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December
Pianist Mikhail Pletnev plays at HK Cultural Centre on Jan. 15
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The Leisure and Cultural Services Department presents Mikhail Pletnev, an all-round musician who defies categorisation, in a piano recital at the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on Thursday, January 15 at 8pm.

The programme includes Schumann's "Bunte Blaetter, Op.99, Nos. 4-8" and "Fantasy in C, Op. 17" and Tchaikovsky's "18 Pieces, Op. 72".

The New York Times has praised the Russian pianist for his "solo firepower" and "magisterial command".

Born in 1957 in Archangel, Russia, Pletnev displayed exceptional musical talent from an early age. At 13, he began to study at the Moscow Conservatory with famous pianists and teachers Jacob Flier and Lev Vlasenko. In 1978, Pletnev won the Gold Medal at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow.

In 1980, while pursuing his career as an international concert pianist, Pletnev made his debut as a conductor in the former Soviet Union; he has since been a podium guest with many of the country's and the world's leading orchestras. This year, he was reappointed music director of the Russian National Orchestra.

As one of the leading pianists of our day, Pletnev makes regular concert and recital appearances at all the important music centres and music festivals in Europe, Asia and Russia. He has worked with renowned conductors such as Abbado, Haitink, Maazel, Chailly, Sanderling, Blomstedt, Jarvi, Ashkenazy, Gatti, Thielemann and Giulini and with great orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Philharmonia, the London Symphony, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony.

Pletnev's first recording as a pianist for Deutsche Grammophon was of works by Chopin. There followed recordings of solo pieces by Beethoven, Liszt, and Prokofiev, a recital with works by Rachmaninov, Beethoven and Mendelssohn as well as a CD with "Lyric Pieces" by Edvard Grieg, including the world premiere of the composer's recently discovered seven early fugues.

The pianist is also a composer in his own right. His works include "Classical Symphony", "Triptych for Symphony Orchestra", "Fantasy on Kazakh Themes for Violin and Orchestra", and "Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra".

In 1995 and 1996, former Russian President Boris Yeltsin twice honoured Pletnev with Russia's State Prize for his contributions to music.

Tickets for "Piano Recital by Mikhail Pletnev", priced at $480, $380, $280 and $180, are available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients.

For programme enquiries, call 2268 7321; for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009; for credit card telephone booking, call 2111 5999; for internet booking, visit http://www.urbtix.gov.hk ; for more information, visit http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/cp .

Professor Li Mingqiang will give a pre-concert talk in Putonghua at 8 pm on January 8 (Thursday) at AC2, Level 4, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Admission is free on a first-come, first-seated basis.

Ends/Monday, December 8, 2003
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