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The English Concert and renowned conductor Harry Bicket to perform with soprano Carolyn Sampson

     The Leisure and Cultural Services Department's Great Music series will present the English Concert in October. Under the direction of renowned conductor Harry Bicket, the ensemble will perform with soprano Carolyn Sampson to offer Hong Kong patrons an unforgettable evening.

     The period instrument ensemble the English Concert was founded by Trevor Pinnock in 1973. In 2007, Harry Bicket, internationally renowned for his work in opera with the finest singers of the age, became its Artistic Director. Internationally renowned as an opera and concert conductor of distinction, Bicket is especially noted for his interpretation of baroque and classical repertoire. He has led the English Concert in a series of outstanding performances and recordings with singers including Ian Bostridge, Vesselina Kasarova, David Daniels, Andreas Scholl, Lucy Crowe, Sarah Connolly and Mark Padmore, among others. The English Concert performs widely in the UK and abroad. It also boasts an extensive discography, including more than 100 recordings with Pinnock for Deutsche Grammophon Archiv, a series of critically acclaimed CDs for Harmonia Mundi with violinist Andrew Manze, and, with Bicket, widely praised recordings with David Daniels and Elizabeth Watts.

     The concert in Hong Kong will feature masterpieces by the two great baroque composers. Bach's "Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C" and "Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C Minor" will be performed, and the British soprano Carolyn Sampson, widely acclaimed for her interpretation of early music, will join in the vocal works of Handel. Works by Handel to be performed include three arias from his great opera "Giulio Cesare" as well as "Silete Venti, Motet for Soprano and Orchestra in B-flat".

     Carolyn Sampson has enjoyed notable successes in the UK as well as throughout continental Europe and the US, and is equally at home on concert and opera stages. Her numerous concert engagements are held in Europe and the US. She regularly appears at the BBC Proms. Her many sacred music recordings have been highly acclaimed and selected for BBC Music magazine's Record of the Month. Her recording of Purcell songs for BIS was selected as Editor's Choice in the December 2007 issue of Gramophone magazine.

     The English Concert will perform at 8pm on October 16 (Tuesday) at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall. Tickets priced at $400, $300, $200 and $100 are available at all URBTIX outlets, on the Internet and by telephone credit card booking. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and their minders, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis).

     Great Music package discounts are available for any purchase of tickets for two or more concerts among the English Concert, Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica, Wells Cathedral Choir, Piano Recital by Krystian Zimerman and Piano Recital by Piotr Anderszewski. Please refer to the programme booklet and leaflet for details.

     For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7321, or visit For ticketing enquiries, please call 2734 9009. For credit card telephone bookings, please call 2111 5999. For Internet bookings, please visit

     A pre-concert talk, "Reliving High Baroque: The English Concert and the 'Early Music Revival'", will be conducted in Cantonese by Dennis Wu at 6.45pm on October 16 (Tuesday) at the Exhibition Gallery, 7/F, High Block, Hong Kong City Hall. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ends/Friday, August 31, 2012


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