Some of the world's most renowned musicians are in Hong Kong from this month for a series of much-anticipated 'Great Music'. Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), the series will feature a concert by what Richard Wagner called the 'most outstanding' orchestra in the world - the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The series also includes piano recitals by Nikolai Demidenko and Murray Perahia; a vocal recital by Anne Sofie von Otter; and a violin recital by Itzhak Perlman. The first performance of the series will be a recital by concert pianist Demidenko at the City Hall on September 29. Acclaimed for his interpretation of Russian repertoire, Demidenko is also famed for his interpretation of Liszt's music and he will perform an all-Liszt programme, featuring the composer's monumental Sonata in B minor, a challenging milestone in the whole piano repertoire, and Ballade No 1, Ballade No 2, Legend No 1, Legend No 2 and Concert Paraphrase on Verdi's Rigoletto. Demidenko has performed regularly with the St Petersburg Philharmonic and Yuri Temirkanov. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra returns to Hong Kong to perform one concert on October 9 under the baton of distinguished conductor Christoph Eschenbach. With his collaboration with baritone Matthias Goerne, the repertoire will include Brahms' Tragic Overture, Schubert's Symphony No 8, 'Unfinished', and Mahler's 11 songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn. There is perhaps no other musical ensemble more closely associated with the tradition of European classical music than the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. German composer and conductor Wagner described the orchestra as being one of the most outstanding in the world. Austrian composer Anton Bruckner called it 'the most superior musical association', while German composer and pianist Johannes Brahms counted himself as a 'friend and admirer'. The late-Romantic Austrian composer, Gustav Mahler, claimed to be joined together through 'the bonds of musical art'. German composer Richard Strauss summarised these sentiments by saying: 'All praise of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra reveals itself as understatement.' While the concert is already a sellout, the LCSD expects to set up large viewing monitors outside the concert venue at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. American Perahia has become one of the most cherished pianists of our time and has won numerous prestigious record awards. He will return to Hong Kong with a recital at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on Monday October 17, featuring pieces by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann and Chopin. Perahia's interpretation of this repertoire has been widely acclaimed. The 'King of Fiddlers', violinist Perlman, will meet Hong Kong audiences at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on October 23 and tickets for this recital sold out within seconds. He last endeared himself to local fans nine years ago. His brilliant career spans more than five decades and he is revered for his formidable technique and telling interpretations. Partnered by his regular pianist Rohan De Silva, Perlman will give a programme of three great violin sonatas - Mozart's Sonata for Violin and Piano in B flat, Beethoven's Sonata for Violin and Piano No 7 and Saint-Saens' Sonata for Violin and Piano No 1 - and a series of miniatures. Beloved for his charm and humanity, and his talent, Perlman took part in President Barack Obama's inauguration in January 2009. But one of his proudest achievements was his collaboration with film score composer John Williams in Steven Spielberg's film Schindler's List, in which he performed the violin solo. He can also be heard as the violin soloist on the soundtrack of Zhang Yimou's film Hero. Swedish mezzo-soprano von Otter is widely acclaimed as one of the world's most accomplished singers in opera houses and concert halls. She will be joined by Swedish pianist Bengt Forsberg and Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto, as they revisit Hong Kong for a recital with a specially conceived programme of lieder. Her programme at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on October 25 features songs by Mahler, Liszt, Grieg and Sibelius. This versatile singer has made a special reputation as a lieder singer. Born in Sweden, von Otter's studies began in Stockholm and continued with Vera Rozsa at London's Guildhall before she became a principal artist of the Basel Opera from where she launched an international career, which has now spanned more than two decades. Von Otter appears regularly on the world's major stages and boasts an unrivalled personal discography. A long-running relationship with James Levine at New York's Metropolitan Opera has led to numerous performances there of Rosenkavalier, Clemenza di Tito and Idomeneo, and stage debuts as Debussy's M?lisande and Countess Geschwitz in Alban Berg's Lulu. A regular performer in Paris, the Theatre des Champs Elysees and Opera de Paris have been platforms for many further role debuts, including Handel's Ariodante (Marc Minkowski), Clairon in Strauss' Capriccio. Von Otter performs around the globe with her accompanist, Bengt Forsberg, and is renowned for her explorative programming.