Finnish Classical Music Stars Joined International and Local Talents To Light Up Musicus Fest 2016
Led by Artistic Director Trey Lee Musicus Fest 2016 continues to expand Hong Kong’s musical landscape while exploring the city’s unique heritage and nurturing its emerging talents. Festival featured five programs with six concerts that celebrate music’s rich cultural traditions from across the globe, this year especially from Finland.
As Finland prepares to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its independence, guest artists will include the country’s violin phenomenon Pekka Kuusisto and renowned pianist Paavali Jumppanen, alongside Finland’s brilliant Tapiola Sinfonietta. There’s also an array of international artists and talents including Romanian violist Vladimir Mendelssohn, Italian cellist Rocco Filippini, and Hong Kong’s soprano Louise Kwong and violist Born Lau.
"We feel that Musicus Society's Chinese name "Chui-Yee Yue Shi", or "Forever Friendship Society" perfectly captures its long-term commitment for the future. We are more than delighted to partner with our friends to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Finland in 2017 and 25th anniversary of our consulate," said Consul-General of Finland in Hong kong and Macao Jari Sinkari.
“Finns and friends of Finland have built an enormous centenary programme which entails more than 2,000 different projects. The centenary celebrations reach even beyond Finland’s borders: the big year is celebrated in 70 different countries,” said Pekka Timonen, General Secretary for the centenary committee of Finland.
Music Education Cooperation Between Finland and Hong Kong
Musicus Fest 2016 featured again a Master Class program, open to the public as well as students, and run by distinguished festival guests. Over the last week the players of Tapiola Sinfonietta have been leading workshops and giving masterclasses as part of Musicus Society's mission to support music education for students of all social backgrounds to foster future cultural ambassadors from Hong Kong.
"We promote music and its education through cross-cultural collaboration in the hope of nurturing Hong Kong's next generation artists. This year our leading partner is Finland. We have invited a strong contingency from Finland to perform with our Hong Kong musicians.
And why Finland? Because it's one of the major classical music centres in the world with its education ranked top consistently. Finland is also known to have lots of musicians who are willing to try new things, so it's a very good partner for our local musicians. And this year, our programmes range from soul-searching works to celebratory, uplifting music," President of the Musicus Society Chui-Inn Lee describes the cooperation between the two cultures.
"Because of the importance the composers and their work have had in our nation's building, Finland is known as the most music-oriented country in the world. The emphasis continues in the music education. We try to get everyone involved, and give everyone a chance to study. Therefore, we really appreciate Musicus Society's work with younger generations," Consul-General of Finland, Jari Sinkari tells.
Musicus Fest 2017 in Kuhmo, Finland
Musicus Fest 2016 will explore Finland’s unique musical accomplishments at the Festival, and cooperation between Hong Kong and Finland in the classical music scene continues: "Music transcends boundaries and builds partnerships. We are very happy for the active and continuous cooperation that Musicus Society has with Finland's Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival. The links with Finland will be further strengthened with 'Musicus Fest in Espoo' which brings Trey Lee and other talented Hong Kong musicians to Tapiola Sinfonietta's home base in Finland in April 2017," said Jari Sinkari.
“We are excited by the fascinating program we have in store with both our international guests and Hong Kong’s rising stars. This year marks a unique cross-cultural initiative: as we welcome the outstanding Finnish musicians for Musicus Fest 2016, our Finnish friends will host nine Hong Kong musicians in their home country in April 2017 with ‘Musicus Fest in Espoo'. This collaboration is a huge step forward in our mission to promote Hong Kong talents around the world.” said Artistic Director of Musicus Fest Trey Lee.
Highlights of this year’s Musicus Fest 2016
"There is going to be a premier of a new piece by a fantastic young composer called Hippocrates Cheng, a piece for violin and erhu. It's the first time I'm playing with an erhu player so it's super interesting. Then there's going to be an electronic improvised work for violin alone. I'm playing with a lot of electronic toys, trying to draw inspiration from the city from melting pot that is Hong Kong and all the interesting stuff that is happening at the festival," said the world-known Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto.
As a special treat, a very special guest from Finland will be flying into Hong Kong especially for the Musicus Fest’s 2016 Children’s Concert. "There's one period in which melodies are omnipresent in Finland. It is Christmas and I am happy as an elf that Musicus Fest provides also an opportunity to meet with our famous red-coated ambassador – the one and only true Santa Claus straight from the Finnish Arctic Circle," said Mr Sinkari.
Breguet’s Celebration of Excellence Festival Opening: A Dazzling Night of Northern Stars (Nov 23): Artistic Director Trey Lee will open the festival with Finland’s violin sensation Pekka Kuusisto, who will lead the Tapiola Sinfonietta on the orchestra’s return visit to Hong Kong. Works include Grieg’s beloved Holberg Suite as well as a showcase of Finland’s greatest composer, Sibelius in his brilliant Humoresques.
Musicus Heritage: A Fiddler in the City (Nov 24): The urban labyrinth of Kowloon’s Nan Lian Garden will host renowned violinist Pekka Kuusisto performing a program inspired by Hong Kong’s unique cityscape together with his own original music, much of which will be improvised. Works include world premieres of pieces by local rising star composers Hippocrates Cheng and Denise Hofmann inspired by Nan Lian Garden.
Breguet’s Celebration of Excellence Chamber Music Gala: The Garden of Earthly Delights (Nov 25): A celebration of Dutch master painter Hieronymous Bosch’s most celebrated work, and an “all-star” night, featuring all the festival’s soloists, that will take the audience from Hell to Heaven, and then down to Earth. Works include Schubert’s Lieder and Franck’s Piano Quintet.
Children’s Concert: Babar and Friends (Nov 26): A musical escapade from Provence, France to the big forest of the elephants (with a special guest flying in from the Arctic Circle just for the occasion – the authentic Santa Claus from Finland!). Works include Milhaud’s La Cheminée du Roi René (The Fireplace of King René) and Poulenc’s L’Histoire de Babar, le petit éléphant (The Story of Babar, the little elephant) performed by members of Tapiola Sinfonietta with local talents.
Finale Concert: A Musical Brew (Nov 27): A festive night that will celebrate the history of music with highlights from the world’s most cherished composers, featuring works from Mendelssohn, Mozart and Beethoven.
For more information about Musicus Fest 2016, please refer to website http://www.musicussociety.org. Tickets are now available at Urbtix (www.urbtix.hk) (for Nov 23, 25, 26, 27 concerts only), Cityline (for Musicus Heritage – A Fiddler in the City (Nov 24) only) and Tom Lee Music outlets.
Musicus-festival opening evening with Consul-General of Finland Jari Sinkari on the right.jpgSize: 5.85 MB Type: jpg Resolution: 4000x3000
Special Guest of Musicus Fest on the left and Chairman of Musicus Society Mrs Janice Choi.jpgSize: 6.10 MB Type: jpg Resolution: 4000x3000
Finland celebrates the centenary of its independence in 2017. It is a big year for Finland, which Finns and friends of Finland will build together. The centenary year will give rise to events, experiences and a programme of activities. It will be celebrated all over Finland and globally over 70 other countries throughout 2017. The events will examine the century, present and future of Finland’s independence. Read more at suomifinland100.fi and follow suomifinland100 on social media. #suomi100, #finland100
The Consulate General of Finland in Hong Kong is part of the Finnish Foreign Ministry and is one of the approximately hundred Finnish diplomatic missions scattered throughout the world. The Consulate General works to safeguard and promote Finnish economic and commercial interests as well as provide consular and legal services within its operating territory of Hong Kong and Macao.
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