Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra concludes mainland tour
Published: May 21, 2024 12:13 AM
Photo: Courtesy of Desmond Chan

Photo: Courtesy of Desmond Chan

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra recently concluded its 50th anniversary mainland tour at the National Grand Theater Concert Hall in Beijing. The concert was led by Principal Guest Conductor Yu Long, and together with renowned cellist Wang Jian, the orchestra presented a symphonic feast showcasing its extraordinary strength and unique sound to Beijing music fans.

This has been the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra’s largest mainland tour in recent years, and has received strong support from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Beijing Office and other liaison offices. In this landmark 50th professional music season, the Hong Kong Philharmonic has visited seven cities in 11 days, drawing large audiences.

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra previously performed at the National Center for the Performing Arts in 2009 and 2014, leaving deep musical memories each time. 

The concert this time opened with three selections from composer Bao Yuankai's Chinese Sights and Sounds, demonstrating the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra's superb control of Chinese music styles. Later, cellist Wang performed Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme, winning warm applause from the audience.

In the second half of the concert, Rimsky-Korsakov's Arabian Nights was played. This work is regarded as a touchstone for the orchestra because of its lush musicality and tension. The orchestra perfectly presented the artistic charm of this work with its rich and powerful strings.

The concert ended successfully with an encore performance of Below the Lion Rock. This classic Hong Kong song composed by Gu Jiahui symbolizes the spirit of Hong Kong. Using this song to end the concert and the entire tour demonstrates the hard-working spirit of Hong Kong people. The TV series Stories of Lion Rock Spirit from which this song comes has been repeatedly mentioned by CCTV News, saying that it shows the changes in Hong Kong's history from returning to the motherland to prosperity and stability, and then to integrating into the overall development of the country.