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Gidon Kremer has fun with his orchestra and comic duo

     Violin maestro Gidon Kremer will lead the Kremerata Baltica to present two very different concerts. The first performance will feature classical music with Kremer as soloist; the second will be an alternative show combining music and comedy, "Being Gidon Kremer - The Rise and Fall of the Classical Musician" featuring the talented music and comedy duo Igudesman and Joo.

     The programme on the first night (November 13) comprises Part's "Fratres for Violin, Strings and Percussion", Serksnyte's "Midsummer Song for Strings" (commissioned work for Kremerata Baltica, 2009), Schubert's "Rondo for Violin and Strings", Piazzolla's "Suite Punta del Este" and Mozart's "Serenata Notturna K 239".

     On November 14, "Being Gidon Kremer - The Rise and Fall of the Classical Musician" comes with an entertaining mix of masterpieces by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, J Strauss and others, taking the audience on an extraordinary musical voyage. The story begins in a classroom, with a teacher who forces his pupils into alternative forms, making the entire Kremerata orchestra do Irish dance and turning Bach into Astor Piazzolla. It ends up in the recording studio, where an over-enthusiastic record producer terrorises the artists with his marketing ideas.

     Kremer was awarded the first prize of the Latvian Republic at age 16 and began his studies with Oistrakh at the Moscow Conservatory two years later. He has won prestigious awards including the 1967 Queen Elizabeth Competition and the first prize in both Paganini and Tchaikovsky International Competitions. Kremer's repertoire is unusually extensive, encompassing the classical and romantic violin works, and music by 20th and 21st century masters. He has associated with diverse composers, bringing their music to audiences in a way that respects tradition yet remains contemporary. He also founded the Kremerata Baltica in 1997, which has become one of today's prominent European ensembles. The ensemble was awarded the Grammy for the Nonesuch recording "After Mozart", co-produced by the group and Kremer, in the category "Best Small Ensemble Performance" and an ECHO prize in Germany in 2002.

     The violin and piano duo Igudesman and Joo met each other at school and created "A Little Nightmare Music", a show they took on tour to make people laugh. They became hugely popular, with 15 million hits to date on Youtube. Renowned violinist Julian Rachlin praised them as "two top class musicians and perhaps the best entertainers I've ever seen. I laugh my head off every time I see them, at the same time as being touched by their wonderful musicianship. They got me, I'm a fan!"

     Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the two concerts will be at 8pm on November 13 (Friday) at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre and on November 14 (Saturday) at the Auditorium, Tsuen Wan Town Hall. Tickets priced from $100 to $480 are now available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients (limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis). A group booking discount is also available. Please refer to the programme leaflet for details.

     For programme enquiries, call 2268 7321; for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009 (from September 19 onwards); for credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999; for Internet bookings, visit; for more information, visit .

Ends/Friday, September 18, 2009

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