For immediate release
5 March 2020
Following the reopening of cinemas, Hong Kong Sinfonietta’s acclaimed concert film “Back On Stage II (Quarantined!)” returns to selected Broadway Circuit cinemas all around Hong Kong – including PALACE ifc in Central, MOViE MOViE Pacific Place in Admiralty, PREMIERE ELEMENTS at Kowloon Station and MY CINEMA YOHO MALL in Yuen Long – to deliver to you a concert-going experience like no other.
The captivating concert film – recorded on 26 Sep at Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall when the venue was still shut to live audiences due to the pandemic – features Principal Guest Conductor Christoph Poppen and pianist Alexander Krichel, who travelled all the way from Germany and braved through the 14-day quarantine. Together with a full orchestra of 61 musicians (complete with strings, winds, brass, harp and percussion), they present a programme which begins with Rachmaninov’s ever-exuberant Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini – a virtuosic masterpiece widely known for its heartfelt Variation 18, which was featured in the Hollywood film Somewhere in Time. Beethoven’s delightful Symphony No 8 follows, as well as a special performance of his sparkling “Spring” Sonata for Piano and Violin, where Maestro Poppen takes the stage as a violinist. Nine state-of-the-art cameras equipped with the latest 4K technology were used, capturing every detail and bringing to you the finest cinematic experience.
Always working tirelessly to reinvent classical music, Hong Kong Sinfonietta began their ground-breaking cinematic ventures last September when they released their début film “Back On Stage” concert (Special Extended Version) in collaboration with MOViE MOViE, becoming the first local orchestra to appear on the silver screen. Encouraged by the rapturous response to the film, they released “Back On Stage II (Quarantined!)” shortly after, furthering their explorations in fusing the world of classical music and film.
Hong Kong Sinfonietta
Back On Stage II (Quarantined!)
12 Mar (Fri) 7pm – MOViE MOViE Pacific Place*
13 Mar (Sat) 3pm – PREMIERE ELEMENTS*
14 Mar (Sun) 3:10pm – MY CINEMA YOHO MALL*
18 Mar (Thu) 7pm – PALACE ifc
19 Mar (Fri) 7pm – PALACE ifc*
*accompanied by post-screening sharing session: Yip Wing-sie (Music Director Emeritus, Hong Kong Sinfonietta) (13/3), James Cuddeford (Concertmaster, Hong Kong Sinfonietta) (12-14/3, 19/3)
Runtime: 140 mins (including post-screening sharing session)
Language: English (with Chinese & English subtitles)
Tickets at Broadway Circuit
Principal Guest Conductor: Christoph Poppen
Piano: Alexander Krichel
Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op 43
Beethoven Symphony No 8 in F, Op 93
Beethoven Sonata for Piano & Violin No 5 in F, Op 24, “Spring”
Violin: Christoph Poppen
Piano: Alexander Krichel
Recorded live on 26 Sep 2020 at Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall
Christoph Poppen Principal Guest Conductor
Conductor, soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue: Christoph Poppen has made a name for himself in diverse roles in the international musical world, winning many awards along the way. During the current season, Christoph Poppen continues his close and highly successful collaboration with the Cologne Chamber Orchestra in his role as Principal Conductor, and as Principal Guest Conductor of Hong Kong Sinfonietta. He was named Artistic Director of the newly-created Classic Revolution Festival in Seoul, South Korea, for which he curates highly inventive programmes and unites many of the best international artists for performances exclusively at the Lotte Concert Hall. He is also Artistic Director of the Marvão International Music Festival, which he founded in 2014 has grown to become a highly successful and award-winning musical event featuring soloists such as Jörg Widmann, Augustin Hadelich, Javier Perianes and Clara-Jumi Kang.
From 1995 to 2006, Poppen was Artistic Director of Munich Chamber Orchestra, establishing the ensemble’s new profile in a short period of time. His distinctive programmes, often contrasting classical and contemporary styles with numerous commissioned works, were highly successful. In 2006, Poppen was appointed Music Director of Radio Symphony Orchestra Saarbrücken and from 2007 until 2011, he was Music Director of the newly formed Deutsche Radio Philharmonie. He has appeared with orchestras such as Vienna Symphony, Staatskapelle Dresden, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Detroit Symphony, Orchestra Philharmonique de Radio France, Bamberg Symphony, Camerata Salzburg, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Residentie Orkest, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Indianapolis Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic and Singapore Symphony Orchestra. He also has a strong presence in Italy, performing regularly with the country’s leading orchestras and at festivals such as the Venice Biennale, as well as giving masterclasses.
