Ashkenazy’s Pastoral and Esther Yoo’s Glazunov Violin Concerto (25 & 26 May)
[6 April 2018, Hong Kong] The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) is proud to present a programme that features one of music’s elder statemen, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and young American-Korean violin sensation, Esther Yoo, on 25 & 26 May in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall.
“It is rare to find, in the same artist, the very highest levels of musical talent living alongside the deepest genuine humility. None has that rare combination in higher degree than Vladimir Ashkenazy.”
Renowned pianist and conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy is returning to the HK Phil to direct the orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony no. 6, Pastoral. An early biographer said of Beethoven and this symphony “… the spirit of nature revealed itself to him in all its mighty force and endowed him with the ability to create a work that cannot compare with anything else in the entire musical repertoire.” Gramophone magazine described Ashkenazy’s recording of the work as revealing the “sunshine in Beethoven's picture of the countryside”.
In the same programme, Ashkenazy will be pairing up with young violinist Esther Yoo in Glazunov’s under-appreciated Violin Concerto. Ashkenazy and Yoo have collaborated twice before, on one occasion recording this Concerto for CD. Reviewing it, Classical Source wrote that Yoo “commands a rich tone that can be pared to something silver-fine and her dynamic range is wide while her technique is excellent and music-serving”. Yoo first came to international attention in 2010 when, at 16, she became the youngest prize winner of the 10th International Sibelius Violin Competition. She was also one of the youngest-ever prize winners of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2012.
The concert opener is another richly colourful work by Glazunov, Chopiniana. A prodigy in Russia who began composing at age 11, Glazunov went on to become a noted conductor and teacher (his most renowned students included Prokofiev and Shostakovich), and was hailed as one of the best orchestrators of all time. Completed in 1907, Chopiniana is his orchestration of several piano pieces by Chopin commissioned by the legendary choreographer Michel Fokine for the ballet Les Sylphides.
This is certainly a not-to-be-missed programme showcasing the harmony and unity of great music-making which spans both the generations and the continents.
Vladimir Ashkenazy, conductor [full biography]
Esther Yoo, violin [full biography]
American-Korean violinist Esther Yoo first came to international attention in 2010 when she became the youngest prizewinner of the 10th International Sibelius Violin Competition, and from 2014 to 2016 she was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, culminating with her BBC Proms debut. The 2017/18 season sees Esther debut with the Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestra Teatro San Carlo, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Vancouver, Bay Atlantic and Hawaii.