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French cellist Aurélien Pascal to dazzle in two concerts
playing Shostakovich, Schumann, Haydn and more

For immediate release
28 October 2020

Cellomania: Aurélien Pascal Plays Shostakovich

Winner of the 1st Prize, Audience Prize & Special Prize at the Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann 2014, French cellist Aurélien Pascal* has been attracting international acclaim for his “unparalleled virtuosity and intuitive musicality” (The Strad). On 7 Nov (Sat), he will be taking the stage with Hong Kong Sinfonietta under the baton of Principal Guest Conductor Christoph Poppen, playing Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No 1 – a dazzling work that is as imaginative and daring as it is devilishly virtuosic. The second half of the concert will present a masterpiece that requires no introduction – Beethoven’s iconic, fate-defying Symphony No 5.

Chamber Music with Aurélien Pascal

On 8 Nov (Sun), Pascal will join local pianist Colleen Lee as well as a few musicians of Hong Kong Sinfonietta – James Cuddeford (violin), Le Hoai-nam (violin) and Elvis Chan (viola) – in a chamber concert, performing a selection of mesmerising works by Schumann, Debussy and Haydn.

* Due to the pandemic, the original soloist Maximilian Hornung is unable to travel to Hong Kong.


Disease Prevention Measures

  • Audience members will need to go through temperature checks upon entering the performance venue. Those with fever symptoms will be denied entry and should seek immediate medical advice.
  • Audience members must wear their own masks inside the performance venue.
  • To comply with the reduced capacity and social distancing regulations of the performance venue, special seating arrangements are in place. Please sit in your assigned seats.

Ticket refund announcements will be made on the orchestra’s website and Facebook page in case of concert cancellation due to venue closure.


Hong Kong Sinfonietta

Cellomania: Aurélien Pascal Plays Shostakovich

7 November 2020 (Saturday) 8pm

HK City Hall Concert Hall
$420, $280, $160 (Tickets at URBTIX)

Principal Guest Conductor: Christoph Poppen
Cello: Aurélien Pascal

Mendelssohn: Ruy Blas Overture, Op 95
Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No 1 in E-flat, Op 107
Beethoven: Symphony No 5 in C minor, Op 67


Chamber Music with Aurélien Pascal

8 November 2020 (Sunday) 4pm

HK City Hall Concert Hall
$250 (Tickets at URBTIX) (some seats are reserved for filming purposes)

Cello: Aurélien Pascal
Piano: Colleen Lee
Violin: James Cuddeford, Le Hoai-nam
Viola: Elvis Chan

Haydn: Piano Trio No 41 in E-flat minor, Hob XV:31, “Jacob’s Dream”
Debussy: Sonata for Violin & Piano in G minor
Debussy: Sonata for Cello & Piano in D minor
Schumann: Piano Quintet in E-flat, Op 44


  • Half-price tickets available for full-time students, senior citizens, people with disabilities and their minder, and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients
  • 10% discount for group booking of 4 or more standard tickets



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.


Aurélien Pascal                                                                                                          Cello

At only 25 years of age, French cellist Aurélien Pascal is attracting international attention for his “unparalleled virtuosity and intuitive musicality” (The Strad). He has won several prestigious international competitions, including Second Prize at the 2013 International Paulo Competition, as well as the Grand Prix, Prix du Public, and Best Performance of a Toch Concerto at the 2014 Emanuel Feuermann Competition. His recent successes, including placing fourth at the 2017 Queen Elisabeth Competition where he was the youngest finalist, confirm that he is one of the most brilliant representatives of his generation. Prior to this, he was the Adami Révélation Classique in 2013.

Pascal regularly performs as a soloist with major orchestras throughout Europe, notably with the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra in Moscow, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, Kammerakademie Potsdam, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra and Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, alongside conductors such as Augustin Dumay, Vladimir Fedoseyev, John Storgårds, Pascal Rophé, Christoph Poppen, Clemens Schuldt and Okko Kamu.

Frequently invited to Asia, he has played with the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra, Kansai and Sendai Philharmonic Orchestras, and Hong Kong Sinfonietta, with which he has performed several times both in Hong Kong and on their European tour in 2017. He recently made his débuts with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra and Gilbert Varga, the Filarmonica de Stat Transilvania alongside Andrei Feher, as well as the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Okko Kamu.

The 2018/2019 season brought Pascal to the Konzerthaus Berlin alongside András Schiff, BOZAR in Brussels, Beethovenhaus Bonn and CelloFest in Finland. He returned to the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival to give several concerts, and gave his first solo recital at the Salle Gaveau in Paris. He has performed in concerto with the Cologne Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre National de Metz, Orchestre de Bretagne and Orchestre de Douai Région Hauts-de-France.

As a recitalist, Pascal has performed at prestigious festivals such as Verbier, Colmar, Prades, Schloss Elmau, Beethovenfest in Bonn, Flâneries de Reims, La Folle Journée de Nantes and Japan, Festival de Radio France et Montpellier and Rencontres Musicales d’Évian, with partners such as Emmanuel Pahud, András Schiff, Pavel Kolesnikov, Rémi Geniet, Ben Kim, Augustin Dumay, Christian Tetzlaff and the Modigliani Quartet. He also forms a string trio with Adrien La Marca and Liya Petrova. Since being awarded the Audience Prize at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in 2015, he has been a regular invitee to the festival, and has performed on stages including the Berlin Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Muziekgebouw, the Auditoriums of the Musée du Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, Théâtre de la Ville in Paris and the ARK NOVA/Lucerne Festival mobile concert hall in Japan.

A laureate of the Banque Populaire and Colas foundations, Pascal joined the Orpheum Foundation’s support program for young soloists in 2015, which invited him – following his début with Vladimir Fedoseyev at the Tonhalle in Zurich – to record Franz Danzi’s concerto with the Munich Chamber Orchestra and Howard Griffiths for Sony Classical. This disc, released in 2018, added to a discography that includes the Ravel Trio with Denis Pascal and Svetlin Roussev, as well as the Brahms Sextet with Augustin Dumay, Henri Demarquette and Miguel da Silva. His latest CD, released in spring 2019, includes Dohnányi’s Ruralia Hungarica and Kodály’s Cello Sonata Op 8.

Born in 1994 into a family of musicians, Pascal studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris with Philippe Müller and benefited from masterclasses with the legendary János Starker in Paris, Basel and Bloomington. He currently studies with Frans Helmerson and Gary Hoffman at the Kronberg Academy in Germany, and plays a French cello by Charles-Adolphe Gand from 1850.

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Amanda Mok
Senior Marketing & Development Manager, Hong Kong Sinfonietta
Email: amanda.mok@hksinfonietta.org
Direct Line: +852 3607 2328