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Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and Yo-Yo Ma

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2 March 2012 (Fri) 8pm

Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall

$1600, $1200, $800, $380

A limited number of tickets ($1,600 and $1,200) and those for box seats and promenade seats with restricted view ($380) will be available for sale at the box office of Hong Kong City Hall from 10am on the day of the concert.  Each person can purchase a maximum of two tickets per transaction on a first-come-first-served basis.  For enquires, please call 2921 2836 (Hong Kong City Hall).


Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

Conductor: Lan Shui
Cello: Yo-Yo Ma

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Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80


Night Music: Voices in the Leaves


Symphony No. 1 in D, Op. 25, ‘Classical’


Cello Concerto in A Minor, Op. 129 (Yo-Yo Ma, Cello)

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Programme Details

Coming to the celebration on Hong Kong City Hall’s 50th birthday is the world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma who will make a rare concerto appearance.  The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the first professional symphony orchestra in Hong Kong, which has been giving concerts regularly since the opening of the Hong Kong City Hall, is an apt partner in this birthday concert.  The celebration, under the baton of Lan Shui, includes Night Music: Voices in the Leaves by the Uzbek composer Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project.  Yo-Yo Ma is also the soloist in Schumann’s Cello Concerto, a masterpiece of the Romantic concerto repertoire.

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Details of Performers

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.  The HKPO annually touches the lives of over 200,000 music lovers through more than 150 performances.  Under the leadership of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Edo de Waart, the HKPO continues to scale new heights in musical excellence.


From April 2006, The Swire Group Charitable Trust became the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra’s Principal Patron.  Swire’s sponsorship of the HKPO, the largest in the ensemble’s history, supports artistic growth and development as the Orchestra takes its place on the world stage, and brings performances of musical excellence to the widest possible public.


The HKPO stays in tune with our city by presenting the Orchestra in unexpected venues and bringing the excitement of the concert experience to every home through radio and television broadcasts including the largest symphonic event of the year, ‘Swire Symphony under the Stars’, at Happy Valley.  The Orchestra runs a comprehensive schools education programme, ‘HSBC Insurance Creative Notes’, bringing the joy of classical music to primary, secondary and special school kids.  The Orchestra also collaborates regularly with other performing arts organisations such as Opera Hong Kong in addition to its crossover series with Western and Chinese pop artists.


The Orchestra also builds its reputation and raises its artistic standards by touring.  In September 2010, de Waart and the HKPO returned to Mainland China, performing at the Expo 2010 Shanghai, Xi’an and Beijing to critical acclaim.


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

For more information on HKPO, please visit


Lan Shui


Lan Shui has been Music Director of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra since 1997 and Chief Conductor of the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra since the 2007/08 season. 


As a guest conductor, Lan Shui has worked in the United States with orchestras including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra.  In Europe, he has visited the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, hr-Sinfonieorchester (Frankfurt), Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR, MDR Sinfonieorchester (Leipzig), Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire and the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie.  He was also Principal Guest Conductor of the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra until the end of the 2007/08 season and has performed at festivals including Tanglewood, Aspen and Round Top.


Under Shui’s direction, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra has become a world-class ensemble and enjoys an exclusive recording contract with the BIS label.  Shui has led the orchestra on several acclaimed tours to Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, France, Spain and the USA, and is passionate about commissioning, premiering and recording works by Asian composers.  This season sees them return to the Beijing Festival for Mahler’s Symphony No. 7.


Born in Hangzhou, China, Lan Shui studied composition at the Shanghai Conservatory and graduated from The Beijing Central Conservatory, where he studied conducting with Xu Xin and Huang Feili.  He made his professional conducting debut with the Central Philharmonic Orchestra in Beijing in 1986 and was later appointed Conductor of the Beijing Symphony Orchestra.  At the same time Shui continued his graduate studies at Boston University and attended the Tanglewood Music Festival, where he worked closely with Leonard Bernstein.  When conducting at the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Summer Festival he came to the attention of David Zinman who invited him to become Conducting Affiliate of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for two seasons.  From 1994 to 1997, Shui served as Associate Conductor to Neeme Järvi at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and in the same period assisted Kurt Masur at the New York Philharmonic and worked with Pierre Boulez and The Cleveland Orchestra at its Young Conductors Project in Paris.


