The HK Phil Gathers Immense Forces for Carl Orff's CARMINA BURANA

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) proudly presents Carmina Burana - earthy and bawdy, tender and breathtakingly beautiful. This is music that gets blood pumping and hearts swooning. On 3 & 4 June in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, sensational conductor Karina Canellakis will return to lead immense forces which include stellar vocal soloists soprano Xi Wang, tenor Nicholas Phan and baritone Troy Cook, the Hong Kong Children's Choir and the HK Phil Chorus, as well as, of course, the HK Phil. These immense forces have gathered to celebrate the pleasures of spring, life and love in Carl Orff's famous work.

Carmina Burana was inspired by an anonymous manuscript discovered in a monastery in Upper Bavaria in 1803 which contained poems by wandering scholars of the 12th and 13th centuries. Orff set 24 of the poems to music in 1935 and, with the title Carmina Burana, produced the only work of his which has gone into the repertory. It is a glorious celebration of words and music and of the timelessness of natural existence. Each of the three parts is framed by a homage to the goddess Fortuna; a poem which, in the original manuscript, was accompanied by a miniature depiction of the Wheel of Fortune. The individual parts focus on aspects of life as enjoyed by the medieval poets.

Opening the concert is Haydn's Symphony no. 101, The Clock, one of the composer's final six symphonies written during his hugely successful visit to London. Following its 1794 premiere the Symphony was described in the press as "delicious". The nickname The Clock derives from the ticking rhythm in the 2nd movement which was the composer's gentle hint at the London audience's notorious disregard for punctuality.

Masterworks: Carmina Burana is an accredited event celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

3 June performance is sponsored by Vita Green

4 June performance is sponsored by Henderson Land Group

Masterworks: Carmina Burana will be held on 3 June (Sat) at 8PM and 4 June (Sun) at 3PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. Ticket prices: HK$480, $380, $280, $180 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit


Karina Canellakis, conductor [full biography]

Winner of the 2016 Sir George Solti Conducting Award, Karina Canellakis has rapidly gained international recognition as one of today's most dynamic and exciting young American conductors. In the 2016/17 season she debuts with the Swedish Radio Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon and the symphony orchestras of the City of Birmingham, Trondheim, Kristiansand, Malmö, Toronto, Vancouver and Milwaukee.

Xi Wang, soprano [full biography]

Xi Wang is emerging as an important new young Chinese soprano. In 2011 she joined the prestigious Merola programme at San Francisco Opera as a young artist and appeared as a guest soloist at New York City Opera's Annual Composer showcase concert "VOX". Wang holds the degree of Master of Music from San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She also received her doctoral degree in Musical Arts from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2014.

Nicholas Phan, tenor [full biography]

American tenor Nicholas Phan's 2016/17 season includes returns to the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, and the National Art Centre in Ottawa. He also makes his role debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, his recital debut at the Wigmore Hall in London. This concert marks his debut with the HK Phil.

Troy Cook, baritone [full biography]

American baritone Troy Cook recently performed in Hamburgische Staatsoper's Falstaff. In the 2016/17 season he performed with Des Moines Metro Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Atlanta Opera, San Diego Opera and Syracuse Opera. He also made his debuts with Washington National Opera and appeared with the Portland Symphony.

The Hong Kong Children's Choir [full biography]

The Hong Kong Children's Choir (HKCC) was founded in 1969 as a private non-profit charitable organisation. HKCC is now the biggest choir in the world with over 5,000 boys and girls receiving choral, dancing, arts and craft training from the Choir. Each year touring groups are invited to give performances overseas, spreading the message of love and peace to other parts of the world.

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus [full biography]

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus was established in 1980. Over the years it has collaborated with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra to perform a range of different works. In 2013 the Chorus undertook a new recruitment drive, and over 450 singers were attracted to attend the audition. Since then, the Chorus has performed with the HK Phil in major works under renowned conductors including Lorin Maazel, Nicholas McGegan and Brett Weymark.

Photo Credit: Cheung Chi Wai/HK Phil

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