud Capuçon began his studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris at the age of fourteen, winning numerous awards during his five years there. He then studied in Berlin with Thomas Brandis and Isaac Stern. In 1997 he was invited by Claudio Abbado to become concertmaster of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester which he led for three summers. As a soloist, Capuçon has played with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Orchestre de Paris and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra.

Photo Credit: Cheung Chi Wai/HK Phil

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