The 46th Hong Kong Arts Festival closes on 24 March
Over 1,700 top international and local artists in 130 performances
with over 92% of tickets sold

(Hong Kong, 27 March 2018) The 46th Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) celebrates its official finale on 24 March with a performance from the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Estonian National Male Choir, sponsored by ICBC (Asia). At the post-performance ceremony, Guest of Honour, Mr Matthew Cheung, HKSAR Chief Secretary for Administration, toasts this major annual international event and highlight of Hong Kong’s cultural calendar.

This year’s HKAF has presented over 1,700 acclaimed artists from at home and around the world in 130 performances. It has featured a total of 15 world premieres and 13 Asian premieres.

Of the 110,000 available tickets for sale, close to 103,000 tickets have been sold, representing an average attendance rate of over 92%. The total ticketed audience number is over 113,000, including 11,000 HKAF Young Friends. Across the 130 ticketed performances, 83 have had attendance rates of over 90%, with 59 at full capacity. 

In addition to the wide array of performances, HKAF has presented, in its 46th season, around 470 outreach events comprising events for Young Friends, other education activities with schools and community groups and a comprehensive PLUS programme of talks, workshops and masterclasses. The Festival reached an estimated total of over 300,000 people in Hong Kong through its performances and events this year. [Please refer to factsheet for updated statistics]

HKAF is a non-profit organisation. The 2018 Festival budget is approximately HK$125 million. Around 14% of its income comes from the HKSAR Government as baseline funding, around 32% from box office revenue, and around 36% from sponsorship and donations from corporations, individuals and charitable foundations (including the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust). The remaining 18% is expected to come from the Government’s matching scheme, which matches income generated through private sector sponsorships and donations.

We sincerely thank the two main funding bodies, 33 major sponsors, all donors, Patron’s Club members, in-kind and other supporters, over 1,700 outstanding international and local artists, as well as our audiences and event participants for their support.

Programme Highlights of the 46th Hong Kong Arts Festival
Programme highlights of the 46th HKAF include: Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande performed by Welsh National Opera; Beijing Opera Princess Changping performed by China National Peking Opera Company; Cantonese Opera Farewell My Concubine; Cantonese Opera Pavilion of a Hundred Flowers; State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Evgeny Svetlanov” with conductor Kristjan Järvi and pianist Denis Matsuev; Danish National Symphony Orchestra with conductor Fabio Luisi and percussionist Li Biao; Vox Clamantis with conductor Jaan-Eik Tulve; Chris Botti; Cécile McLorin Salvant and the Aaron Diehl Trio; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time performed by National Theatre of Great Britain; Shukshin’s Stories performed by Theatre of Nations, Moscow; Whipped Cream, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, performed by American Ballet Theatre; Anna Karenina, choreographed by Christian Spuck and performed by Zurich Ballet; Pas de deux for Toes and Fingers, performed by Svetlana Zakharova and Vadim Repin; and FLA.CO.MEN performed by Israel Galván, to name a few.

Festival PLUS
Adding to the list of great performances, Festival PLUS has offered audiences an exciting array of outreach activities including film screenings, masterclasses, workshops, meet-the-artist sessions and backstage tours that have enriched the Festival experience. Highlights include:

  • “Richter × Pärt” Vox Clamantis – Concert at an Exhibition at the HKU Museum and Art Gallery;
  • Welsh National Opera’s “Opera Adventure Day” with opera workshops, props and costume displays, a Magic Butterfly VR experience and free foyer performances by WNO chorus members at Hong Kong Cultural Centre;
  • “ABT Recipe” including children’s dance workshops and masterclasses led by American Ballet Theatre teaching artists, a documentary screening and pre-performance talk at Hong Kong Cultural Centre,
  • A wider series of pre-performance talks hosted by visiting artists and specialist speakers.
Reaching Out to Young People
HKAF’s Young Friends Scheme has remained popular amongst students this year with nearly 6,500 participants from secondary schools and tertiary institutions. They have attended a total of 87 performances, rehearsals and Young Friends Specials, while over 18,800 have attended over 140 school tour showcases and in-school workshops.

Discounted student tickets have been in high demand and around 10,000 were made available, fully supported by donations to the Student Ticket scheme.

With the support of corporate sponsors, HKAF organises a wide range of outreach programmes via the Artists-in-Residence Project, school-based projects, as well as arts appreciation performances and workshops targeted at young students. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust continues to sponsor the Student Matinee programme, this year enabling around 2,500 students who might otherwise have lacked the resources or opportunity to attend two performances of American Ballet Theatre’s Whipped Cream.

Highlights of the 47th Hong Kong Arts Festival
Highlights of the forthcoming 47th HKAF in 2019 include: Wagner’s Tannhäuser by Leipzig Opera and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; Zubin Mehta with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Marin Alsop with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra; The Nutcracker, The World of John Neumeier and Beethoven Project performed by The Hamburg Ballet; Gangsters of Hong Kong written by Loong Man-hong; Always by Your Side with an original story concept from Roger Lee, directed by Tang Wai-kit; and Zhou Long’s Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Madame White Snake. More programme highlights will be announced in August and Advance Booking for the 47th HKAF will start in October.

About the Hong Kong Arts Festival
Launched in 1973, the Hong Kong Arts Festival is a major international arts festival committed to enriching the cultural life of the city. In February and March every year, the Festival presents 1,400 of the world’s top artists and stars of tomorrow in approximately 120 performances, placing equal importance on great traditions and contemporary creations. The Festival also commissions and produces work in theatre, music, chamber opera and contemporary dance by Hong Kong’s own creative talents and emerging artists, many of which have had successful subsequent runs both locally and overseas. The Festival also presents over 300 “PLUS” and educational activities that offer diverse arts experiences to the community as well as tertiary, secondary and primary school students.