One of Hong Kong’s flagship orchestras, Hong Kong Sinfonietta has achieved significant local and international recognition for its passionate performances and innovative programming which have brought music closer to the community.
Since 1999*, Hong Kong Sinfonietta has collaborated with an illustrious array of international musicians and groups, including in recent years Nicolas Altstaedt, Vilde Frang, Ilya Gringolts, Martin Helmchen, James MacMillan, Sergei Nakariakov, Krzysztof Penderecki, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Fazıl Say, Mariinsky Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet and Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. A regular participant at all the major festivals in Hong Kong including the Hong Kong Arts Festival and Le French May, the orchestra also partners regularly with Hong Kong Ballet and Opera Hong Kong in their staged productions. In 2018, the orchestra organised the 1st Hong Kong International Conducting Competition, which attracted 310 applications from 49 countries/regions.
As an avid believer of keeping music alive and contemporary, Hong Kong Sinfonietta – the Venue Partner of the Hong Kong City Hall since 2009 – performs year-round with over 100 performances a season , presenting not only standard orchestral repertoire but also newly commissioned works, as well as specially-designed concert series for different audiences and age groups, including Good Music for Babies, Good Music for Kids, Know Your Classical Music, Short-cut to Classical Music and HKS McDull Music Project. The orchestra also frequently ventures into crossover initiatives, recently receiving wide acclaim for its groundbreaking concert films Back On Stage and Back On Stage II (Quarantined!) which landed in the cinemas and on other popular platforms. The orchestra also continues to break down barriers between music and audience with free chamber concerts held regularly at Hong Kong City Hall and beyond, recently presenting the Tiny Galaxy Concerts online series featuring performances recorded at unconventional and fascinating locations of Hong Kong.
Launched in 2006, the HKS Artist Associate scheme provides a platform for intensive collaboration with local artists from different arts disciplines to expand the horizon of classical music. The orchestra’s discography includes CDs of works by Chinese composers on HUGO, and three double-CD albums This is Classical Music on DECCA which have been awarded Platinum and Gold Records. In 2008, The Passage Beyond in Concert by Leon Ko, was released on DECCA.
On tour, Hong Kong Sinfonietta has been invited to perform in North America in Canada and New York City; in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay in South America; in Europe at prestigious festivals in France including Festival International de Piano La Roque d’Anthéron and Festival de Musique Menton, in Germany at Gezeitenkonzerte Ostfriesland, at Beethoven Easter Festival in Poland, in Switzerland at Tonhalle Zürich, Geneva Victoria Hall and Fribourg, at festivals in Italy including the Michelangeli Festival, in Portugal at the Marvão International Music Festival, and in Lithuania; in China at China Shanghai International Arts Festival (Expo 2010), in Beijing at the National Centre for the Performing Arts; in Japan at Tokyo Opera City, La Folle Journée in Tokyo and Niigata, Nagano, Kanazawa and Koriyama; in Korea at the Tongyeong International Music Festival and in Singapore at the Esplanade, and at National Concert Hall Taipei and National Taichung Theater.
Hong Kong Sinfonietta has thrived under the direction of Music Director Yip Wing-sie – one of Asia’s most respected conductors – since 2002. Starting from May 2020, she takes on the new role of Music Director Emeritus. She and Principal Guest Conductor Christoph Poppen are responsible for the artistic development of the orchestra before the next Music Director is appointed.
*Hong Kong Sinfonietta was incorporated and re-organised in 1999. Founded in 1990 by a group of local musicians (Choy Kwok-tin Martin, Fung Kai-man, Goh Ching, Kwan Lap-hok, Leung Bo-kun James, Wong Wai-ming and Henry Yu), the orchestra appointed American-Chinese conductor Tsung Yeh as its first Music Director in 1999. In April 2002, Hong Kong conductor Yip Wing-sie became its Music Director as the Hong Kong Sinfonietta continues with its mission to bring music closer to the community, expanding on its vision of “investing in a cultural tomorrow”.