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Speech by FS at the post-concert reception of the
Philharmonic Orchestra Season Opening (English only) (With

    The following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, at the post-concert reception of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra 05/06 Season Opening tonight (September 15):

Edward, Ladies and Gentlemen, friends,

     This was indeed a thrilling evening and a memorable start to the Hong Kong Philharmonic's 2005/06 season. It has been a year since Maestro Edo de Waart took up the reins of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, and since then we have really witnessed a real blossoming of this orchestra into the fine ensemble that we all heard this evening.  The Orchestra has come a long way in a very short time under Edo 's leadership, and the future looks extremely bright.

     The Hong Kong Government has been very proud to support the Hong Kong Philharmonic as it brings fine music to the people of Hong Kong. With its international composition and global exposure, the Orchestra is a strong showcase of our status as Asia's World City.

     As a Orchestra enters a new era, with your sights set on achieving standard of excellence and building good international reputation, this Orchestra is expanding its sponsorship and fund-raising efforts to drum up financial support for the future expansion and for future development.  As the Orchestra goes from strength to strength and gains a reputation or a splendid performance we all heard tonight, we believe more members of corporate Hong Kong will become partners of this proud Orchestra.  And this would allow this Orchestra to achieve the finest level of performance to enrich the cultural life of this city, and to enhance Hong Kong's reputation as a cosmopolitan city - so that it would be as highly regarded as a cultural hub as it is a financial, business shopping and dinning hub.

     So it is therefore heartening to hear that the Ladies Committee of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, a group of highly motivated and dedicated fund-raisers, and not to mention music lovers, has made a commitment to Maestro de Waart and the Orchestra by establishing and endowing the Chair of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor for two years to support his vision for the Orchestra. And this is from the Ladies Committee, not from me.

     We are grateful that the community would under the leadership and the motivation and dedication of a group of true leaders who are the other half of the sky, as a Chinese would say, had made such a dedication to the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

     I would like to congratulate the Ladies Committee for your leadership in establishing the Chair Endowment project.  And I wish you every success in attracting more sponsors and donors to support what is truly a compelling artistic vision for the Orchestra and for this great city of Hong Kong.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Thursday, September 15, 2005
Issued at HKT 23:44


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