Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

Biography

Active: 1895 - ; Hong Kong
Without doubt, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the most important performing ensembles in Asia. While the HKPO has roots that date back to 1895, it came into existence as a viable entity under its current name in 1957. Yet it did not become a professional performing ensemble until 1974.

The orchestra was formed in 1895 and gave its inaugural concert that year under the baton of George Lammert. It disbanded the same year,
Read more but re-formed in 1903 and began giving concerts again. Once more it ceased, remaining idle until 1907, when Denman Fuller took over as conductor. Concerts were given irregularly and the players were amateurs, though the level of talent was considered relatively high and enthusiasm among the public was strong. For the next several decades, the orchestra sporadically performed under different conductors with no apparent serious intention by management of converting the players to professionals or the operations to a more regular schedule.

After World War II, the ensemble was reorganized and called the Sino-British Orchestra. Its conductor was talented violinist Solomon Bard, who helped shape the players into a quite talented ensemble, yet the orchestra's concerts always featured only native artists. That would change during the tenure of Bard's successor, Shanghai conductor Arrigo Foa, who assumed duties when Bard stepped down in 1953. Foa first attracted Hungarian pianist Louis (Lajos) Kentner, who collaborated with him in a performance of the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3. Near the end of 1957, the orchestra took its current name, splitting with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society. Foa remained its music director. In 1962, the HKPO began performing in Hong Kong's newly constructed city hall. In 1969, Lim Kektjiang was appointed to succeed Foa as music director. It was owing to his initiative that the orchestra turned professional in 1973. Its size of 27 players, however, limited it mostly to the more lightly scored early Classical and Baroque repertory. Kektjiang was succeeded by Hans Gunter Mommer in 1975, who encouraged a more European sound and oversaw the orchestra's gradual increase in size. Mommer resigned in 1978 amid morale problems and difficulties with players, who now numbered 78. Chinese conductor Ling Tung was appointed music director that same year, but in a short time developed a strained relationship with the HKPO members, many of whom resigned or were dismissed. Tung resigned in 1981 and the orchestra was without a permanent conductor until 1984, though many prominent guest conductors were engaged, including Maxim Shostakovich, who had recently defected from the Soviet Union with his son Dmitry. In fact, Shostakovich was appointed to serve as principal guest conductor in 1982. American Kenneth Schermerhorn assumed the post of music director in 1984. Two years later, the HKPO made a successful concert tour of the Republic of China. Schermerhorn made several highly praised recordings with his new orchestra, including one of the Villa-Lobos Choros 8 & 9. In 1989, David Atherton assumed the podium duties and the orchestra, having already achieved much prestige under the leadership of Schermerhorn, continued to live up to its reputation as one of the finest orchestras in Asia. Atherton made a series of well-received Stravinsky recordings with the orchestra. The HKPO's music director in the new century was Samuel Wong, who made a critically successful recording with the orchestra of the Turandot Suite and other works by Ferruccio Busoni. In 2002, the HKPO consisted of 89 members and performed its regular concerts in the Hong Kong Cultural Center. Read less
Villa-lobos: Chôros No 8 & 9 / Schermerhorn, Hong Kong Po
Release Date: 10/16/2001   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555241   Number of Discs: 1
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Busoni: Turandot Suite, Etc / Wong, Hong Kong Philharmonic
Release Date: 05/21/2002   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555373   Number of Discs: 1
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Sheng: China Dream, Etc / Wong, Gondek, Qiang, Hong Kong Po
Release Date: 03/18/2003   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555866   Number of Discs: 1
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Tan Dun: Concerto For Orchestra, Symphonic Poem On Three Notes
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8570608   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Das Rheingold / DeYoung, Goerne, van Zweden, Hong Kong Philharmonic
Release Date: 11/13/2015   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8660374   Number of Discs: 2
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Browse 1-25 of 34 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Resonating Colours 5 / Various
    Label: Navona   Catalog: 6242 Release Date: 07/26/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hok-yeung Alfred Wong,  Chin Ting Chan,  Kar-tai Phoebus Lee,  Yeung-ping Chen  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Nüsslein,  Mary Wu,  Yu-Fang Chen,  Kar-tai Phoebus Lee  ... 
    Conductor:  Yeung-ping Chen,  Bright Sheng
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  UCSD Bass Ensemble,  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 2.
    Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / van Zweden, Hong Kong Philharmonic
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501403 Release Date: 11/16/2018   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  David Cangelosi,  Peter Sidhom,  Matthias Goerne,  Michelle DeYoung  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaap van Zweden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Chorus,  Latvian State Choir  ... 
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  • 3.
    Wagner: Gotterdammerung / Zweden, Barkmin, Brenna, Hong Kong Philharmonic
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8660428 Release Date: 11/09/2018   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Amanda Majeski,  Michelle DeYoung,  Daniel Brenna,  Shenyang  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaap van Zweden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Chorus,  Latvian State Choir  ... 
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    On sale! $47.99
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  • 4.
    Stravinsky: Music for Piano Solo & Piano and Orchestra / Donohoe, Atherton, Hong Kong Philharmonic
    Label: Somm   Catalog: 266 Release Date: 01/19/2018   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Peter Donohoe
    Conductor:  David Atherton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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  • 5.
    Wagner: Siegfried / O'Neill, Goerne, Melton, van Zweden, Hong Kong Philharmonic
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8660413 Release Date: 11/10/2017   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Heidi Melton,  Deborah Humble,  Valentina Farcas,  Falk Struckmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaap van Zweden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
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    On sale! $49.99
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  • 6.
