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'Our Music Talents' Series: Hong Kong Virtuosi

Venue Date Time Price
Auditorium, Tsuen Wan Town Hall
map
17.11.2012(Sat)
20:00
$160, $120, $80
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About the Performers

Hong Kong Virtuosi
Yang Yang (Conductor)
Louise Kwong (Soprano)

Hong Kong Virtuosi

Hong Kong Virtuosi is drawn from Hong Kong’s finest musicians and distinguished professionals.  Giving its public debut during the ‘Musicarama’ in 1997, the group later registered as a non-profit organization in 2002.  Its members share a commitment to music making at the highest level of excellence with a mission to serve the Hong Kong community.  The group has actively participated in different concerts with an aim to promote classical music to Hong Kong people.  Hong Kong Virtuosi has shared the stage with many international colleagues including Colleen Lee, members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi, Taipei Symphony Orchestra.  After successful performances of Madama Butterfly, La Fille du Régiment, L’Elisir d’Amore and Lucia di Lammermoor in 2009 to 2012, they have again been invited to participate in 2013 Musica Viva production of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s I  Pagliacci.

 

Yang Yang

Conductor

Born into a musical family, Yang Yang began learning the piano under Professor Li Qifang when he was a young boyHe later learned conducting under Xu Xin and Wu Lingfen before he entered the Central Conservatory of Music to study conducting under Professor Yu Feng.  He came first in the Dimitris Mitropoulos International Competition for Orchestral Conducting in Greece in November 2006, winning by sheer excellence in performance and unrivalled musicianship. It made him the first conductor from China to win in this prestigious international competition.

As one of the most active conductors in China, Yang has been working closely with major orchestras and opera houses in the country, as well as many orchestras of the world, such as the Gurzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker, the Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, State Philharmonic Orchestra of Rhineland-Palatinate, Rome Symphony Orchestra, Arena di Verona, Orchestre Regional de Cannes, Orchestra Poitou-charentes, Greek Symphony Orchestra, Inchon Philharmonic Orchestra and many others. The artists he has shared the stage with include the cellists Lynn Harrell and Alban Gerhardt, violinists Augustin Dumay, Renaud Capuçon and Cho-Liang Lin, pianists Lang Lang, Barry Douglas and Kun Woo Paik, soprano Sumi Jo and clarinettist Sabine Meyer.

Yang’s conducting career began at the first Beijing International Music Festival in 1998, which was to continue for eight consecutive years on the same podium, with him conducting operas and concerts.  Between 2000 and 2005, he was Assistant Conductor of the China Philharmonic Orchestra. He participated in the conducting masterclass given by Maestro Myung Whun Chung in Korea in 2006.  He was instrumental in the founding of the Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra in 2009.
 
Between 2009 and 2012, Yang led the Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra through three successful orchestral seasons, or close to 200 concert performances.  Initiated by him, the Orchestra went into long-term strategic partnerships with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Teatro Comunale of Florence, whereby it was able to establish artist exchange programmes, musicianship orientation training programmes and a collaborative system for opera productions.  Such proactive efforts have seen encouraging results, with this young orchestra quickly turning a professional orchestra that meets international standard.  Within its short history of three years, the Orchestra, led by Yang, has performed in many music festivals in Europe, including the Mecklenburg Festival and Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany, the Ravello Festival, Almeria Festival and the Taomina Festival in Italy, and the Slovenian Festival Ljubljana. Everywhere they went, they were greeted with both popular and critical acclaim.  Yang Yang is currently Resident Conductor of the China Philharmonic Orchestra, and Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

Louise Kwong

Soprano

Louise Kwong is currently a student at the Dutch National Opera Academy in Amsterdam.  She obtained her Master of Music degree at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where she studies classical voice with Sasja Hunnego.  Before moving to the Netherlands, she has studied with Chan Siu-kwan and Kathleen Livingstone.  She obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Western Music from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Post-graduate Diploma with distinction from the Royal College of Music, London.

In April 2012, Louise won the Second Prize, the Best Soprano Prize in Memory of ‘Dame Joan Sutherlands’ and the Audience Prize in the 18th Ferruccio Tagliavini International Competition for Opera Singers held in Austria.  She was invited to give concerts at Graz Opera House in April and with the Graz Philharmonic Orchestra in August 2012.

Her past concert engagements include St John Passion and St Mathew Passion by Bach with Die Konzertisten and Mass in B Minor with Professor Helmuth Rilling.  Her past operatic appearance includes Alisa in Donizetti’s opera Lucia di Lammermoor with Musica Viva.  Her recent engagements on concert platform include Karl Jenkin’s Requiem with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong under the composer’s baton.

 

 

Programme

Spohr

Grand Nonet in F, Op. 31

Debussy (arr. Schoenberg)

Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, L86

 

(Conductor: Yang Yang)

Debussy (arr. Lam Fung)

5 Songs

  Harmonie du Soir
Dans le Jardin
Beau Soir
Spleen
Jane

 

(Conductor: Yang Yang; Soprano: Louise Kwong)

Richard Strauss

Le bourgeois gentilhomme, Suite for Orchestra, Op. 60

 

(Conductor: Yang Yang)

 

About the Programme

Giving its public debut in 1997, the Hong Kong Virtuosi is an ensemble mainly formed by staff and graduates of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.  In this concert the Virtuosi will be under the baton of the sought-after young Chinese conductor Yang Yang in three pieces, Debussy’s masterpiece Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, a chamber music version by Schoenberg, Debussy’s five songs and Richard Strauss’s incidental music for Molière's comedy Le bourgeois gentilhomme, originally to be performed in tandem with Ariadne auf Naxos; for this the ensemble will be augmented to more than 30 players.  Yang Yang won First Prize at the 2006 Dimitris Mitropoulos International Competition for Orchestral Conducting held in Greece, the first Chinese to win this competition.  The concert also features Spohr’s rarely heard Grand Nonet, for wind and strings, written for Haydn's errant colleague Tost, and five songs of Debussy, now specially arranged for a small accompanying ensemble by Hong Kong composer Lam Fung.  Our young soprano Louise Kwong will sing these songs.  Louise has recently won three opera prizes at the 18th Ferruccio Tagliavini International Competition for Opera Singers held in Austria this year, including the grand second prize, the first Hong Kong singer to achieve this.

Programme Notes

17 Nov
17 Nov

Ticketing

Tickets available from 28 August onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet and credit card telephone booking.

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

'Our Music Talents' Series Discount

For each purchase of standard tickets of 'Our Music Talents' Series in the 'Debussy Year' Series for 'Piano Recital by Zhao Ning', 'Opus One Piano Trio', 'Two-Piano Concert by HK Duo', 'Two-Piano Concert by Raymond Young and Ma Cong', 'Debussy’s Chamber Music' and 'Hong Kong Virtuosi': 5% off for any 2 concerts; 10% off for any 3 concerts; 15% off for any 4 concerts; 20% off for any 5 concerts; 25% off for all 6 concerts.

Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount schemes for each purchase.  Please inform the box office staff at the time of purchase.

Programme Length
Running time of the concert is about 1 hour and 50 minutes with an intermission of 15 minutes.

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

Enquiries
Credit Card Telephone Booking: 2111 5999

Internet Booking: www.urbtix.hk

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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