Yao-Yu Wu from 2nd Hong Kong International Conducting Competition &
star violinist from Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Jehye Lee
present weekend of strings celebration

For immediate release
6 Sep 2023

Following his recent success at the 2nd Hong Kong International Conducting Competition where he took home the 2nd Prize, Audience Prize (Live Audience) and Best Interpretation of the New Commissioned Work, Taiwanese conductor Yao-Yu Wu is returning to make his concert début with Hong Kong Sinfonietta on 23 Sep (Sat). Apart from conducting the Asian première of Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas’ chants oubliés and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 5, “Reformation”, he will also be joined on stage by the inimitable Korean violinist Jehye Lee, Principal Second Violin of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, who will play Dvořák’s Violin Concerto. On 24 Sep (Sun), Jehye Lee will also join hands with Concertmaster James Cuddeford in presenting a gorgeous programme of string music by Mendelssohn, Sibelius and Grieg, as well as Schnittke’s fascinating Baroque-inspired, polystylstic Concerto Grosso No 1.

Yao-Yu Wu first came to international attention in 2013 when he, at the age of 23, won the First Prize, Orchestra Award and Audience Award at the 53rd Besançon International Conducting Competition for Young Conductors. Currently Music Director of the Taipei Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, he has guest conducted the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lorraine etc, and is considered one of the most exciting young conductors to watch today.

Having been Principal Second Violin of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra since 2014, Korean violinist Jehye Lee stunned the Hong Kong audience with her mesmerising stage presence, masterful command of colours and impeccable technique in her highly acclaimed début with Hong Kong Sinfonietta last season. She was a prizewinner of the Tchaikovsky, Menuhin, Leopold Mozart, Pablo Sarasate and Tibor Varga competitions, as well as the youngest concertmaster ever appointed in the history of the Augsburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Her rendition of Dvořák’s virtuosic and exuberant Violin Concerto – originally written for the legendary violinist Joseph Joachim – is surely not to be missed.

In this visit to Hong Kong, Jehye Lee will also be putting her extraordinarily compelling and versatile musicianship on full show by co-leading Hong Kong Sinfonietta’s string musicians in a programme of Mendelssohn’s String Symphony No 10, Sibelius’ beloved Andante Festivo and Grieg’s Holberg Suite, alongside Concertmaster James Cuddeford. The pair will also take centre stage in Schnittke’s breathtaking Concerto Grosso No 1 for two violins, harpsichord, prepared piano and strings.

Tickets are selling fast on URBTIX; enjoy a 20% discount when purchasing standard tickets to both performances!

 

Hong Kong Sinfonietta

Great Violin Concertos: Jehye Lee Plays Dvořák

23 Sep 2023 (Saturday) | 8pm
Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall
$480, $340, $200

Conductor: Yao-Yu Wu*
Violin: Jehye Lee

Programme
Georg Friedrich Haas – chants oubliés (2011) (Asian première)
Dvořák – Violin Concerto in A minor, Op 53
Mendelssohn – Symphony No 5 in D, Op 107, “Reformation”

* Conductor Yao-Yu Wu is replacing Alexander Liebreich who is unable to travel to Hong Kong due to health reasons.

 

DOUBLE ACts

Jehye Lee & James Cuddeford Play Schnittke

24 Sep 2023 (Sunday) | 3pm
Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall
$450, $280, $160

Violin/Director: Jehye Lee
Violin/Director: James Cuddeford

Programme
Mendelssohn – String Symphony No 10 in B minor
Schnittke – Concerto Grosso No 1 (1977)
for Two Violins, Harpsichord, Prepared Piano & Strings

Sibelius – Andante Festivo
Grieg – Holberg Suite, Op 40

 

  • 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
  • Get a 20% off discount when you purchase standard tickets to both programmes
  • Suitable for 6 years old or above
  • Tickets at URBTIX
  • Tickets online at POPTICKET (no handling fee)

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Yao-Yu Wu                                                                                                                Conductor

Winner of the Second Prize, Audience Prize (Live Audience) and Best Interpretation of the New Commissioned Work at the 2nd Hong Kong International Conducting Competition in 2023, Taiwanese conductor Yao-Yu Wu is regarded as one of the most promising conductors of his generation.

