The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) is delighted to take part in Hong Kong Week 2021@Guangzhou, organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) of the HKSAR Government. Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, this year’s Hong Kong Week 2021@Guangzhou has combined in-venue and online formats to present a wide range of artistic and cultural programmes.

As the cultural ambassador of Hong Kong, the HK Phil participates in cultural exchange activities to showcase the artistic excellence of Hong Kong locally, nationally and internationally. Filmed in the orchestra’s performing home, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, HK Phil Resident Conductor Lio Kuokman leads the orchestra, together with renowned cellist Trey Lee, in “Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra & Lio Kuokman | Tan Dun & Sibelius”. This 60-minute online concert features music from East and West, mirroring Hong Kong’s vibrant cultural mix. Co-presented by LCSD and the Xinghai Concert Hall, there were two free charity screenings of this concert on 22 & 23 May at the Xinghai Concert Hall’s Chamber Music Hall. The screenings were well received by the audience.

The HK Phil is excited to make its debut on Tencent Art, the Exclusive Strategic Online Partner, who makes this concert available online for purchase until 22 August (Sunday)* only for audiences from the Mainland of China. Two recorded artist sharing sessions are also available on Tencent Art as well as the Hong Kong Week’s online channels for all audiences free of charge. In addition, a live chat with conductor Lio Kuokman is going to take place at 12 noon, 22 July. To access the Q&A, please scan the QR code below

This programme showcases music by celebrated Chinese composer, Tan Dun, who is a master at weaving traditional Eastern elements into Western symphonic forms. Conducted by Lio Kuokman, the HK Phil performs Tan Dun’s Oscar-winning original music for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, for solo cello and orchestra, with Trey Lee, the first Asian winner of the prestigious International Antonio Janigro Cello Competition. “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” is a Chinese saying that means humbly hidden talent. This perfectly describes the classical music scene in Hong Kong, which is full of rising stars and prodigies.

The programme concludes with Sibelius’s final symphony – the single movement Symphony no. 7. It is a highly-sophisticated condensation of seamless musical forms, and an extraordinary celebration of the key of C. The concert opener, The Unanswered Question by the American composer Charles Ives, is an intriguing foray into the world of musical absurdity which asks “The Perennial Question of Existence” but leaves it unanswered.

Praised by the Philadelphia Inquirer as “a startling conducting talent”, Lio Kuokman was the laureate at the 2014 Svetlanov International Conducting Competition. Lio Kuokman is Resident Conductor with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and has previously served as Assistant Conductor to Music Director Yannick Nézet-Seguin with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the first Chinese conductor to be appointed in this position in the history of the orchestra. He is currently Programme Director of the Macao International Music Festival.

Scan the QR code to join the live chat with conductor Lio Kuokman tomorrow (22 July) at 12 noon!

*Unlimited online viewing will be available for one month after purchasing a ticket.

Co-presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the HKSAR Government and Xinghai Concert Hall

Supported by Guangzhou Municipal Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism Bureau

Tencent Art is the Exclusive Strategic Online Partner

Text: © 2021, Hong Kong Philharmonic

Photography: Ricky Lo; Hair sponsor: kimrobinson; Wardrobe sponsor: JOYCE