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Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra promotes universal brotherhood in Beethoven 9 for Shanghai Expo (with photos)

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO), one of Asia's leading orchestras, will present Beethoven's popular Symphony No. 9 to promote universal brotherhood at Expo 2010 Shanghai China (Shanghai Expo).

Entitled "Bank of Communications brings to you: Hong Kong Phil in Beethoven 9", the concert will be staged on September 4 at the Oriental Concert Hall of the Shanghai Oriental Art Centre. It is a highlight of the HKSAR cultural programme for Shanghai Expo.

HKPO's Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, Maestro Edo de Waart, said, "The HKPO will team up with soprano Zhang Liping, mezzo-soprano Liang Ning, tenor Warren Mok, bass-baritone Shen Yang and the Shanghai Opera House Choir in the performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. which includes the universally celebrated final movement 'An die Freude (Ode to Joy)'.”

According to Maestro de Waart, the concert will be "a ninth to remember" as the collaboration will signify friendship and fraternity as well as resonate with the Expo theme - "Better City, Better Life".

"Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 is among the most frequently performed symphonies on special occasions around the world. It is considered an outstanding masterpiece of the Western classical repertoire," Maestro de Waart added.

The concert will also feature a newly commissioned work "Rong" by Hong Kong composer Fung Lam, the youngest Chinese composer commissioned by the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Born in Hong Kong, Fung Lam studied composition in the United Kingdom. His teachers were renowned classical music composers Martin Butler, Michael Finnissy and Michael Zev Gordon.

Mr Lam said, "As a tribute to Hong Kong, 'Rong' will be premiered at the World Expo.

"The six-minute commissioned work is divided into various segments. It provides snapshots of Hong Kong scenes, ranging from birds chirping, people praying and singing, nature and technology, spiritual life to human beings, etc.

"I would say that the piece is highly philosophical. Subject to the interpretation of the audience, concert-goers have to listen in person in order to crack the 'Morse codes' contained in the music."

The programme also includes Gabrieli's two famous works for brass choir - "Canzon: Primi Toni" and "Sonata: Piane Forte".

Programme details and ticketing information are available under the Event Calendar section on Hong Kong's Expo website, www.hkexpo2010.gov.hk.

"Bank of Communications brings to you: Hong Kong Phil in Beethoven 9"
Date: September 4, 2010
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Oriental Concert Hall, Shanghai Oriental Art Centre
Length: Approx 2 hours
Ticket price: RMB580, 380, 280, 180, 120, 60, 30 (student)
Ticketing enquiries:
(86 21) 6854 1234 (Shanghai Oriental Art Centre)
Programme enquiries:
(86 21) 6854 1234 (Shanghai Oriental Art Centre)
(852) 2721 2030 (Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra)