The 42nd Hong Kong Arts Festival 2014 Advance Booking starts 10 October

October 08th, 2013

(Hong Kong, 8 October 2013) Today the Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) announced details of the forthcoming 42nd HKAF 2014, to be staged in 15 venues from 18 February to 23 March. Featuring 55 international and local ensembles or solo artists, there are 138 performances in total, two of which are free performances by the Trisha Brown Dance Company. [Please refer to the statistics factsheet for details]

“I am very pleased to join the Festival team to introduce the 42nd HKAF. Since I took the chair a year ago, we have been taking a longer term view of possible future developments, and the Festival’s funding on a sustainable basis. Given that we need plenty of lead-time to secure major programmes, we need to secure funding earlier so that we can continue to deliver the high quality performances that Hong Kong community have come to expect.

The Festival now goes beyond presenting local works and invests in local talent by working closely with writers, composers, choreographers and performers to produce original works on the Festival platform. This level of engagement is an indication of the Festival’s deep commitment to local arts development. The extensive PLUS activities and a whole range of highly subsidised events specially curated for Young Friends also demonstrate our commitment to the future of the arts in Hong Kong.” (The Hon Ronald Arculli, Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Festival)

“The 42nd HKAF brings together a glittering programme that continues to reflect the diversity of our city. There is enduring classical repertoire, as well as newly-minted work meeting an audience for the first time. We continue the New Stage Series, in which we commission, produce and publish new work of Hong Kong’s creative talent, and this year we include our first English drama production FILTH in the Series. Regionally, our Asia Pacific Dance Platform (APDP) continues to embrace dance talent from neighbouring areas and the co-commissioned production of 108 HEROES III re-unites artists from Shanghai, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

This Festival is filled with heroes: in the characters on stage, in heroic journeys in music, played and sung; and creative giants who are heroes of the dance. The ‘hero’ motif is also a tribute to all artists, audiences, partners, stakeholders and those behind the scenes who make the Festival possible.” (Ms Tisa Ho, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival)

The budget for the 42nd HKAF is estimated to be $102.5 million, with a subvention of $33.18 million from the Government through the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and a donation of about $10 million from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. Projected revenues are estimated at nearly $21 million in sponsorships, donations and other revenues, and about $38 million in ticket sales.

OPERA

Heroes and legendary figures take centre stage in this HKAF’s roster of Western and Cantonese operas.

From Finland, the Savonlinna Opera Festival brings to Hong Kong Richard Wagner’s fairy-tale opera, Lohengrin. The story of the swan knight and the eternal quest of love and redemption are reimagined in the production by German director, Roman Hovenbitzer. As part of the bicentennial celebration of Wagner and Verdi, the Savonlinna Opera Festival Choir presents a gala of classics and rare gems from the German and Italian canon. 

Commissioned by HKAF, Berlin-based composer Jeffrey Ching’s new chamber opera, Before Brabant, is a fascinating prequel to Wagner’s Lohengrin. The world premiere concert performance of Ching’s new work joins homegrown talents with international artists.

Pina Bausch’s choreography brings Christoph Willibald Gluck’s affective score to new dramatic heights in her signature dance opera, Iphigenia in Tauris. With the combined forces of her dance company, superb singers, chorus and Hong Kong Sinfonietta, this rarely staged performance is a timely tribute to the 300th anniversary of Gluck’s birth.

In Cantonese opera, esteemed veteran artists and artistic advisors, Yam Bing-yee and Lam Kar-sing , coach emerging talents in two classics - The Gilded Fan, a romantic opera by the legendary Tong Tik-sang and Wu Song the Tiger Killer, a martial drama by Lee Siu-wan.

MUSIC

Leading orchestras and soloists from Europe’s concert circuit illuminate the 42nd HKAF. The Festival Opening sees Markus Stenz and Guerzenich Orchestra Cologne in collaboration with clarinet virtuoso Sabine Meyer. The London Symphony Orchestra returns to Hong Kong with Principal Guest Conductor Daniel Harding, featuring the dynamic performance of star pianist Yuja Wang. Legendary pianist Maria Joao Pires joins the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in music by Chopin and Schumann. The Budapest Festival Orchestra performs a colourful programme of symphonic classics by Mozart, Beethoven and Bruckner under the baton of co-founder Ivan Fischer. Renowned for its youthful and dynamic approach, the Lucerne Festival Strings plays two concerts featuring Artistic Director Daniel Dodds and Hong Kong soprano Louise Kwong as soloists.

An array of established international artists takes the stage this year. Leonidas Kavakos performs his acclaimed Beethoven’s violin sonatas with concert partner Enrico Pace. A worthy successor to the great Wilhelm Kempff, John O’Conor plays his signature Beethovenian repertoire in two recitals. Legendary Argentine organ virtuoso, Hector Olivera, brings a feast of great music and bravura performance. The superb a cappella group Anonymous 4 enchants Hong Kong audience with songs from medieval France and early America. Multiple award-winning Baroque ensemble Il Giardino Armonico performs music by Vivaldi and his German contemporaries.

The Festival continues its tradition of presenting emerging international and local musical talents. Among them are Russian pianist Yulianna Avdeeva, winner of the 16th International Chopin Piano Competition; 21-year-old Korean violinist Hyeyoon Park in her debut recital with German pianist Florian Uhlig; baroque ensemble Cordevento playing popular music from the 17th century. Local pianists Colleen Lee and Wong Wai-yuen are featured in Magic Piano & The Chopin Shorts, delightful animations with live music from the Oscar-winning producers of Peter & the Wolf. Commissioned by HKAF, five homegrown composers showcase their new works in Images of Hong Kong, a concert inspired by the poetry of Leung Ping-kwan (Ya Si).

On the home front, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta presents British star pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, in Britten’s powerful Piano Concerto. The Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra continues its eighth episode of Music about China with existing and commissioned new works for zhongruan and guitar.

JAZZ / WORLD MUSIC

Award-winning jazz singers Gregory Porter and Madeleine Peyroux mee