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Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra Announces 2020/21 Season

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Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra Announces 2020/21 Season

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra has announced its 2020/21 season, presenting 35 fantastic programmes featuring over 80 international and local guest artists. Five newly commissioned works by Hong Kong composers will be premiered. In the new season, the orchestra will also be touring both Asia and Europe, showcasing Hong Kong's artistic excellence to the world. Come and reunite with the HK Phil to share the power of music!

HK Phil is back!

In September 2020, the HK Phil will return to the concert hall to present two concerts for the community, sharing our love and joy of being back on stage with the Hong Kong community.

Continuation of Beethoven 250th Series

The HK Phil continues the Beethoven 250th celebrations in 2020/21 season with four great programmes, all conducted by Music Director Jaap van Zweden.

The celebrations kick off with the composer's iconic Symphony no. 9, showcasing the piece's climactic call for peace and joy among all people, presented by an array of international singers and two choirs - the Taipei Philharmonic Chorus and the HK Phil Chorus, as well as his impressive Leonore Overture no. 2 (2 & 3 October 2020).

The HK Phil was awarded Gramophone Orchestra of the Year 2019 for its opera-in-concert performances and recording of Wagner's Ring Cycle. Following this big success, this season the opera-in-concert performance of Beethoven's one and only opera, Fidelio, is also to be recorded live for future release on the record label Naxos. Hear Jaap van Zweden and a stellar international cast of singers, including returning Ring stars Simon O'Neill, Matthias Goerne, Valentina Farcas, as well as two choirs - State Choir LATVIJA and the HK Phil Chorus, perform this vivid and dramatic tale of the power of love to overcome political corruption (15 & 17 October 2020).

Four times Grammy Award winning violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter returns to the stage of the HK Phil with her musical friends, paying tribute to this great composer in three performances in a week. Together with the HK Phil and Jaap van Zweden, Anne-Sophie Mutter and her friends, cellist Kian Soltani and pianist Lauma Skride, bring you Beethoven's Triple Concerto. The same programme also features Beethoven's Romance no. 2 and one of his most popular and well-loved symphonies - Symphony no. 6, Pastoral (23 October 2020).

Anne-Sophie Mutter's recording of the Beethoven Violin Concerto was described as "a radical re-think of a classic - novel, provocative, sensual". With this concert, Maestro Jaap van Zweden and the HK Phil reach the final chapter of our Beethoven 250th series, pairing the iconic Violin Concerto with Romance no. 1 and Symphony no. 8, which Beethoven himself declared to be his personal favourite (24 October 2020).

JAAP's 60th Birthday Gala

Be our guests! Our Music Director Jaap van Zweden invites you all to join his 60th birthday party, featuring superstar violinist Joshua Bell, the HK Phil Chorus, as well as a premiere of a HK Phil commission by Hong Kong composer Chan Kai-young. Jaap will also bring you a special side-by-side performance with musicians from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (Academy Symphony Orchestra) in Beethoven's most famous and popular work, Symphony no. 5 (23 December 2020).

Celebration of Joe Hisaishi's 70th birthday in Hong Kong

Popular Japanese composer-conductor Joe Hisaishi celebrates his 70th birthday in Hong Kong! He returns to conduct two programmes. All the music has been composed by Maestro Joe Hisaishi, including his well-known work Woman and famous anime music Kiki's Delivery Service Suite (all four performances). The Maestro also presents two premieres of his orchestral works - Symphony no. 2 (4 December 2020, 8pm; 5 December 2020, 3pm) and The Border, Concerto for 3 Horns (5 December 2020, 8pm; 6 December 2020, 3pm), featuring Japanese hornist Nobuaki Fukukawa as well as HK Phil Principal Horn Lin Jiang and Co-Principal Horn Russell Bonifede.

Advance booking for "Asia Miles Proudly Sponsors: Joe Hisaishi in Concert" tickets are ONLY available via online subscription under the real name system, without any discount offered. First-come, first-served. Details about the advance booking will be announced on the HK Phil website on 22 June 2020. After the season subscription period (29 June - 31 July 2020), tickets will be available at URBTIX under a real name system, details about public sales at URBTIX to be announced in mid-October 2020 via HK Phil and URBTIX websites. Stay tuned!

TEN programmes with JAAP!

Over this new season, Music Director Jaap van Zweden will be conducting a total of TEN exciting concert programmes with the HK Phil and many internationally-renowned artists. More with Jaap are as follows:

Youngest-ever winner of the 1990 International Tchaikovsky Competition, Japanese violinist Akiko Suwanai plays Prokofiev's lyrical Violin Concerto no. 1, paired with Beethoven's heroic Symphony no. 3, Eroica, showing the infinite potential of Jaap van Zweden and the HK Phil. The orchestra also presents the world premiere of the Piccolo Concerto by OZNO, our Principal Timpani, which is dedicated to his wife, Linda Stuckey, who will be the soloist (22 & 23 January 2021).

