The Halle Orchestra Britain’s oldest professional orchestra Performs at the 39th Hong Kong Arts Festival

January 21st, 2011

The 39th Hong Kong Arts Festival opens within a month’s time (17 February 2011) and will feature the celebrated Halle Orchestra under the baton of Sir Mark Elder in two performances on 3-4 March 2011 at 8:00pm, at Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. 

Double win at 2010 Gramophone Awards
The Halle’s reputation is at its peak under Sir Mark Elder’s galvanising baton, The Sunday Times claims, confirmed with the receipt of two fantastic accolades at the 2010 Gramophone Awards, known as being among the most important awards in the classical CD world.  Recognition for Sir Mark Elder, the Orchestra and its record label came in the form of the coveted Opera award, and an award for their recording of Elgar’s Violin Concerto.  This double win follows the Orchestra’s success with their live recording of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius which won the 2009 Gramophone Choral Award.

Multiple nominations and a double win at the 2010 Gramophone Awards confirms the Orchestra’s resurgence under Sir Mark Elder’s dynamic leadership; Gramophone claims “what he once did for the English National Opera he has now done for Manchester’s finest”.

For photos of Sir Mark Elder at the 2010 Gramophone Awards, please contact Hong Kong Arts Festival Assistant Marketing Manager, Ruskin Leung, at 2824 3555.

Sir Mark Elder
Elder, who was knighted for services to music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2008, put a spark back into the Halle Orchestra after his appointment in 1999. Before this he was Chief Conductor at the English National Opera for 14 years, which was known as the ‘powerhouse‘ era. Responsible for the great developments of the finest orchestra in the British Isles, as claimed by The Times, he has simultaneously built a reputation as a conductor of symphonic music. His music directorship in part explains the orchestra’s international fame and repute. Elder also has associations with other esteemed orchestras including the London Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony.

The Halle Orchestra and Alban Gerhardt
In existence for over 150 years, The Halle is Britain’s oldest professional symphony orchestra. Founded in Manchester, England, the Orchestra has been guided by many distinguished figures such as Hans Richter, Sir Hamilton Harty and Sir John Barbirolli, performing and championing works by Elgar, Mahler, Sibelius and Vaughan Williams. The ensemble will be joined by cellist Alban Gerhardt for a performance of Elgar. Gerhardt has had a flourishing career collaborating with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus, since making his debut performance with the Berlin Philharmonic. He has also worked with many great conductors including Sir Colin Davis and Kurt Masur. One of the world’s most sought-after cellists, he is known for his highly original interpretations and for his acclaimed recordings: he has three ECHO Classic Awards.

Witness this amazing partnership in two concerts at the HKAF
The first evening is an all-British fare, preluding with selected dances from Thomas Ades’s chamber opera, Powder Her Face. Elder then demonstrates his pronounced affinity for Edward Elgar, with his famous cello concerto, and Ralph Vaughan Williams’s London Symphony. Limited tickets are available. 

The second evening will include Tintagel, most possibly Arnold Bax’s most famous work, and a performance of Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia from fellow British composer Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes.  The Orchestra will culminate their third visit to the Festival with Jean Sibelius’s First Symphony; The Guardian commented that they are “the ideal orchestra for Sibelius’s music”.  This is a concert not to be missed.

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