• 中文

Music Director Christoph Poppen leads Hong Kong Sinfonietta
in two spectacular programmes of Debussy, Mozart & Berg

For immediate release
12 Jun 2024

Music Director of Hong Kong Sinfonietta Christoph Poppen will soon be returning to Hong Kong to lead the orchestra in two fantastic programmes over two consecutive weekends in June and July, bringing to full display the impressive versatility, boundless imagination and profound emotional power in great music.

On 29 Jun (Sat) at “A Clarinet Rhapsody”, Portuguese rising star clarinettist Horácio Ferreira will be making his Hong Kong début under Maestro Poppen, performing Debussy’s capricious and enthralling clarinet masterpiece Première Rhapsodie, as well as the Asian première of US/UK composer Geoffrey Gordon’s clarinet concerto Fumée, which contemplates on the transience of life. On 6 Jul (Sat), Hong Kong Sinfonietta’s Concertmaster James Cuddeford will take centre stage and present Berg’s Violin Concerto, “To the Memory of an Angel”, written in response to the tragic death of an 18-year-old girl. Maestro Poppen will also conduct Beethoven’s beloved Coriolan Overture and Brahms’ Piano Quartet No 1 in G minor, brilliantly orchestrated by Berg’s teacher Schoenberg.

“A Clarinet Rhapsody” and “James Cuddeford.To the Memory of an Angel” will take place on 29 Jun (Sat) and 6 Jul (Sat) respectively at 8pm at Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall; enjoy a 20% discount when you purchase standard tickets to both concerts.

Praised for his “enviable aesthetic sensitivity” (Público), Horácio Ferreira has made a name for himself as one of the most exciting clarinettists to watch of his generation, and has performed at leading venues of the world such as the Philharmonie de Paris, Concertgebouw, Musikverein and Elbphilharmonie. In his Hong Kong début on 29 Jun (Sat), Ferreira will perform Debussy’s Première Rhapsodie – for which he has won the Best Interpretation Award at the 2014 Debussy International Clarinet Competition – as well as the Asian première of Geoffrey Gordon’s clarinet concerto Fumée. Co-commissioned by Hong Kong Sinfonietta, St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the fascinating work was inspired by Reynaldo Hahn’s chanson of the same name, and reflects on the transient existence of human beings, who ultimately leave the world as ashes and vanish like smoke. The rest of the programme includes Debussy’s beguiling and evocative masterpiece Prélude à L’Après-midi d’un Faune, as well as Mozart’s electrifying Symphony No 40 in G minor.

A symposium of the brightest minds from the late-Romantic period and Second Viennese School, “James Cuddeford.To the Memory of an Angel” on 6 Jul (Sat) is highlighted by Hong Kong Sinfonietta’s very own Concertmaster James Cuddeford performing Berg’s Violin Concerto, “To the Memory of an Angel”. Written in 1935 in response to the tragic death of 18-year-old Manon – daughter of Mahler’s widow – the work was the last completed work by the composer, and masterfully marries twelve-tone serialism with tonality, anchoring the work to rich lyricism and encompassing beauty. The concert will open with Beethoven’s breathtaking Coriolan Overture, and conclude with Brahms’ Piano Quartet No 1 in G minor, brilliantly orchestrated by none other than Berg’s teacher and leader of the Second Viennese School, Arnold Schoenberg.


Hong Kong Sinfonietta

A Clarinet Rhapsody

29 Jun 2024 (Saturday) | 8pm
Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall
$480, $340, $200

Music Director/Conductor: Christoph Poppen
Clarinet: Horácio Ferreira

Debussy – Prélude à L’Après-midi d’un Faune
Debussy/Geoffrey Gordon arr – Première Rhapsodie for Clarinet & Chamber Orchestra (2021) (Asian première) *
Geoffrey Gordon – Fumée for Clarinet & Chamber Orchestra (2021) (Asian première) *
Mozart – Symphony No 40 in G minor, K550

* Commissioned by St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra & Hong Kong Sinfonietta



James Cuddeford.To the Memory of an Angel

6 Jul 2024 (Saturday) | 8pm
Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall
$480, $340, $200

Music Director/Conductor: Christoph Poppen
Violin: James Cuddeford

Beethoven – Coriolan Overture, Op 62
Berg – Violin Concerto (“To the Memory of an Angel”)
Brahms/Schoenberg – Piano Quartet No 1 in G minor, Op 25


  • 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 bookings of 4 or more standard tickets
  • 20% discount for purchasing standard tickets to both concerts above
  • Suitable for 6 years old or above
  • Tickets at URBTIX
  • Tickets online at POPTICKET (no handling fee)


Christoph Poppen                                                                              Music Director/Conductor

Conductor, soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue, Christoph Poppen has made a name for himself in diverse roles in the international musical world. As Music Director of Hong Kong Sinfonietta from the 2023/2024 season, he works closely with Music Director Emeritus Yip Wing-sie and Associate Conductor Vivian Ip on the artistic development of the orchestra, creating inspiring and innovative programmes which bring music closer to the community. His 2024/2025 season with the orchestra is highlighted by collaborations with such illustrious artists as Juliane Banse, Sayaka Shoji, Sunwook Kim and Pavel Kolesnikov.