Since 1998, Lan Shui has recorded over 16 CDs for BIS (including the first ever complete cycle of symphonies by Tcherepnin with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, and music by Arnold and Hindemith with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra), with soloists such as Evelyn Glennie, Cho-Liang Lin and Gil Shaham.  ‘Seascape’ was chosen as one of the best releases of 2007 by International Music Web, and his album entitled ‘Movement’, with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, was nominated for a Grammy Award.


Lan Shui is the recipient of several international awards: from the Beijing Arts Festival, the New York Tcherepnin Society, the 37th Besancon Conductors’ Competition in France and Boston University (Distinguished Alumni Award) as well as the Cultural Medallion, Singapore’s highest accolade in the arts.


Yo-Yo Ma


Yo-Yo Ma’s multi-faceted career is testament to his continual search for new ways to communicate with audiences, and to his personal desire for artistic growth and renewal.  Whether performing new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, coming together with colleagues for chamber music or exploring cultures and musical forms outside the Western classical tradition, Ma strives to find connections that stimulate the imagination.

Yo-Yo Ma maintains a balance between his engagements as soloist with orchestras throughout the world and his recital and chamber music activities.  He draws inspiration from a wide circle of collaborators, creating programmes with such artists as Emanuel Ax, Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, Kayhan Kalhor, Ton Koopman, Bobby McFerrin, Edgar Meyer, Mark Morris, Riccardo Muti, Mark O’Connor, Kathryn Stott, Michael Tilson Thomas, Wu Man, Wu Tong, Damian Woetzel, and David Zinman.  Each of these collaborations is fueled by the artists’ interactions, often extending the boundaries of a particular genre.  One of Ma’s goals is the exploration of music as a means of communication, and as a vehicle for the migration of ideas, across a range of cultures throughout the world.  To that end, he has taken time to immerse himself in subjects as diverse as native Chinese music with its distinctive instruments and the music of the Kalahari bush people in Africa.

Expanding upon this interest, in 1998, Ma established the Silk Road Project to promote the study of the cultural, artistic and intellectual traditions along the ancient trade route that stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pacific Ocean.  By examining the flow of ideas throughout this vast area, the Project seeks to illuminate the heritages of the Silk Road countries and identify the voices that represent these traditions today.

For more than ten years, the Silk Road Project has established a growing network of creative partnerships.  In collaboration with leading museums in Asia, Europe and North America, the Project has co-produced a series of performance, exhibition and educational events focusing on great works of art from each museum’s collections.  The Project has presented residencies at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, the Nara National Museum in Nara, Japan, the Kyushu National Museum in Dazaifu, Japan, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Rubin Museum in New York City, and most recently the Rietberg Museum in Zurich, Switzerland.  Its ongoing affiliation with Harvard University has made it possible to broaden and enhance the Project’s educational programmes.  In the 2009-2010 school year, the Silk Road Project began a multi-year partnership with arts and educational organizations to pilot Silk Road Connect, a multidisciplinary educational initiative for middle school students in New York City public schools. 

The Project’s performance-based initiatives include professional workshops co-produced with the Tanglewood Music Center, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Carnegie Hall.  Workshops conducted with the Silk Road Ensemble include ‘Mentoring, Creating and Communicating’, which highlighted performance practices of music from Azerbaijan, Mainland China, India and Iran, and ‘Tradition and Innovation’, which featured new commissions from eight Silk Road composers.  Over the life of the Project – more than 60 works have been commissioned specifically for the Silk Road Ensemble, which tours annually.

Through the Silk Road Project, as throughout his career, Yo-Yo Ma seeks to expand the cello repertoire, frequently performing lesser known music of the 20th century and commissions of new concertos and recital pieces.  He has premiered works by a diverse group of composers, among them Stephen Albert, Elliott Carter, Chen Yi, Richard Danielpour, Osvaldo Golijov, John Harbison, Leon Kirchner, Peter Lieberson, Christopher Rouse, Bright Sheng, Tan Dun, John Williams and Dmitry Yanov-Yanovsky.