    Wagner: Siegfried / Zweden, Hong Kong Philharmonic [Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 69 Release Date: 11/10/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Matthias Goerne,  Simon O'Neill,  Werner Van Mechelen,  David Cangelosi  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaap van Zweden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Wagner: Die Walkure / Van Zweden, Skelton, Melton, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8660394 Release Date: 11/11/2016   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Laura Nykanen,  Okka von der Damerau,  Aurhelia Varak,  Elaine Mckrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaap van Zweden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
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    On sale! $51.99
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  • 8.
    Wagner: Die Walkure / Van Zweden, Skelton, Melton, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra [Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 0051 Release Date: 11/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Katherine Broderick,  Sarah Castle,  Petra Lang,  Karen Foster  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaap van Zweden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $34.99
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  • 9.
    The Intimacy of Creativity: 5 Year Retrospective / Sheng, Hong Kong Philharmonic
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573614 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Bright Sheng,  Ming-Hsiu Yen,  Matthew Tommasini  ... 
    Performer:  Pius Cheung,  Andrew Simon,  Jing Wang,  Mariel Roberts  ... 
    Conductor:  Bright Sheng
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $23.99
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  • 10.
    Hong Kong TV & Movie Classics / Nishizaki, Hong Kong Philharmonic
    Label: Marco Polo   Catalog: 8225835 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Koo,  Ching Hsi Weng,  Michael Lai,  Chia-Chang Liu  ... 
    Performer:  Takako Nishizaki
    Conductor:  Varujan Kojian,  Kenneth Jean,  Henry Shek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 11.
    Movie Themes of the 40s / Hong Kong Philharmonic
    Label: Marco Polo   Catalog: 8225836 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jin-Guang Li,  Chen Gexin,  Yao Min,  Xiang Hou  ... 
    Conductor:  Wing-Sie Yip
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 12.
    The First Contemporary Chinese Composers Festival 1986 / Hong Kong Philharmonic
    Label: Marco Polo   Catalog: 8225834 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wing Wah Chan,  Tan Dun,  Huang An-Lun,  Xiao-Song Qu  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Banowetz
    Conductor:  Kenneth Schermerhorn,  Jordan Tang
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 13.
    Wagner: Das Rheingold / Deyoung, Goerne, Begley, Reid [blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 49 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  David Cangelosi,  Peter Sidhom,  Matthias Goerne,  Michelle DeYoung  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaap van Zweden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Wagner: Das Rheingold / DeYoung, Goerne, van Zweden, Hong Kong Philharmonic
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8660374 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Deborah Humble,  Anna Samuil,  Charles Reid,  Oleksandr Pushniak  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaap van Zweden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Du Ming-Xin: Violin Concerto; The Goddess of River Luo; Autumn Thoughts
    Label: Marco Polo   Catalog: 8225810 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Du Ming-xin
    Performer:  Takako Nishizaki
    Conductor:  Kenneth Jean
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 16.
    Bright Sheng: The Blazing Mirage; The Song and Dance of Tears; Colors of Crimson
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570610 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bright Sheng
    Performer:  Sa Chen,  Hui Li,  Tong Wu,  Trey Chui-yee Lee  ... 
    Conductor:  Bright Sheng
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $11.99
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  • 17.
    Tan Dun: Concerto For Orchestra, Symphonic Poem On Three Notes
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570608 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Tan Dun
    Conductor:  Tan Dun
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Ballet Adagios
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48630 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Aram Khachaturian,  Georges Bizet,  Erik Satie  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Donohoe
    Conductor:  John Lanchbery,  Rudolf Barshai,  Aram Khachaturian,  Sir Thomas Beecham  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 19.
    Christmas With Winchester College Chapel Choir
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 2110512 Release Date: 10/31/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lowell Mason,  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Sara Macliver,  Christopher Tolley
    Conductor:  William Lacey,  Christopher Tolley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra,  Winchester College Chapel Choir
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  • 20.
    Christmas With The Winchester College Chapel Choir
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557965 Release Date: 11/15/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Lowell Mason,  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Sara Macliver,  Christopher Tolley
    Conductor:  Christopher Tolley,  William Lacey
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winchester College Chapel Choir,  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $11.99
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  • 21.
    Sheng: China Dream, Etc / Wong, Gondek, Qiang, Hong Kong Po
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555866 Release Date: 03/18/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bright Sheng
    Performer:  Juliana Gondek,  Zhang Qiang
    Conductor:  Samuel Wong
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Massenet: Esclarmonde, Cendrillon / Jean, Hong Kong Po
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555986 Release Date: 08/20/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet
    Conductor:  Kenneth Jean
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Busoni: Turandot Suite, Etc / Wong, Hong Kong Philharmonic
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555373 Release Date: 05/21/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ferruccio Busoni
    Conductor:  Samuel Wong
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Villa-lobos: Chôros No 8 & 9 / Schermerhorn, Hong Kong Po
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555241 Release Date: 10/16/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heitor Villa-Lobos
    Conductor:  Kenneth Schermerhorn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Wagner: Marches & Overtures / Kojian, Hong Kong Po
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555386 Release Date: 05/15/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Varujan Kojian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
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