As Hong Kong Sinfonietta’s Principal Guest Conductor between 2015-2023, Poppen has presented to the Hong Kong audience a rich repertoire ranging from Austro-German masterpieces to contemporary works, brought the orchestra on tour to Germany and Portugal, and taken up the position of Co-chair of the Hong Kong International Conducting Competition. Away from Hong Kong, he continues his highly successful collaborations with Cologne Chamber Orchestra as Principal Conductor and Israel Chamber Orchestra as Principal Guest Conductor, while being the Artistic Director of the Marvão International Music Festival. Highlights in the 2023/2024 season included bringing the WDR Rundfunkchor Köln to Hong Kong for Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, the Asian première of William Kentridge’s Oh, To Believe In Another World, and the continuation of his recorded cycle of the complete Mozart Masses with Cologne Chamber Orchestra for Naxos.

From 1995-2006, 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, he was appointed Music Director of Radio Symphony Orchestra Saarbrücken and from 2007-2011, 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, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Bamberg Symphony, Camerata Salzburg, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Residentie Orkest, 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 has enjoyed acclaimed collaborations with Staatsoper Stuttgart, Oper Frankfurt, Opera Köln, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Aalto-Musiktheater in Essen and the RuhrTriennale.

Founded by Poppen in 2014, the Marvão International Music Festival 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. He also founded the International Academy for Music, Arts and Science in Marvão in 2019, and was the Artistic Director of the Classic Revolution Festival in Seoul, South Korea between 2020-2022, for which he curated highly inventive programmes.

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 to 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. Since the 2021/2022 academic year, he has been Chair Professor of Violin at the prestigious Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid.


Horácio Ferreira                                                                                                         Clarinet

Praised by critics as a “sound wizard” (Rheinische Post), “extraordinary musician” (Scherzo) and for his “total control of the instrument’s sound” and “technical perfection and enviable aesthetic sensitivity” (Público), Portuguese clarinettist Horácio Ferreira performs internationally as a concert soloist, chamber musician and recitalist. Named “Rising Star” by the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO), he has played in prestigious venues including the Philharmonie de Paris, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Musikverein in Vienna, and Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.

Ferreira was Young Musician of the Year and the first clarinettist to win both junior and senior divisions of the Prémio Jovens Músicos Competition in 2014. He won prizes at the Concours Debussy in Paris, Prague Spring International Music Competition and Estoril Interpretation Competition, and was winner of the J Pakalnis International Competition in Vilnius, Terras de La Salette Competition and the “AGEAS New Talents Award” in Oporto. He received the Medal of Merit from the Municipality of Santa Comba Dão and was a fellow of the Gulbenkian Foundation.

Ferreira’s international career has seen him tour Europe, China, Brazil, the USA, Dubai and Israel, appearing as soloist with Czech Philharmonic, Cologne Chamber Orchestra, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música, Portuguese Symphony Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Athens State Orchestra, Orquestra XXI and Portuguese Symphony Wind Orchestra, among others. He is Founder of the Art’Ventus Quintet and member of the ars ad hoc ensemble, exploring different possibilities in chamber music.

Ferreira is a Vandoren Artist and has been an Artistic Advisor for the Marvão International Music Festival since 2018.


James Cuddeford                                                                                                       Violin

Currently Concertmaster of Hong Kong Sinfonietta, James Cuddeford is one of Australia’s most versatile musicians and has performed extensively around the world as both soloist and chamber musician. After commencing his musical studies at age seven, he won a full scholarship at age 12 to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School in England. He continued his studies in Violin Performance at the Royal Northern College of Music and Composition at the University of Manchester. His principal teachers were Yehudi Menuhin in violin, and Karlheinz Stockhausen and György Kurtág in composition. He has won prizes in a series of important competitions including the First Prize at the 1996 Charles Hennen International Competition in Holland.

Cuddeford has frequently appeared at major international festivals in many of the world’s most prestigious halls. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with artists such as John Lill, Charles Rosen, Stephen Kovacevich, Cristina Ortiz, Michael Collins, Heinz Holliger, Yehudi Menuhin, Bruno Giuranna, Pieter Wispelwey and Michel Dalberto. He has performed concertos with orchestras including the Camerata Lysy Switzerland, BBC Scottish National, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Jena Philharmonic Germany, and the Queensland, Adelaide and Tasmanian symphony orchestras.

As a highly active and renowned interpreter of contemporary music, Cuddeford has given numerous world premières. He has worked with many of the most important composers of our time, including Penderecki, Xenakis, Birtwistle, Smalley and Dutilleux. At age 15, he was the youngest finalist in the BBC Young Composer of the Year, and the following year the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra commissioned and premiered his first major orchestral work. Cuddeford’s compositions have also been performed, recorded and broadcast in Europe, North America and Asia by groups such as the Nash Ensemble, Australian String Quartet, Ensemble Offspring, Kammer Ensemble and Psappha Ensemble. His music is represented by the Australian Music Centre.

Cuddeford joined the internationally acclaimed Australian String Quartet in 1998 and has directed from the violin many orchestras in Australia, Japan and Europe. He lectured in violin at both the Elder Conservatorium and the Australian Institute of Music, and has given masterclasses at many major institutions around the world. He has recorded for ABC Classics, Tall Poppies, Melba Recordings and Toccata Classics, and plays on a violin made by Nicolò Gagliano in 1769.

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