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Two star violinists - Leila Josefowicz and Joshua Bell - alongside Maestro Jaap van Zweden kick start the HK Phil’s 45th Professional Season
Source: The HK Phil

To mark the grand opening of the 45th anniversary of the finest music-making, theHong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) and its Music Director Jaap van Zweden are joined by two renowned violinists - Leila Josefowicz (31 August & 1 September) and Joshua Bell (7 & 8 September) - in two consecutive weeks, to thrill the audience with two stunning programmes. Single tickets for both programmes are now available at URBTIX.


HK Phil's 45th: Season Opening: JAAP | Leila Josefowicz (31 Aug & 1 Sep)

An enchanting night with Stravinsky’s powerful Violin Concerto and Rachmaninov Symphony no. 2, an essential romantic masterpiece


The HK Phil raises the curtain on its 45th professional season with the first programme in the special “HK Phil’s 45th” series conducted by Music Director Jaap van Zweden, who is also the 26th Music Director of the New York Philharmonic from this season onwards. They team up with visionary violinist Leila Josefowicz in Stravinsky’s fierce Violin Concerto on 31 August & 1 September in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall.


“[Leila Josefowicz] She speaks the language of the composer without waiting 50 years for everybody to catch up.”

--- The Washington Post


In composing his Violin Concerto, Stravinsky collaborated closely with violinist Samuel Dushkin, who inspired the composer through sharing his technical knowledge about the violin and the instrument’s intriguing possibilities. Thus was born a fantastic musical partnership and also the famous “passport” of this Concerto - a three-note chord (D-E-A) - which heralds the start of each of its four movements. This great piece will be showcased by the HK Phil and Leila Josefowicz, “a fantastic talent” (Gramophone) and an outstanding interpreter of 20th-centruy and contemporary music.


Under the baton of Jaap, the orchestra takes the audience on a highly-charged emotional journey through Rachmaninov’s heartfelt romantic Symphony no. 2. After the hostile critical reaction of his First Symphony in 1897, which had robbed him of his confidence and cast him into the deepest depression, Rachmaninov took ten years to approach the composition of a second symphony again. With a successful premiere under his own conducting, Rachmaninov gained much critical praises on his Second Symphony, and it has remained hugely popular ever since.


Opening the programme is The Abduction from the Seraglio Overture by Mozart, a piece that gained the composer’s first success in Vienna and excited audiences with its exotic flavours. The HK Phil will revive that original excitement. 


Title Sponsor of Opening Night Concert on 31 August: UOB


HK Phil's 45th: Season Opening: JAAP | Leila Josefowicz will be held on 31 Aug & 1 Sep (Fri & Sat), 8PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert HallTickets priced: HK$680, $480, $380, $280 are now available atURBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit




JAAP!: JAAP | Joshua Bell (7 & 8 Sep)

“Poet of the Violin” Joshua Bell to play the most recorded and performed violin concerto by Sibelius; rounding up the night with the gigantic final symphony by Mozart - Jupiter 


HK Phil’s Music Director Jaap van Zweden will be leading the HK Phil in another stunning programme on 7 & 8 September in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, featuring violin superstar Joshua Bell in Sibelius’s dark and expressive Violin Concerto.


“[Joshua Bell is] One of the most imaginative, technically gifted and altogether extraordinary violinists of our time.”

--- The Washington Post


“Poet of the Violin” Joshua Bell has fascinated audiences around the globe with his phenomenal talent. After 11 years, he returns to the HK Phil with one of the most frequently recorded and performed violin concertos composed in the 20th century - Sibelius’s Violin Concerto.


Selected by Gramophone as one of the top ten violin concertos in 2017, Sibelius’s only Violin Concerto is both “a passionate outburst and a farewell to romanticism”. Sibelius had hoped for a career as a violin soloist, but an increasing passion in composition ended his longing solo career. Nevertheless, the composer never lost his enthusiasm for the violin and wrote this violin concerto in 1904 and subsequently made big revisions in 1905. This work places exceptional demand on the soloist and Joshua Bell is definitely an impeccable interpreter of the work.


Mozart wrote his final three symphonies (39, 40 and 41) in the span of less than three months during the summer of 1788. As the final and most complex symphony of the three, the 41st Symphony is also regarded as one of the greatest symphonies in classical music. Mozart never named his symphony as Jupiter, but it is generally thought that the work’s radiant and solemn characteristics earned it this nickname.


Jaap van Zweden and the orchestra open the concert with “a musical thank you note” (Classic FM) - Brahms’sAcademic Festival Overture, bringing a fun-filled start to the evening.   


JAAP!: JAAP | Joshua Bell will be held on 7 & 8 Sep (Fri & Sat), 8PM in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert HallTickets priced: HK$880, $680, $480, $380 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit



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