The Leisure and Cultural Services Department's Great Music series will present concerts by the San Francisco Symphony in November. Under the baton of music director and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, the orchestra will deliver an enriching programme to Hong Kong patrons. Also set to perform in one of the concerts, on November 8, is the sensational pianist Yuja Wang.
The San Francisco Symphony (SFS), regarded as one of the most prestigious orchestras in the world, enjoys a reputation as an adventurous and inspiring symphony orchestra, particularly under the leadership of its Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, who has held his position since 1995. Under his leadership, the SFS has given numerous concerts locally and abroad, and has made highly acclaimed recordings on the SFS Media label, including a Grammy Award-winning Mahler cycle.
Tilson Thomas' innovative programming is well known, and features exciting programmes like those to be presented at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. On November 8, the orchestra will perform Rachmaninov's deeply romantic Second Symphony, and will be joined by young piano sensation Wang for Prokofiev's demanding "Piano Concerto No. 2". On November 9, Tilson Thomas and the orchestra will take the stage for Mahler's immensely moving Fifth Symphony, their interpretation of which has been much heralded worldwide. Music by maverick American composers Henry Cowell and Lou Harrison will complete the not-to-be-missed closing concert.
In its centennial 2011-12 season, the orchestra reprised its acclaimed "American Mavericks" festival of music by pioneering modern American composers, featuring the world premieres of four commissioned works in two weeks of concerts. In 2011, they conducted a three-week tour of Europe. This season, the orchestra's two-week November 2012 tour of Asia with pianist Wang will take it to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Taipei and Macao.
As a rising star, Yuja Wang has given recitals in major cities throughout Asia, Europe and North America, is a dedicated performer of chamber music, and has made regular appearances at summer festivals. The 25-year-old Chinese pianist is widely recognised for playing that combines the spontaneity and fearless imagination of youth with the discipline and precision of a mature artist. Regularly lauded for her controlled, prodigious technique, Wang has been praised for her authority over the most complex technical demands of repertoire and the depth of her musical insight, as well as her fresh interpretations and graceful, charismatic stage presence.
"(Wang) seems to have everything: speed, flexibility, pianistic thunder and interpretive nuance," noted the New York Times in a concert review.
Concerts by the San Francisco Symphony will be staged at 8pm on November 8 and 9 (Thursday and Friday) at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Tickets priced at $980, $750, $600, $450 and $300 will be available on September 13 (Thursday) onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet and by credit card telephone booking. On the first counter booking day, each patron can purchase up to a maximum of 10 tickets for the concert per transaction. Half-price tickets will be 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 full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis).
For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7321, or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/Programme/en/music/00000412.html. For ticketing enquiries, please call 2734 9009. For credit card telephone bookings, please call 2111 5999. For Internet bookings, please visit www.urbtix.hk.
The concert on November 9 is sponsored by Mr Albert Hung, Mr Wilfred Ng and Mr Raymond Leung.
Ends/Tuesday, September 11, 2012