Praised for his passionate and elegant conducting style, Wu came to international attention in 2013 at the age of 23 when he won the First Prize, Orchestra Award and Audience Award at the 53rd Besançon International Conducting Competition for Young Conductors. Previously Associate Conductor of the Taiwan Philharmonic from 2021-2023, he is currently Music Director of the Taipei Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

Wu has performed extensively in Europe and Asia with orchestras such as the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Macao Orchestra, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, Taipei Philharmonic etc. He has enjoyed working with artists such as Daniel Müller-Schott, Tzimon Barto, Jean-Daniel Bugaj, Olivier Charlier, Dmitry Masleev, Claire Huangci, Jakub Jakowicz, Nemanja Radulović, Alexei Volodin, Meng-Chieh Liu, Yu-Chien Tseng, Wen-Sinn Yang, Richard Lin, Cho-Liang Lin, Nai-Yuan Hu etc.

In 2019, Wu was invited by the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra to record a Taiwanese folk music album. In the same year, he recorded an album of contemporary composer Shi-Huei Chen’s works on the New World Records label, alongside renowned pipa player Wu Man and former Principal Cello of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Wen-Sinn Yang.

Also an active opera conductor, Wu served as Assistant Conductor of Shao-Chia Lü in a production of Puccini’s Tosca with the Taiwan Philharmonic in 2019, and guest conducted during their concert tour. In 2014, he conducted the Taiwan Opera Studio in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel which toured around Taiwan. In 2013, he worked with the Taipei National University of the Arts to perform Bellini’s La Sonnambula.

Wu is well-loved for his enthusiastic and engaging approach when sharing his musical insights and experience with the public and the younger generation. He has been invited to conduct a wide range of concerts and regularly works with college and university students in lectures and masterclasses, on top of his work with the Taipei Philharmonic Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Wu was selected as one of the “2013 People of the Year in Music” by the Performing Arts Review magazine, and nominated as one of the “Top 10 Outstanding Young Persons” in Taiwan in 2014. In search of higher artistic value, he rejected most of his concert invitations in the 2017/2018 season and chose to return to studying at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.

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Jehye Lee                                                                                                                Violin

Jehye Lee began playing the violin at the age of seven. After studying for her bachelor’s degree with Nam-Yun Kim at the Korea National University of Arts in her native Seoul, she earned a master’s degree in Performance with Miriam Fried at New England Conservatory, Boston. She then moved in 2010 to Germany, where she perfected her playing under Ana Chumachenco. While studying at Hochschule für Musik und Theater München, she founded the Trio Gaon, advised by Christoph Poppen and Julius Berger.

Among Lee’s many awards and distinctions are the First Prize, Audience Prize and Chamber Music Prize at the Leopold Mozart International Violin Competition in Augsburg (2009), and the Third Prize and Chamber Music Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in St Petersburg (2011). She also received prizes from the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition in Sion, the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists, and the Pablo Sarasate International Violin Competition in Pamplona. She has been invited to many chamber music festivals including those in Lockenhaus, Ravinia and Kronberg. In 2013, she became the youngest Concertmaster in the history of the Augsburg Philharmonic Orchestra, and since 2014 she has been Principal Second Violin of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Today, Lee concertises in the world’s greatest concert halls such as the Seoul Arts Center, Dvořák Hall in Prague’s Rudolfinum, Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein, Victoria Hall in Geneva and so on.

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James Cuddeford                                                                                                   Violin

Currently Concertmaster of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, James Cuddeford has emerged as one of Australia’s leading musicians. 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 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 in the 1996 Charles Hennen International Competition in Holland.

Cuddeford has performed extensively around the world as both soloist and chamber musician. He has frequently appeared at major international festivals in many of the world’s most prestigious halls. As a chamber musician, James 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, Queensland, Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras.

As a highly active and renowned interpreter of contemporary music, Cuddeford has worked with and premiered the music of many of the most important composers of our time, including violin works by Brett Dean, György Kurtág, Roger Smalley and Harrison Birtwistle. 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. His 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 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
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