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July
Vienna Philharmonic returns with concerts in September
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Lovers of classical music will be dazzled this September.

One of the world's best orchestras, the Vienna Philharmonic, will give two concerts at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall a decade after their sold-out performances here.

Renowned Russian Valery Gergiev will conduct the orchestra to play Mozart's "Overture: La Clemenza di Tito"; Shostakovich's "Symphony No.9 in E-flat, Op. 70" and Brahms' "Symphony No.4 in E Minor, Op. 98" on Sunday, September 24; and Mozart's "Symphony No. 36 in C, 'Linz', K425" and Tchaikovsky's "Symphony No.5 in E Minor, Op. 64" on Monday, September 25.

Considered one of the finest orchestras in the world, the Vienna Philharmonic was founded in 1842. Since its beginning, the orchestra has been made up of musicians from the state-run Vienna State Opera a practice that is still required by the Philharmonic statutes today.

In its history of more than 160 years, the orchestra has been associated with many gifted composers, conductors and musicians and won their highest commendations: Richard Wagner described it as "one of the most outstanding in the world"; Johannes Brahms counted himself as a "friend and admirer"; and Richard Strauss made this conclusive remark, "all praise of the Vienna Philharmonic reveals itself as an understatement".

The orchestra's list of conductors also included many prominent people such as Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Claudio Abbado to name a few.

The Vienna Philharmonic is not only Austria's most highly coveted "cultural export", but an ambassador of peace and humanity. For its artistic achievements, the orchestra has received many awards, gold and platinum discs, national honours, and honorary memberships in many cultural institutions.

Born in Moscow in 1953, Valery Gergiev studied conducting with Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatory. While he was still a student, he won the "All-Union Conductors' Competition Prize" in Moscow. At 23, he won the prestigious Herbert von Karajan Conductors' Competition in Berlin. In 1988, he was appointed chief conductor and artistic director of the Kirov Opera. In 1996, the Russian government appointed him general director of the Mariinsky Theatre/Kirov Opera.

Gergiev has conducted most of the world's leading orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Tokyo's NHK Symphony and the Berlin Philharmonic.

There is also a list of prizes and honours under his belt, such as the "State Prize of Russia"; Russia's prestigious "Order of Friendship" and Armenia's "Order of St. Mesrop Mashtots"; "An Artist of the World" by UNESCO; "Crystal Prize" by the World Economic Forum for his dedication to the arts and his contribution to cultural dialogue; "People's Artist of Ukraine" and "Conductor of the Year" at the Classical Music Awards.

"Concert by Vienna Philharmonic" is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

Tickets ranged from $300 to $1,800 will be available tomorrow (July 25) onwards at URBTIX outlets, while senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients may have 50% off (limited quotas for CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). A 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues.

For enquiries about the programmes, call 2268 7321 or visit http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/cp. 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 http://www.urbtix.hk.

Ends/Monday, July 24, 2006
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