Classical musici

Home to two renowned orchestras, the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and scores of other ensembles and players, as well as a magnet for many of the world’s leading performers, Hong Kong has one of the liveliest classical music scenes in Asia. Read previews and reviews of the biggest classical music events in Hong Kong, interviews with big players and tastemakers, profiles and news.

  • Musicus Soloists Hong Kong perform a programme of Nordic music, with violinist Angela Chan outstanding in Estonian minimalist Arvo Pärt’s Fratres
  • They are joined in Grieg’s Piano Concerto by Louis Lortie, whose playing is strangely percussive in places but whose direction from the keyboard is attentive

A conference in Shenzhen about Arnold Schoenberg saw the Chinese premiere of Tod Machover’s opera about the 20th century Austrian Jewish composer who pioneered atonal music and his exile in America.

A performance of nervous intensity from the Hong Kong Sinfonietta of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 is accompanied by artist’s film inspired by the work and by Soviet composer’s career.


Mainland China’s commerce hub is adding a new dimension to its efforts to develop its appeal as an international tourist destination – organising world-class artistic performances to attract opera lovers and musical aficionados.


Readers discuss the call for targeted and culturally sensitive public programmes, timely attention on the problem of “psychiatrisation”, the lucky audience at Yo-Yo Ma’s concert, and ways to speed up the construction of MTR platform screen doors.

Celebrated soloist’s focused, warm and engaging tone, and communication with Hong Kong orchestra’s players, make for a memorable performance of Dvorak concerto. ‘Great listening’, indeed, as Ma said.

The vinyl revival shows no sign of abating, but do LPs really sound better than CDs? Only if they come from the original analogue tapes, says the Grammy-winning mastering engineer

Mandy Harvey lost her hearing at 19 but later wowed Simon Cowell with her music on America’s Got Talent. The singer talks to the Post ahead of her performance with Hong Kong’s largest inclusive orchestra.

50 years after Philadelphia Orchestra’s ice-breaking tour of China, players are back for more concerts, as American Ballet Theatre mounts a tour and a Chinese orchestra readies to perform in New York.


Hong Kong-born cellist Trey Lee had been struggling with a movement in Robert Schumann’s Five Pieces in Folk Style. Seeing a famous 17th-century vanitas painting suddenly made everything clear.

Ricky Hu Songwei, Hong Kong Ballet’s award-winning choreographer-in-residence, talks to the Post about studying in in China and New York and finding his artistic voice after switching to choreography.

German violinist’s playing of Mozart’s Violin Concerto No 3 was by turns joyous, silky and seductive, and she gave an assured Asian premiere with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta of a concerto written for her.

The New Vision Arts Festival in Hong Kong always has an eclectic mix of dance, multimedia and music theatre. Highlights to look forward to this year include ‘a macabre comedy of murder and desire’.


The Vienna Boys Choir, returning to Hong Kong as part of a world tour to mark its 525th anniversary, has been through many changes since its early days, including the setting up of the Vienna Girls Choir.

Listening to Carl Maria von Weber’s German romantic opera Der Freischütz at the age of 18 opened Perry So’s mind to the possibilities of music, and inspired him to pick up the conductor’s baton.

British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor exhibited phenomenal dexterity during his ‘Chopin & Liszt’ piano recital that brought the house down at the Hong Kong City Hall.

Virtuoso violinist Tianwa Yang tells Kate Whitehead about her serendipitous start in music, the intense demands of her Beijing teachers, and learning to enjoy life while studying in Germany, her home now.

Korean-British pianist Hyung-ki Joo talks about his tribute to Joseph Haydn featuring original pieces and works by Debussy and Ravel that he will perform with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta.


The Elements for violin and orchestra has its Asian premiere with Joshua Bell as soloist, while performance of Tchaikovsky’s 4th symphony will go down as a highlight of Jaap van Zweden’s tenure in Hong Kong.

‘There is still a chance,’ composer Charles Kwong said as he entered a rehearsal for the already delayed world premiere of his piano concerto with Typhoon Saola bearing down on Hong Kong. But it wasn’t to be.

Back in Hong Kong for one night, violin virtuoso David Garrett talks about his latest album, Iconic, why he plays popular songs instead of concertos, and his problem with the description ‘crossover’.


Hong Kong Ballet and city orchestras are undertaking tours abroad delayed by the pandemic – and with more of an ambassadorial role than previously after 2019’s protests and the imposition of a national security law.


Highlights of the 2024 festival have been revealed, including ballet from Teatro alla Scala, a full-length The Peony Pavilion, Peter Brook’s last theatre production and Bavarian State Opera doing Richard Strauss.

The Asian Youth Orchestra will hold its first Hong Kong concerts without its American co-founder Richard Pontzious next weekend, before taking off for Thailand, Taiwan and Japan.

Ella Kiang Hua has taught singers including Deanie Ip, Leon Lai, Sandy Lam and Ivana Wong over her more than 60-year career, and still performs and teaches in Hong Kong regularly.


At Germany’s Bayreuth Festival, Wagner’s Parsifal was infused with augmented reality (AR) to bring fantastical images to the audience – those lucky enough to have goggles, at least.

Star violinist Hilary Hahn showed her technical prowess in Brahms’ violin concerto, while Jaap van Zweden led a passionate and edgy rendition of Tchaikovsy’s Symphony No 6.

The musical director of New York’s Metropolitan Opera has added more contemporary music to the opera company’s repertoire to attract new audiences, and composers have welcomed the change.

Studio Ghibli composer Joe Hisaishi led a triptych of Hong Kong premieres from the podium himself, with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra proving itself up to the musical challenges.