For immediate release
26 June 2020
A special year which marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, 2020 has unfortunately coincided with a pandemic which saw many celebratory concerts worldwide cancelled or postponed. However, music lovers in Hong Kong can rejoice over Hong Kong Sinfonietta’s long-awaited return to Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall on 11 July (Saturday), in which they present “Happy Birthday finally, Beethoven!” – a concert saluting the timeless genius of the composer. Under the baton of Music Director Emeritus Yip Wing-sie, the orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No 4 as well as Piano Concerto No 4, joined by soloist Colleen Lee. The concert also offers the world première of HKS Artist Associate Charles Kwong’s Pastoral – after we perish – a thought-provoking work illustrating a post-apocalyptic vision of the world.
Since winning the 6th Prize at the 15th International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition, Colleen Lee has performed extensively throughout Asia, Europe and North America in solo recitals and with leading orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra under Simon Rattle in 2019. She has worked closely with Hong Kong Sinfonietta through the years, having been appointed HKS Artist Associate in 2010-2011 and toured South America, Italy and Taiwan with the orchestra. In this collaboration, she will showcase her rendition of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 4 – a luminous work composed with much passion and determination as the composer struggled against his growing deafness.
Change of Artists and Programme
The concert programme of “Great Violin Concertos: Stefan Jackiw Plays Beethoven” (originally on 11 Jul 2020) has been changed, since conductor Daniel Raiskin and violinist Stefan Jackiw are unable to travel to Hong Kong due to entry restrictions. Ticket holders may choose to attend the concert using their original tickets, or request a refund.
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
Happy Birthday finally, Beethoven!
11 July 2020 (Saturday) 8pm
HK City Hall Concert Hall
$420, $280, $160 (Tickets at URBTIX)
Music Director Emeritus/Conductor: Yip Wing-sie
Piano: Colleen Lee (HKS Artist Associate 2010-2011)
Charles Kwong: Pastoral – after we perish (world première)
Commissioned by Hong Kong Sinfonietta with sponsorship from CASH Music Fund
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 4 in G, Op 58
Beethoven: Symphony No 4 in B-flat, Op 60
Colleen Lee Piano / HKS Artist Associate 2010-2011
Since winning the 6th Prize at the 15th International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition, Colleen Lee has performed extensively throughout Asia, Europe and North America in solo recitals and with orchestras such as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Galacia Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta and Hong Kong Philharmonic, among others. Lee was the Artist Associate of Hong Kong Sinfonietta in 2010/2011, and has toured with the orchestra in South America, Italy and Taiwan.
She has also been a featured artist at several international music festivals including the International Chopin Festival in Duszniki and Gdansk in Poland, Assisi International Piano Festival in Italy, Meissen Pianoforte Festival in Germany, International Keyboard Festival in New York, Bowdoin International Music Festival and Musicus Fest in Espoo, Finland. Her performance of the “Magic Piano and Chopin Shorts” animation series at the 42nd Hong Kong Arts Festival had garnered rave reviews. She was invited to perform twice in the “Beethoven Piano Sonatas Marathon” in Vienna and Hong Kong. She appeared as soloist with the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble in the 2018 Shanghai New Music Week. 2019 marked her début with London Symphony Orchestra under Simon Rattle.
As an enthusiastic chamber musician, Lee frequently appears in chamber music concerts and has also collaborated with world famous instrumentalists including violinists Ning Feng and Kang Dong-suk, cellists Trey Lee, Daniel Müller-Schott and Alexander Kniazev, and the Shanghai Quartet. She is also a member of the RTHK Chamber Soloists which was formed in 2018.
Born in Hong Kong, Lee started her piano lesson at the age of four. Subsequently, she was trained at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) under Eleanor Wong and at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover with Arie Vardi. Prizes she has won include First Prize at the 3rd Seiler International Piano Competition in Kitzingen, Germany, the 2003 Dorothy Mackenzie Artist Recognition Award, Third Place and Critic and Audience Prizes at the 15th International Competition for Piano and Orchestra in Cantú, Italy, as well as prizes at the 1st Hong Kong International Piano Competition, the Pro Musicis International Award, Gina Bachauer International Artist Competition, Sendai International Music Competition, and the 16th Santander International Piano Competition in Spain.
Her discography includes an all Chopin album recorded on the Pleyel Piano released by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, and a complete Scarlatti Sonatas album by Naxos. She was also featured on the Hong Kong Sinfonietta DECCA album This is Classical Music 3.
In recognition of her outstanding achievements in music and in the promotion of arts and culture, she has been awarded the Certificate of Commendation by the Secretary of Home Affairs, Commendation for Community Service by the Hong Kong Government, and Young Artist Award by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.
Lee is currently the Honorary-Artist-in-Residence of The Education University of Hong Kong, and is on the piano faculty of HKAPA and Hong Kong Baptist University.
Charles Kwong Composer / HKS Artist Associate
Born and raised in Hong Kong, composer Charles Kwong has a diverse and growing portfolio of creative output including orchestral, choral, chamber and instrumental works. Distinguished groups and musicians around the world that have performed Kwong’s music include Ensemble Intercontemporain, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Divertimento Ensemble, Ensemble Offspring, Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Eastman BroadBand, Kreutzer String Quartet, Mario Caroli and Tosiya Suzuki, among others. His works have been internationally featured in prestigious festivals held in Japan, Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, Hong Kong etc.
Kwong’s compositional explorations stretch beyond the paradigms of concert hall music, resulting in numerous site-specific works, sound installations and cross-disciplinary collaborations that highlight the experiential dimension of music. He was the curator of Our Audible City (2018-2019) – a project in collaboration with Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, soundpocket and visual artist Frank Tang – for which he wrote Atlas, a series of site-specific works tailored for non-concert-hall spaces in Hong Kong.
Kwong has been appointed Artist Associate of Hong Kong Sinfonietta for their 2020/2021 season, in addition to his work on contemporary music research and programming for the orchestra since 2015. His recent highlights in 2020 include being selected for the City of Zurich Artist-in-Residence Programme in association with Zurich University of the Arts, a portrait concert in Taipei performed by the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, and being featured again at the Takefu International Music Festival.
Kwong studied Music at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (2004-2007) and King’s College London (2007-2008). In 2013, he earned his doctorate in Composition from The University of York under the supervision of Thomas Simaku, in the capacity of an R C Lee Scholar with full sponsorship from the Drs Richard Charles and Esther Yewpick Lee Charitable Foundation. Over the years, his artistic development has benefitted significantly through tutelages and masterclasses by Toshio Hosokawa, Francesco Filidei, Mauro Lanza and Oscar Bianchi, among others.Download Press Release