Mahler, Tchaikovsky and Bruckner on Jaap van Zweden’s schedule for Hong Kong Philharmonic’s 2022-23 season
- Music director Jaap van Zweden will endure three hotel quarantines in order to lead the Hong Kong Philharmonic in a series of programmes in its 2022-23 season
- He will conduct symphonies by Beethoven, Shostakovich, Bruckner, Mahler and Tchaikovsky, concertos by Elgar and Prokofiev along with premieres of new works
Jaap van Zweden is to return to the rostrum of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in September after a prolonged absence from the city during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I really think, and I really feel, that it is absolutely time that we see each other again and that we make music again for you, our audience, who I personally missed tremendously.”
For the Hong Kong Philharmonic’s 2022-23 season, the Dutch maestro will have to undergo three 7-day spells of quarantine between September and December 2022 – assuming the rules are not further relaxed – to conduct the orchestra in six programmes.
These include two National Day concerts that feature Bruckner’s Symphony No 7 paired with the Asian premiere of Three Muses in Video Game, a trombone concerto by Chinese composer Tan Dun to be performed by soloist Jörgen van Rijen.
Van Zweden will return in November for a programme that includes the world premiere of a violin concerto by Dutch composer John Borstlap, with the Philharmonic’s concertmaster, Jing Wang, as soloist, and Mahler’s Symphony No 1.
Two December concerts will feature a new work by Hong Kong composer Simon Yip Sai-man, Shostakovich’s Symphony No 5 and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No 2, performed by Japanese violinist Akiko Suwanai.
Other programmes to be conducted by van Zweden will feature musicians including cellist Jan Vogler, performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto, and pianist Niu Niu, who will perform Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No 1 in a concert that also features the Russian composer’s Symphony No 6.
In addition, Lio has collaborated with composer Johnny Yim for a concert of Canto-pop classics arranged for orchestra, to be presented in early September prior to the season- opening programme under van Zweden’s baton.
There is no news yet on the search for a successor to van Zweden when his contract expires in 2024. He has been music director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic since 2012, when he succeeded another Dutchman, Edo de Waart.
“As you understand and as you all know, music brings people together, connects them and celebrates life,” van Zweden said in his recorded message. “I’m extremely happy that finally, after such a long time, due to the pandemic, I can come back to Hong Kong and make music again with the great Hong Kong Philharmonic.”