Free tickets disrupt harmony between HK classical music groups

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 January, 2011, 12:00am

Artists are jealous people. That presumably is what started a tussle between the Hong Kong Sinfonietta and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.

HK Phil has been giving away tickets to a Mozart and Haydn concert. Naughty! The people at Sinfonietta, traditionally the lesser cousin, say that cheapens the profession. 'We don't want to see our fellow professional orchestras do this very often,' said Lee Ho-yee, the Sinfonietta's general manager. 'If there are too many freebies out there, audiences will then keep waiting [for better offers] - influencing the purchasing pattern in the long run.

'We organise free concerts from time to time, but with a reason ... in some impoverished areas, to some special-target audience or with an educational purpose. HKPO turns a ticketing event into a free event. It's very strange.'

But HK Phil says that's just ridiculous.

'I don't understand why HKS would say something like that about us,' said Paul Tam, the Philharmonic's director of marketing.

'We won't give out tickets very often, so the audience won't develop the habit they mentioned. We only give out tickets one or two times in a year ... [to develop new contacts].'

We are with HK Phil on this one because we cheap hacks love freebies, even for a classical concert. Wake Alex up when it's finished.