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Ashkenazy leads Sydney Symphony in concert with HK pianist

     Sydney Symphony, under the baton of maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy, will join locally-born young pianist Rachel Cheung, to give an all-Russian repertoire concert in October when it visits Hong Kong for the first time in 35 years.

     Cheung will perform Rachmaninov's "Piano Concerto No 2 in C Minor, Op.18", and the orchestra will play Rachmaninov's "Vocalise" and Prokofiev's "Symphony No 5 in B-flat, Op.100". The concert will be staged at 8pm, Friday, October 23, at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall.

     Founded in 1932, the Sydney Symphony is the resident orchestra at the iconic Sydney Opera House, giving more than 100 performances each year and also performing concerts in a variety of venues in Sydney and regional New South Wales. International tours to Europe, Asia and the United States have earned the orchestra world-wide recognition for artistic excellence.

     The symphony's award-winning Education Programme is central to its commitment to developing audiences and engaging the participation of young people. The symphony also commissions new orchestral music and promotes the work of Australian composers through performances and recordings.

     Since Vladimir Ashkenazy first came to prominence on the world stage in the 1955 Chopin Competition in Warsaw he has built an extraordinary career, not only as one of the most renowned and revered pianists of our times, but as an artist whose creative life encompasses a vast range of activities and continues to offer inspiration to music-lovers across the world.

     Conducting has formed the largest part of his activities for the past 20 years. Formerly Chief Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic (1998 to 2003), and Music Director of NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo (2004 to 2007). In January, 2009, he took up the new position of Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser to the Sydney Symphony. A regular visitor to Sydney over many years, he already shares a warm relationship with the orchestra. They will collaborate on a number of exciting projects including composer festivals, major recording projects and international touring activities.

     Rachel Cheung is currently studying at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, under Professor Eleanor Wong - Senior Lecturer (Keyboard) and Artist-in-Residence. Awards under her belt include the Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition (the United States); the International Competition for Young Pianist in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz (Ukraine); the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod (Wales) and the Alessandro Casagrande International Piano Competition (Italy).

     Cheung has performed frequently in Hong Kong and overseas, and collaborated with The National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, Orchestra at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Junior Chamber Orchestra and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta.

     The performance by the Sydney Symphony is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Tickets priced at $200, $320, $450 and $580 is available now at URBTIX outlets. Senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients may have 50% off (limited quotas for students and CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). A maximum discount of 20% is offered for group booking scheme. Please check the promotional leaflet for details.

     For programme enquiries, call 2268 7321 or visit Ticketing enquiries and reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at

Ends/Friday, August 28, 2009


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