Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

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Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO)
HKPhil Logo.jpg
Former name Sino-British Orchestra
Founded 1895
Principal conductor Jaap van Zweden
Website hkphil.org
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Chinese 香港管弦樂團

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra; commonly abbreviated HKPO or HKPhil (港樂), is the largest symphony orchestra in Hong Kong. First established in 1895 as an amateur orchestra, under the name Sino-British Orchestra (中英管弦樂團),[1] it was renamed the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in 1957, and became a professional orchestra in 1974 under the funding of the Government.


The orchestra has promoted Hong Kong-based composers by commissioning and premiering numerous works of contemporary music, including the recent five-work cycle of Voices of Hong Kong, by John Chen, David Gwilt, Daniel Law, Law Ping-leung and Richard Tsang.

In February 1986, the HKPO made its debut tour of several cities in the People's Republic of China, with conductor Kenneth Schermerhorn and soloists Stephanie Chase (violin) and Li Jian (piano). In the autumn of 1995, the HKPO travelled to 9 cities in the United States and Canada in its North American début under conductor David Atherton. In 2003, the orchestra made its European début with performances in London's Barbican Hall, Belfast, Dublin and Paris (Théâtre des Champs-Élysées).

Past Music Directors include David Atherton, who was the longest serving Music Director of the orchestra from 1989 to 2000 and the Conductor Laureate until 2009. Edo de Waart was the orchestra's Artistic Director and Chief Conductor from 2004 to 2012.[2] In January 2012, the HKPO announced the appointment of Jaap van Zweden as its next Music Director, as of the 2012/2013 season, with contract renewed in 2014 to 2019.[3]

The orchestra gives more than 140 performances annually to an audience of over 180,000. International musicians that collaborated with the orchestra in recent years include pianists Yuja Wang, Lang Lang, Yundi Li, Stephen Hough, Garrick Ohlsson, Ingrid Fliter, Haocheng Zhang, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet violinists Midori Gotō, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Vadim Repin, Ning Feng, Tinwa Yang, cellists Jian Wang, Yo-Yo Ma, vocalists Hui He, Sumi Jo, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Simon O'Neill, Inger Dam-Jensen, Shenyang, Matthias Goerne and guest conductors Antoni Wit, Andreas Delfs, Christophe Rousset, Nicholas McGegan, David Zinman, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Lorin Maazel, Zhang Xuan, Yu Long, Benjamin Northey etc. In addition to classical performances, it occasionally appears backing local pop stars such as Hacken Lee, Jacky Cheung, Frances Yip, Teresa Carpio, Leehom Wang and Hins Cheung.

The orchestra has finished a five-country tour in Europe in 2015, with performances in London, Zürich, Eindhoven, Birmingham, Berlin and Amsterdam as well as a filmed performance in Musikverein Vienna. The orchestra has also started a four-year project in 2015, making it the first Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese orchestra to perform Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung. The four operas will be performed, one a year, in concert and recorded live for the Naxos label.


Artistic/ Music Directors

Conductor Laureate

  • 2000–2009 David Atherton

Principal Guest Conductors

Resident Conductors
Associate Conductors

Performance Venues[edit]

After the reorganization from the Sino-British Orchestra into the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in 1957, the orchestra played the first concert in Loke Yew Hall, the University of Hong Kong. Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall was the performance venue of the orchestra in early years. The orchestra is the first to perform in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre after the venue's opening in 1989, participating in the International Celebration of the Arts which is a festival to open the centre. Since then, Hong Kong Philharmonic has been the most frequent orchestra to perform in the venue. The orchestra has officially become the venue partner of Hong Kong Cultural Centre in 2009.

The orchestra also gives an annual outdoor performance, Symphony Under The Stars, Hong Kong's largest outdoor symphonic concert which attracts thousands of participants every year. Venues include the Happy Valley Racecourse and the New central Harbourfront.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chou, Oliver (2011-06-26). "And the bands played on". Post Magazine. South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 2012-02-12. 
  2. ^ "Edo de Waart steps down as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra after 2011/12 Season" (Press release). Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-18. 
  3. ^ "HKPO Welcomes New Music Director – Maestro Jaap van Zweden Takes the Helm from Season 2012/13" (Press release). Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. 16 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 

External links[edit]