30 Years of Fine Music Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra Cultural Centre Concert Hall Ended yesterday Music world luminaries gathered this weekend to celebrate the joint 30th anniversaries of classical music station Radio 4 and the inauguration of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra as a professional body in 1974. Appropriately, the conductor was Edo de Waart, who will become artistic director and chief conductor of the orchestra next season. The Friday concert started with the world premiere of local veteran composer Richard Tsang's Overture FM. Tsang was once head of Radio 4 and composed the channel's signature tune, which appeared at the beginning and end of the overture. It was imaginative and well-crafted music, but did not project a strong personal voice. The orchestra sounded under-rehearsed and failed to highlight some of the finer points of the piece. The next work was Beethoven's Violin Concerto, with soloist Elmar Oliveira. He exhibited a clear tone and dependable technique, but his interpretation lacked character. De Waart only lit up the scene a little on his side. Fortunately, the concert ended with a breezy performance of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, selected for the occasion through public polling. De Waart adopted a fast tempo, eschewed histrionics, and unravelled the music in one long breath from the first appearance of the 'Fate' motif right up to the triumphant finale. Sharp articulation, limpid texture and flexible dynamic changes all helped make the fiercely interlocking musical arguments flash through in sharp relief. The performance was competent rather than passionate, but it revealed De Waart's laudable ability to pull the orchestra together in order to produce a poised, focused sound.