Hong Kong’s New Year’s Eve countdown concert will feature the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra performing with Canto-pop singers and boy band sensation Mirror. Organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board and held at the arts hub in West Kowloon, it is the city’s first in-person New Year’s Eve celebration since 2018. The event was scrapped amid the social unrest in 2019 and again last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. On December 31, about 3,000 people selected in a lucky draw will be allowed to gather at an open space at the West Kowloon Cultural District for the concert and countdown to 2022, but there will be no fireworks. The concert will be the Philharmonic Orchestra’s first time performing at a New Year’s Eve countdown event. A 20-minute highlight of the show will feature eight orchestra members accompanying Canto-pop artists AGA, Alfred Hui Ting-hang, Joyce Cheng Yan-yee, Malaysian-Chinese singer Gin Lee and a member of Mirror. The 12 young men who make up the hugely popular Mirror boy band will perform during the show, but organisers have not yet revealed which of them will sing in the segment with the other stars. Korean-American violinist Leslie Ryang Moon-sun said she was a long-time fan of Canto-pop and looking forward to playing with the pop singers during the show. Hong Kong to usher in New Year’s Eve with music, drone show, Tesla giveaway “I agreed immediately when I heard about the opportunity. I’ve played the accompaniment to some of their songs and I am excited to work with younger singers,” she said. Ryang, 48, who has also accompanied Mirror at one of their concerts, said she had found it more fun and relaxing to perform at a pop show as the fans were more enthusiastic. “When I was part of the accompaniment for Mirror’s concert, I was not nervous at all. I felt young,” she said with a laugh. “When I perform at the Cultural Centre and the conductor is stern, I will feel more tense.” She added that she would make sure to bundle up in warm clothes, as the concert venue will be by the sea. The orchestra’s principal violist, Andrew Ling Hin-yau, said that in planning the performance, they were mindful that not everyone in the audience would be familiar with classical music. “We will choose songs that are more upbeat and in line with the festive mood, such as dance tunes. I hope the audience will stand up and dance along,” said Ling, who joined the orchestra in 2010. Although this is the first time the orchestra is taking part in a countdown event, it is no stranger to outdoor performances. It held its annual Symphony Under The Stars concert last month, also for the first time since 2018. More than 20,000 Hongkongers had entered a lucky draw to attend the New Year’s Eve concert, said the Tourism Board. Attendees will need to be inoculated with two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine by December 13 and use the government’s risk-exposure “Leave Home Safe” app to enter the venue.