Appointed in 2009 as the Chicago Symphony’s first Creative Consultant, Ma serves as a partner to Riccardo Muti to provide collaborative musical leadership and guidance on innovative programme development for The Institute for Learning, Access and Training at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and for Chicago Symphony artistic initiatives.  The focus of Ma’s work is the transformative power music can have in the lives of individuals, and on increasing the number and variety of opportunities audiences have to experience music in their communities.

Ma is a Sony Classical artist, and his discography of over 75 albums (including more than 15 Grammy Award winners) reflects his wide-ranging interests.  He has made several successful recordings that defy categorization, among them ‘Hush’ with Bobby McFerrin, ‘Appalachia Waltz’ and ‘Appalachian Journey’ with Mark O’Connor and Edgar Meyer and two Grammy-winning tributes to the music of Brazil, ‘Obrigado Brazil’ and ‘Obrigado Brazil – Live in Concert’.  Ma’s recent recordings include Mendelssohn Trios with Emanuel Ax and Itzhak Perlman, ‘Songs of Joy and Peace’; ‘Paris: La Belle Époque’, with pianist Kathryn Stott; and ‘New Impossibilities’, a live album recorded with the Silk Road Ensemble and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  Across this full range of releases Ma remains one of the best-selling recording artists in the classical field.  All of his recent albums have quickly entered the Billboard chart of classical best sellers, remaining in the Top 15 for extended periods, often with as many as four titles simultaneously on the list.
Yo-Yo Ma is strongly committed to educational programmes that not only bring young audiences into contact with music but also allow them to participate in its creation.  While touring, he takes time whenever possible to conduct masterclasses as well as more informal programmes for students-musicians and non-musicians alike.  At the same time he continues to develop new concert programmes for family audiences (helping, for instance, to inaugurate the family series at Carnegie Hall).  In each of these undertakings, he works to connect music to students’ daily surroundings and activities with the goal of making music and creativity a vital part of children’s lives from an early age.  He has also reached young audiences through appearances on ‘Arthur’, ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ and ‘Sesame Street’.

Yo-Yo Ma was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris.  He began to study the cello with his father at age four and soon came with his family to New York, where he spent most of his formative years.  Later, his principal teacher was Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School.  He sought out a traditional liberal arts education to expand upon his conservatory training, graduating from Harvard University in 1976.  He has received numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the Glenn Gould Prize (1999), the National Medal of the Arts (2001), the Dan David Prize (2006), the Sonning Prize (2006), the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award (2008) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010).  Appointed a CultureConnect Ambassador by the United States Department of State in 2002, Ma has met with, trained and mentored thousands of students worldwide in countries including Lithuania, Korea, Lebanon, Azerbaijan and Mainland China.  Ma serves as a UN Messenger of Peace and as a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts & Humanities.  He has performed for eight American presidents, most recently at the invitation of President Obama on the occasion of the 56th Inaugural Ceremony.

Ma and his wife have two children.  He plays two instruments, a 1733 Montagnana cello from Venice and the 1712 Davidoff Stradivarius.


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Programme Notes Preview
Programme Notes
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Programme Length

Running time of the concert is about 1 hour and 30 minutes with an intermission of 20 minutes.

Audience are strongly advised to arrive punctually.  No latecomers will be admitted until a suitable break or the interval in the programme.

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Ticket and Concession

Tickets available from 19 January onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet and credit card telephone booking.
On the first counter booking day, each patron can purchase up to a maximum of 6 tickets of the concert 'Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and Yo-Yo Ma' per transaction.

Half-price tickets available for
senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (Limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis).


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Credit Card Telephone Booking: 2111 5999
Internet Booking:
Programme Enquiries: 2268 7321
Ticketing Enquiries: 2734 9009

The presenter reserves the right to change the programme and substitute artists should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.

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