MacMillan & Shostakovich

Conductor James MacMillan
Piano Ben Kim
Trumpet Huang Shan


James MacMillan

Larghetto for Orchestra (2017) (Asian première) 


Piano Concerto No 1 in C minor, Op 35

Piano Concerto No 2 in F, Op 102

James MacMillan

The Confession of Isobel Gowdie (1990) (Hong Kong première)


James MacMillan (Conductor/Composer)

 “James MacMillan is the greatest living British composer.” The Telegraph

“Beguiling, intriguing, poignant, hilarious, electrifyingly exciting, challenging and comprehensively revelatory music!” The Herald

 “As both conductor and composer, MacMillan presented a stunning evening of intense, powerful music that left his audience silent, breathless, transfixed.” The Globe and Mail

 “MacMillan conducted his own music that was ceaselessly inventive, evocative and penetrating—His estimable mastery of orchestral timbre and effect was evident throughout.” The New York Times

Sir James MacMillan is one of today’s most successful composers, also internationally active as a conductor. His musical language is flooded with influences from his Scottish heritage, Catholic faith, social conscience and close connection with Celtic folk music, blended with influences from Far Eastern Scandinavian and Eastern European music. He first attracted international attention with the acclaimed BBC Proms première of The Confession of Isobel Gowdie, and his percussion concerto Veni, Veni Emmanuel has received over 500 performances worldwide. His interpreters include Evelyn Glennie, Colin Currie, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Vadim Repin, Leonard Slatkin, Andrew Davis, Marin Alsop, London Symphony Orchestra, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and The Sixteen.


Ben Kim (Piano)

“A downright euphoric interpretation, full of vitality.”  Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Sparks were flying from the keyboard. Substantially gifted.” The Baltimore Sun

  • Winner, ARD International Music Competition 2006
  • Has collaborated with many leading orchestras and conductors including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic, Christoph Eschenbach, Andrew Litton and Christoph Poppen


Huang Shan (Trumpet)

  • Principal Trumpet, Hong Kong Sinfonietta


On The Confession of Isobel Gowdie

 “A stirringly powerful work.” Gramophone

 The Confession of Isobel Gowdie – a turbulent symphonic saga.” The New York Times

 “MacMillan’s self-styled pluralism is as emotionally direct as anything in Mahler and Shostakovich.” Musicweb-international

 “MacMillan brilliantly demonstrated in Isobel Gowdie that accessibility need not necessarily involve compromise… a powerful, all-embracing and unifying emotional impulse.” The Daily Telegraph

On Larghetto for Orchestra

“MacMillan added a range of volume and feeling that no choir in the world can replicate…The composer treated the orchestra as multiple choirs, with strings, winds and brass each contributing chorale-like sections as well as blending to create new shades of sound.” Pittsburgh Post – Gazette

view house programme


Press release (ENG)

Press release (CHI)

James MacMillan (Conductor/Composer)
© HansvanderWoerd

James MacMillan (Conductor/Composer)
© HansvanderWoerd

Ben Kim (Piano)
© Benchik

Ben Kim (Piano)
© Saram Photo

Booking Details
Dates & Times:

8 September 2018 (Saturday)



HK City Hall Concert Hall

View Map


$380, $260, $150

Tickets available at all URBTIX outlets from 7.7.2018
Ticketing Enquiries & Bookings:2111 5999
URBTIX Internet Ticketing

Half-price tickets available for full-time students, senior citizens, people with disabilities and CSSA recipients

10% discount for group booking of 4 or more adult tickets

Duration: Approximately 2 hours with a 15 min intermission
Language: Nil
Age Limit: 6 (Person below this age not admitted)
Programme Enquiries: 2836 3336 /
Remarks: Hong Kong Sinfonietta reserves the right to change the programme and artists

The APPRECIATE concerts are, mainly, classical concerts featuring guest artists and conductors of world renown.  Apart from performing orchestral masterpieces, Hong Kong Sinfonietta regularly commissions new works and introduces to audiences works that are rarely heard in Hong Kong.

Music is good for everyone! The LEARN series takes audiences aged 0 to 88 into the world of classical music through specially designed concert series including Good Music for Babies, Good Music for Kids, Short-cut to Classical Music, Know Your Classical Music and HKS McDull Music Project.

In the light-hearted RELAX concerts, Hong Kong Sinfonietta shares with audiences great music ranging from orchestral favourites to music from movies and musicals.

The ENCOUNTER series offers unique opportunities for audiences to get close to the music and the performers through chamber music concerts, talks, often at unconventional venues or time. These include Good Music This Lunch, Good Music @ The Fringe, Beyond Good Music @ The Fringe, HKS ArtisTree Residency and UpClose Encounters.

Often referred to as “one of the world’s great small orchestras”, Hong Kong Sinfonietta has been invited to go on many TOURS in Europe, Asia, South and North Americas, sharing good music with audiences in over 30 cities.  In 2017/2018, the orchestra will make its début in Germany and perform at festivals in France, Portugal, as well as the Beethoven Easter Festival in Poland.

WHAT ELSE?  Apart from classical concerts, Hong Kong Sinfonietta regularly appears in staged productions by Hong Kong Ballet, Opera Hong Kong and visiting arts groups such as The Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Bolshoi Ballet and Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. This season, Hong Kong Sinfonietta will also host the 1st International Conducting Competition.

“[The orchestra’s performance] had all the biting dynamics and precision of a top European orchestra.”  South China Morning Post