Encore Series: Piano Recital by Ivo Pogorelich

09.12.2014 (Tue)
Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
$500, 400, 300, 200
Buy Tickets

‘One of the more compelling performers before the public today’  The New York Times

‘Pogorelich galvanized the concert world with his technically astounding, deeply personal and unabashedly eccentric playing.’  The New York Times





‘He is a genius.’  In one of the most unconventional settings, Martha Argerich declared the Belgrade-born pianist Ivo Pogorelich a pianist of unsurpassed skill and esoteric insights at the Chopin competition that Pogorelich did not make to the final.  His unusual approach to music has since created sensation; The New York Times once wrote, ‘it was as if he played 200 years ahead of our time.’

Pogorelich is known today as ‘a poet of the instrument’.  The pianist continues to perform on stages around the world and, since his reputation grows, contributes to Sarajevo by setting up foundations for musical and humanitarian causes.  He is also one of the most frequently-recorded pianists, having an extensive catalogue of repertory ranging from Baroque to 20th century.

A rare event of the legendary Pogorelich in action will begin with two grand romantic fantasies, Liszt’s Dante-Sonata visioning the tortures in hell and joys in heaven, and Schumann’s Fantasy in C filled with lyricism and tenderness.  The equally demanding second half consists of the ballet scenes of Stravinsky’s Petrushka turned into piano bravuras, and Brahms’ Paganini variations, turning the most famous melody into a full-fledge symphony for piano.



Après une lecture du Dante, fantasia quasi sonata


Fantasie in C, Op. 17


Three Movements from Petrushka


Variations on a Theme by Paganini in A Minor, Op. 35


Running time of this performance is about 2 hours with an intermission of 20 minutes.  Audience are strongly advised to arrive punctually.  No latecomers will be admitted until the interval or a suitable break in the programme.

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

About the Performer

Ivo Pogorelich was born in Belgrade in 1958 as son of a musician.  He received his first piano lessons at the age of seven and went to Moscow at the age of 12 to study at the Central Special Music School and then at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory.  In 1976 he began intensive studies with the renowned pianist and teacher Aliza Kezeradze, with whom he was married from 1980 until her untimely death in 1996.  Kezeradze was able to transmit the spirit and matter of the school of Beethoven and Liszt, originated in Vienna and then carried through to the Conservatory of St. Petersburg, flourishing towards the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th Century.


Pogorelich won the first prize at the Alessandro Casagrande Competition at Terni (Italy) in 1978 and the first price at the Montreal International Music Competition in 1980.  In October of the same year he entered the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw where, when prevented from participating in the final contest as a soloist with the orchestra, a fierce controversy resulted in the renowned Argentinian pianist Martha Argerich, a member of the jury, protesting and leaving the competition, joined by other members of the jury panel, with the words ‘He is a genius’.  This event drew the attention of the whole musical world to the young pianist.


Ever since his debut recital in New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1981, Pogorelich has created a sensation with his performances in all the great concert halls throughout the world; starting in the United States and followed by performances on all four continents.  He has received invitations to play with numerous major orchestras such as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras, all the London Orchestras, the Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles, New York Philharmonic Orchestras of the United States and major orchestras elsewhere.  Wherever and whenever he plays, his stunning interpretations of the music confirm the originality of his talent and intellect.  The New York Times once wrote ‘He played each note exactly, with such a feeling, such expression, he was an entire orchestra – it was as if he played 200 years ahead of our time’.  In this spirit Pogorelich is known today as a poet of the instrument.


In the recent season 2012/2013 Pogorelich, in addition to various recitals, went on a concert tour with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, conductor Myung-Wung Chung, performing in Paris, Dortmund, Luxembourg, Innsbruck and Berlin, which was received with enthusiasm all over.


Besides his extensive concert performances, Pogorelich offers a lot to the community by supporting young musicians.  In 1986 he established a foundation in Croatia to raise funds for scholarships for young artists to further their studies abroad.  At the German spa town of Bad Worishofen, Ivo Pogorelich created a festival, which went on for a decade, with the aim of supporting promising young musicians at the very beginning of their careers by giving them the opportunity of performing in company with their well-known colleagues.  In 1993 the Pogorelich Piano Competition was held in the Californian city of Pasadena.  A biannual performance is offered in the city of Lugano, where Pogorelich lives, with the aim of promoting and helping young musicians.


In 1994, the pianist set up a foundation in Sarajevo to raise money to rebuild a maternity hospital in the city.  Pogorelich gives charity concerts in support of, for example the Red Cross or the fight against illnesses, such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, among other projects.  One of such is to offer his advice to young artists by occasionally giving masterclasses.  In 1987 he received the honour of being named an ‘Ambassador of Goodwill' by UNESCO.  Pogorelich has recorded an impressive number of CD’s with Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft, with a repertory ranging from Baroque to Classic, to Romantic and the music of the 20th century.  The cumulative effect of this recorded material has confirmed his status which many see as being legendary.


Encore Series: Piano Recital by Ivo Pogorelich

Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre09.12.2014 (Tue)
$500, 400, 300, 200
Buy Tickets

Pre-concert Talk


Tickets available from 13 August onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet, by mobile ticketing app 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 full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis).


‘Great Music’ Package Discount

For each purchase of standard tickets for ‘Piano Recital by Ivo Pogorelich’, ‘The Tallis Scholars’, ‘Los Romeros Guitar Quartet’, ‘Murray Perahia and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields’, ‘When Petals Fall in Serenity - Atmospheric Music Theatre by LAW Wing-fai’ and ‘Opera: Puccini’s Turandot’: 5% off for any 2 programmes; 10% off for any 3 programmes; 15% off for any 4 programmes or more.


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 Enquiries: 2268 7321

Ticketing Enquiries: 3761 6661

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Internal Booking:

Programme Notes

Pre-concert Talk


The Tradition of Piano Recital (Conducted in Cantonese)

Speaker: Norman Lee (Pianist, Music Educator)


Free admission and limited seats on a first-come-first-served basis