Three concertos in a row! HK Phil Concertmaster Jing Wang and Principal Cello Richard Bamping team up to present the world premiere of Wong Chun-wai's Double Concerto. The legendary pianist Rudolf Buchbinder performs Ravel's sparkling Piano Concerto in G, and musicians of every section of the HK Phil shine in Bartók's iconic Concerto for Orchestra (29 & 30 January 2021).

Cellist Jan Vogler brings the expansive Cello Concerto by Dvořák to the stage. Mahler's refined Symphony no. 1, conducted by the great Mahler interpreter Jaap van Zweden, provides the concert's climax (2 & 3 April 2021).

Jaap and the HK Phil prepare for their grand European tour with this powerful programme - virtuoso German-Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott's HK Phil debut in Mozart's Piano Concerto no. 21, and Shostakovich's patriotic Symphony no. 7, Leningrad (5 May 2021).

A delightful pairing of Mozart and Schumann. Hong Kong pianist Colleen Lee showcases her magic touch in Mozart's penultimate Piano Concerto no. 26, Coronation. The programme also features Schumann's Symphony no. 3, Rhenish, and a world premiere of a newly-commissioned work by a Hong Kong composer under The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Composers Scheme (26 June 2021).

More with Principal Guest Conductor Yu Long

Hailed as one of the world's greatest violinists, Maxim Vengerov returns to the HK Phil stage, playing Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, part of an all-Russian programme directed by Principal Guest Conductor Yu Long (18 & 19 December 2020).

Maestro Yu Long is joined by emerging young artists Paloma So, Serena Wang and Anson Wong Ying-shun, in a musical celebration of the Lunar New Year, presenting Prokofiev's Violin Concerto no. 2, Berlioz's colourful Roman Carnival Overture, Duka's The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Saint-Saëns' The Carnival of the Animals (6 February 2021).

Yu Long once again conducts music by one of today's leading living Chinese composers, Chen Qigang - Instants d'un Opéra de Pékin, and collaborates with pianist Meng-Chieh Liu in Rachmaninov's passionate Piano Concerto no. 3 (16 & 17 April 2021).

Dazzling Conductors and Soloists

For the very first time, ECHO Prize-winning English conductor Alexander Shelley will conduct the orchestra's biggest annual outdoor symphonic event, Swire Symphony Under The Stars, at the Central Harbourfront, under the backdrop of the spectacular night view of the orchestra's home city (21 November 2020).

MILOŠ, the charismatic master of the guitar, joins the HK Phil for Rodrigo's hugely popular Concierto de Aranjuez. The programme also features Falla's ballet music The Three-Cornered Hat: Suite no. 2, as well as Spanish-inspired French works, Debussy's Images: Iberia, and Ravel's Boléro (8 & 9 January 2021).

Virtuoso clarinettist Sabine Meyer makes her debut on the stage of the HK Phil in Weber's Clarinet Concerto no. 1. One-hour classics with the orchestra includes two more fabulous pieces, Richard Strauss' Don Juan and Schubert's brilliant Symphony no. 8, Unfinished (15 January 2021).

An evening with Brahms' immortal A German Requiem will be directed by renowned German Chorusmaster Ralf Otto, teaming up with soprano Christina Gansch, baritone Thomas E. Bauer, and the HK Phil Chorus (10 & 11 April 2020).

Distinguished Italian violinist and conductor Fabio Biondi makes his HK Phil debut in a thrilling evening of music and dance in a special collaboration between the HK Phil and Hong Kong Ballet in two works - Mozart's celebrated Eine kleine Nachtmusik and Purcell's fanciful The Fairy Queen Suite, which is inspired by Shakespeare's classic A Midsummer Night's Dream - both choreographed by Hong Kong Ballet's Artistic Director Septime Webre. The programme also includes Violin Concertos by Mozart and Vivaldi (30 April & 1 May 2021).

For the truly spectacular season finale, the HK Phil welcomes conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste making his HK Phil debut in a fantastic programme, pairing up with the former HK Phil Principal Trumpet Esteban Batallán in Henri Tomasi's phenomenally difficult Trumpet Concerto. The HK Phil's 2020/21 season concludes with Bruckner's truly majestic Symphony no. 9 (3 July 2021).

Hong Kong Talent with the HK Phil

HK Phil Chorusmaster Apollo Wong leads The Hong Kong Children's Choir and the HK Phil Chorus in a programme of sacred and secular music for this year's Silent Night (24 December 2020).

One of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons 2019 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong soprano Louise Kwong, performs operatic arias by Verdi and J Strauss II, while the waltz king J Strauss II transforms the concert hall into a ballroom with his stunning dance music. Out with the old 2020, in with the new 2021 with the HK Phil! (30 & 31 December 2020)

HK Phil x HK Ballet

Under the lead of Fabio Biondi, one of the most important and influential figures of the Baroque period-instrument movement, the HK Phil and Hong Kong Ballet collaborate in two works - Mozart's celebrated Eine kleine Nachtmusik and Purcell's fanciful The Fairy Queen Suite - both choreographed by Hong Kong Ballet's Artistic Director Septime Webre (30 April & 1 May 2021).