As an opera conductor, he very successfully led a new production of The Abduction from the Seraglio at the Aalto-Musiktheater in Essen and performances of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide at Staatsoper Stuttgart. In 2016, he returned to Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa for a new production of Don Giovanni. He conducted performances of The Pearl Fishers at Oper Frankfurt – which led to an immediate re-invitation for The Magic Flute – and created the new production of Sing For Me, Death by composer Claude Vivier with the RuhrTriennale company in Gelsenkirchen. In 2017, he conducted Weber’s Oberon in concert at Opera Köln.
As a prize-winning violinist, Poppen co-founded the Cherubini Quartet in 1978. He was appointed Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at Hochschule für Musik Detmold, and later at Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, where he was President from 1996 through 2000. From 2001 to 2005, he was Artistic Director of the renowned ARD International Music Competition. Since 2003, he has been Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich. In 2019, he founded the International Academy for Music, Arts and Science in Marvão, Portugal.
As Hong Kong Sinfonietta’s Principal Guest Conductor since 2015/2016, Poppen has presented to the Hong Kong audience a rich repertoire ranging from Austro-German masterpieces to contemporary works, and has brought the orchestra on tour to Germany and to his festival in Portugal. He also Co-chaired the 1st Hong Kong International Conducting Competition. Following the stepping-down of Music Director Yip Wing-sie in May 2020 and before the next Music Director is appointed, Poppen and Yip will be jointly responsible for the artistic development of the orchestra
Alexander Krichel Piano
Born in Hamburg in 1989, German pianist Alexander Krichel has established himself as one of the most promising and thoughtful voices amongst today’s young pianists. A recording artist for Sony Classical, his first recital disc won the “Newcomer of the Year” ECHO Klassik award in 2013. Following this, he has released a number of critically acclaimed recordings, including Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2 with the Dresden Philharmonic under Michael Sanderling, and Miroirs, an album of solo works by Maurice Ravel. In February 2019, his fifth album An die ferne Geliebte (To the Distant Beloved), containing works of Beethoven, Schumann, Kreisler and Wagner, was released on Sony Classical and directly climbed the top five German classical bestseller charts.
Krichel has made appearances with the Bamberger Symphoniker under Jonathan Nott, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra under Antonio Méndez, the Tokyo and Kyoto symphony orchestras, and the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa. Furthermore, he has performed with the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Festival Strings Lucerne, Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra and Orquesta Filarmónica Nacional de Venezuela. He is frequently invited to tour Japan, China, Mexico, South Africa and the USA. In early spring 2019, Krichel played a 30-concert tour which led him through Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
In the 2020/2021 season, Krichel will again be a guest at the Konzerthaus Vienna and the Beethovenhaus Bonn. Furthermore, he will perform with Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie and Amaryllis Quartett at the Berliner Philharmonie. In June 2021, Krichel will work together for the first time with the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic under the direction of conductor Andrew Manze, and will once again perform at the Weilburg Schlosskonzerte together with the Göttinger Symphonie Orchester and conductor Nicholas Milton. The very successful project Winterreise with soprano Juliane Banse and dancer István Simon, performed in Spain and Pakistan last season, will be shown at the Wilhelma Theater Stuttgart, Konzert Theater Coesfeld and Konzerthaus Blaibach.
A busy recitalist, last season saw Krichel’s début at the Kleiner Saal of the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, as well as recitals at Radio Bremen, Schloss Elmau, and in Berlin, Luxembourg and London. In the 2017/2018 season, he returned to the Philharmonie Essen and made his début at the Beethovenfest Bonn, Blanco y Negro Piano Festival in Mexico City, as well as at Tonhalle Innsbruck and the Festspielhaus Bregenz. He also returned to Japan for recitals in Tokyo and at the Performing Arts Centre in Hyogo, and made his US recital début at the Frick Collection in New York. Other solo performances have taken him to venues such as Konzerthaus Berlin, Prinzregententheater Munich, Philharmonie Cologne, Tonhalle Zürich and Düsseldorf, Konzerthaus Vienna and the Liederhalle Stuttgart. Festival appearances include the Rheingau Musik Festival, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, Schwetzinger Festspiele, Piano aux Jacobins, L’Ésprit du Piano Bordeaux and Ocean Sun Music Festival. He is also a keen chamber musician and has collaborated with French horn player Felix Klieser, with whom he has toured Germany, and the Signum Quartet.
Krichel became a pre-student at Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg at the age of 15. From 2007, he continued his studies with the legendary Vladimir Krainev at Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover. He has also studied with Dmitri Alexeev at Royal College of Music in London, completing his studies in June 2016 with distinction. From 2012 to 2015, Alexander was part of the stART programme for young artists at Bayer Kultur. He is a scholarship holder of the Oscar und Vera Ritter Foundation, Berenberg Bank Foundation, PE Förderungen and Otto Group.
Away from the piano, Alexander has a passion for mathematics, science and foreign languages. He promotes projects that encourage children’s and teenagers’ involvement in classical music, and is very involved in hospice work in his hometown, Hamburg.Download Press Release