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Promoting Music through Cross-cultural Collaboration

Exploring New Paths to Cross-Cultural Collaboration in Musicus Fest 2018

09.11.2018
Running for the sixth year, Musicus Fest will take place from 15 to 18 November 2018. Artistic Director Trey Lee leads a constellation of artists from around the world in search of new paths to cross-cultural collaboration. World nyckelharpa champion Emilia Amper and local guitar legend Eugene Pao will join the exciting lineup for the first time, weaving the threads of ethnic, classical and contemporary into an exuberant tapestry of sounds.

Hailing from Norway, the Trondheim Soloists blazes its own path with a daring approach to programming and collaboration with artists from a wide array of genres. A three-time winner of the Spellemannprisen and 10-time Grammy nominee, the Trondheim Soloists will perform in the Opening and Finale Concerts, presenting the distinctive national flavors by Dvořák and Norway’s best-known Classical composer, Edvard Grieg. Among the many exciting new ventures, this Festival also sees performers taking a hands-on approach with their repertoire. In addition to Emilia Amper’s arrangements for the nyckelharpa, Trey Lee will bring to the Opening Concert his own arrangement of Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, customized for the unprecedented configuration of cello, electric guitar and string orchestra.

Musicus Fest also continues to create a platform where homegrown talents collaborate with world-renowned masters. This year, Dong-Suk Kang, celebrated violinist and Artistic Director of the Seoul Spring Festival in Korea, and Vladimir Mendelssohn, esteemed violist and Artistic Director of Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, will share the stage with local talents. Among the roster are new Principal Violist of Shanghai Symphony, Born Lau; Gold Prize winner at the 2018 Chopin International Competition (Asia), Cheong Hoi-leong; burgeoning 14-year-old violin talent, Wong Pui-ying; Chopin International Piano Competition laureate, Colleen Lee and Musicus Young Artists Audition winner, violinist Brian Choi.

Musicus Fest is also devoted to nurturing young audiences. In the Children’s Concert, versatile Hong Kong actress Corinna Cheng will join the international cast of actors, musicians and dancer from Germany, Italy, Taiwan and Hong Kong, in a fun-filled performance for the entire family.

“Building on the success of the past few years, we strive to challenge ourselves and the audiences with new concert experiences. I am thrilled to see the Trondheim Soloists, the virtuoso nyckelharpist Emilia Amper and the revered jazz guitarist Eugene Pao among our roster this year. At the same time, we shall continue to promote cross-cultural collaboration through the meeting point for international artists and Hong Kong talents that is Musicus Fest.

We would like to thank our major sponsors and supporters, including the Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, our Lead Partner Credit Suisse and Principal Sponsor CITIC Telecom CPC, for their staunch support over the years,” said Artistic Director Trey Lee.

Dr. François Monnet, Head of Private Banking North Asia and Chief Executive of Hong Kong Branch at Credit Suisse said “It’s the fourth year that Credit Suisse collaborates with Musicus Society, as the Lead Partner. Supporting young talent in music and arts is an integral part of the Credit Suisse sponsorship strategy and we work with leading institutions that have increasingly become great platforms for young artists to take their career to the next level. We share the vision Mr. Trey Lee and Musicus Society in advancing the artistic excellence of young and talented local musicians through meaningful interactions with the distinguished artists from all over the world.”


Highlights of this year’s program include:

Festival Opening (15 Nov) | Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall
Artistic Director Trey Lee kicks off the Musicus Fest with nyckelharpa virtuoso, Emilia Amper and Hong Kong’s premier jazz guitarist Eugene Pao, joined by the Trondheim Soloists. Highlights of the evening include the Abrégé Suite for nyckelharpa and string orchestra, as well as the world premiere of Trey Lee’s own arrangement of The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires by Piazzolla, in an unprecedented configuration for cello, electric guitar and string orchestra.

Chamber Music Gala (16 Nov) | Hong Kong Jockey Club Amphitheatre, HKAPA
This year’s chamber concert features a sumptuous program, bringing together renowned Artistic Directors from across the globe, including esteemed violinist Dong-Suk Kang, violist Vladimir Mendelssohn, cellist Alexander Hülshoff and Trey Lee in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.3 and Mendelssohn’s Octet, joined by selected local artists. Acclaimed pianist Colleen Lee will be performing in Beethoven’s Piano Quartet Op.16, as well as in Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite with award-winning young pianist Cheong Hoi-leong. The concert also features burgeoning violinist Wong Pui-ying, who will be sharing the stage with Dong-Suk Kang in Sarasate’s showpiece Navarra.

Children’s Concert: Marco Polo Returns to Carnival (17 Nov) | Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall
Riding on last year’s resounding success, director and commedia dell’arte specialist Ursula Volkmann prepares another installment of excitement in Marco Polo Returns to Carnival with scriptwriter-actress Maddalena Recino. Joining the international cast from Germany, Italy, Taiwan and Hong Kong, local celebrity actress Corinna Cheng will take on the title role as Marco Polo. The concert explores the themes of the Venetian Carnival and Italian traditions via a medley of Chinese and Western music, drama, Chinese dance and dazzling spectacles.

Finale Concert (18 Nov) | Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall
The 6th Musicus Fest concludes with a grand celebration of Norway: from its leading string orchestra, its music traditions to the 50th wedding anniversary of the Norwegian monarch. The Trondheim Soloists lends an authentic touch to Grieg’s Two Melodies and Holberg Suite. Artistic Director Trey Lee shares the stage with nyckelharpa soloist, Emilia Amper in a special arrangement by the latter. The concert also features violinist Dong-Suk Kang and Born Lau in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra, K.364. Young pianist Cheong Hoi-leong will present the Wedding Cake waltz-caprice by Saint-Säens as a special token for the occasion.


Tickets for concerts at the Hong Kong City Hall are now available at URBTIX (www.urbtix.hk), while those for the Chamber Music Gala at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts are available at HK Ticketing (www.hkticketing.com). Musicus Fest also features a series of community and education events, open to the public as well as students, such as Master Classes and School Visits by distinguished festival guests. More information on Musicus Fest 2018 is available at www.musicussociety.org.


A recipient of the Springboard Grant under the Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Musicus Society gratefully acknowledges its sponsors and partners for Musicus Fest, including Credit Suisse, CITIC Telecom CPC, as well as the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.