Film & Live Projection

Eminent American composer John Corigliano's original score for the film The Red Violin won him an Oscar, and this season our audience can enjoy the complete movie with live performance of this breathtakingly beautiful and emotionally intense score by the HK Phil and violinist Lara St John conducted by Sylvain Gasançon (29 & 30 May 2021).

The adventures of a day in the mountains are vividly recalled in Richard Strauss' monumental An Alpine Symphony. Along with live projection of Tobias Melle's photographs of the Alps, a gargantuan orchestra, including wind machine, thunderclaps and organ, is directed by Michael Sanderling (11 & 12 June 2021).

The HK Phil guides the audience through the wonders of our world in the spectacular BBC's flagship 2017 series Planet Earth II, with ground-breaking film-taking techniques and matchless musical scores by Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea and Jasha Klebe (18 & 19 June 2021; 20 June 2021, under Swire Sunday Family Series).

Swire Denim Series x World Music; Jazz; Live Illustration

Indian revered composer and violinist Dr L Subramaniam presents an inspiring programme with Indian musicians Kavita Krishnamurti (voice), Tanmoy Bose (tabla), Guru Raghavendra (mridangam). They are joined by the HK Phil Chorus in the epic Bharat Symphony, written to mark the 70th anniversary of India's independence, as well as Dr L Subramaniam's own violin concerto Shantipriya ("love of peace"). This concert is part of the "India by the Bay Festival" (20 February 2021).

Hong Kong jazz icon Ted Lo and friends, including long-term collaborator Eugene Pao and Cantopop singer Janice Vidal, promise you a relaxing night with their soulful improvisations. Let's jazz in the city with the HK Phil! (23 & 24 April 2021)

French artist Grégoire Pont adds a visual dimension to a programme of delightful music by Ravel, Tchaikovsky and Elgar with his live painting under the baton of Indian-American conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl (4 & 5 June 2021).

Interesting Bits for Kids

Who isn't curious about dinosaurs? Revealing the hidden world of dinosaurs, the HK Phil offers a child-friendly journey to discover dinosaurs in music with Dr Michael Pittman, who shares some interesting facts about these long extinct but fascinating creatures (28 November 2020).

Happy Gabby rings for help! Our Principal Viola Andrew Ling becomes a conductor, together with presenter Joe Wong and the HK Phil, pick the call from Happy Gabby, taking him and his friends on a musical adventure (12 December 2020).

Bid farewell to the Year of the Rat with a musical carnival of animals! Maestro Yu Long directs Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice, conjuring up that most adorable of mice - Mickey - who wishes to join all the musical creatures in Saint-Saëns' magical zoological carnival (7 February 2021, under Swire Sunday Family Series).

New Concert Series

Enjoy three diverse evenings of captivating chamber music in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre with star violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and friends playing Beethoven's string trio and quartet (20 October 2020), an all-Mozart programme celebrating Mozart's 265th birthday (27 January 2021), and organist Christian Schmitt playing one of the largest mechanically operated pipe organs in Asia in solo works by Bach and music for brass and organ by Giovanni Gabrieli and Richard Strauss with the HK Phil Brass Ensemble (8 June 2021).

ONE performance only for each programme!


We present two special chill-out programmes for busy urbanites at a standard price of HK$280 for all seats. Concerts start at 9pm, run approximately one hour with no intermission. After the performance, you are most welcome to mingle over drinks with HK Phil musicians and guest artists at the alfresco bar next to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, complemented by a stunning night view of the Victoria Harbour.

These two programmes include virtuoso clarinettist Sabine Meyer in Weber's Clarinet Concerto no. 1 (15 January 2021), and pianist Meng-Chieh Liu in Rachmaninov's passionate Piano Concerto no. 3 (16 & 17 April 2021).

HK Phil × Tai Kwun: Chamber Music Series

Since the 2018/19 season, the HK Phil x Tai Kwun: Chamber Music Series has received overwhelming response. Starting in September 2020, HK Phil musicians will return to Tai Kwun to showcase the potential and delicacy of chamber music with six colourful programmes*.

*Advertised programmes of the 2019/20 season. Rescheduled due to the recent epidemic.

Tours to Asia and Europe with JAAP

In the 2020/21 season the HK Phil, Gramophone's 2019 Orchestra of the Year, will embark on tours under Music Director Jaap van Zweden, to 7 countries and 12 cities in Asia and Europe. The HK Phil will start the journey in November 2020, celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven with audiences in Guangzhou and Jakarta.

The journey continues in May 2021 with Maestro Jaap van Zweden touring Europe once more since their last visit to the continent in 2015. This tour includes debuts in Valencia, Barcelona, Oviedo, Dresden, Luxembourg, Cologne, Amsterdam and Antwerp, as well as revisits to Eindhoven and Berlin. Among these 10 cities, we are very honoured to make our first appearance at the Concertgebouw's Mahler Festival 2021 in Amsterdam. The HK Phil is the first Asian orchestra to perform at this prestigious festival held every 25 years. Concert programmes in Europe include masterworks by Beethoven, Dvořák, Mahler, Mozart, Ravel, Shostakovich and Wagner.

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