The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, widely regarded as one of Asia’s leading orchestras, returns to the UK for the first time since 2003 for two concerts as part of a major European tour, including its Cadogan Hall debut (24 February) just days after Chinese New Year, and Symphony Hall, Birmingham (3 March).
Conducted by Jaap van Zweden, acclaimed music director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012, the concert showcases some of China’s best artistic talent and includes Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with violinist Ning Feng and the UK premiere of a new work from composer Fung Lam.
In a story of unity currently scarcely heard in China, the programme combines the talents of a mainland Chinese violinist and a Hong Kong composer: soloist Ning Feng – the first student at London’s Royal Academy of Music to ever receive 100% for a final recital. Feng makes his professional London debut at Cadogan Hall with Beethoven’s much-loved and only violin concerto.
Fung Lam’s new work, Quintessence, which was commissioned by the orchestra, received its world premiere in 2014 at the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra’s 40th birthday concert. This 10-minute piece by Lam, who ‘shapes his musical world with dreamy individuality’ (Evening Standard), only adds to secure Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra’s ambition of showcasing the best of Chinese music and talent through its active commissioning programme.
The orchestra continues to develop its reputation as the magnet for international stardom in Asia, and over its last few seasons has welcomed the industry’s best loved artists to its hall. These include Anne-Sophie Mutter, Matthias Goerne, Steven Isserlis, Miloš and Nicola Benedetti as well as Chinese superstars Lang Lang, Yundi Li, Yuja Wang and Ning Feng.