Hagen Quartet to perform in October

     The Hagen Quartet, praised by the UK's The Independent as "breathtaking in its precision, dynamism and agility", will visit Hong Kong to give a concert in October.

     The quartet will perform Beethoven's "String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 131" and collaborate with renowned clarinettist Jörg Widmann in Mozart's clarinet quintet.

     Known for its vibrancy and daring programming, the illustrious Hagen Quartet began in 1981 and had a distinguished early history of high-profile recordings. The early years were also marked by a series of prizes in chamber music competitions and an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon that was to produce around 45 CDs over the following two decades. These years saw the quartet work its way through the wide-ranging quartet repertoire from which its distinctive profile has emerged.

     The quartet's concert repertoire and discography feature attractive and intelligently arranged programmes embracing the entire history of the string quartet, from its pre-Haydn beginnings right through to Kurtág. It also works closely with composers of its own generation, whether by reviving existing works or by commissioning and premiering new pieces.

     Comprising Lukas Hagen (violin), Rainer Schmidt (violin), Veronika Hagen (viola) and Clemens Hagen (cello), the quartet was recognised with the prestigious Echo Klassik award as Ensemble of the Year 2011. In 2012, the quartet was named Honorary Member of Vienna's Konzerthaus.

     Born in Munich, Germany, in 1973, Jörg Widmann studied clarinet at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich with Gerd Starke and later with Charles Neidich at the Juilliard School in New York. Widmann is a powerful new-generation musician, who is at the same time a clarinet virtuoso and a prolific composer.

     As a clarinettist, Widmann's great passion is for chamber music. He has found great success as a soloist in orchestral concerts in Germany and abroad, and has received numerous national and international awards for his cultural work.

     "Encore Series: Hagen Quartet" is one of the programmes in the Leisure and Cultural Services Department's Great Music 2015 series. It will be held at 8pm on October 6 (Tuesday) at the Concert Hall of Hong Kong City Hall. Tickets priced at $150, $220, $300 and $380 are now available at URBTIX. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and their minders, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients are available on a first-come, first-served basis). A maximum discount of 20 per cent is offered for the Great Music 2015 package discount scheme. Please refer to the programme leaflet, the brochure or the website for details.

     A pre-concert talk entitled "From Tradition to Innovation" will be held at 6.45pm on October 6 at the South Committee Room, 7/F, High Block, Hong Kong City Hall. The free talk will be conducted in Cantonese by Dr Gilbert Sak.

     Highlights of Great Music 2015 also include "Piano Recital by Nelson Freire" (September 8), "Vienna Boys Choir" (October 10 and 11), "Singapore Chinese Orchestra" (October 17 and 18), "Concert by Ian Bostridge (Tenor) and Xuefei Yang (Guitar)" (October 25), "Violin Recital by Itzhak Perlman" (November 8) and Verdi's opera "Il Trovatore" by Musica Viva (December 11 to 13).

     For enquiries on programmes, please call 2268 7321 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/Programme/en/music/program_770.html. For telephone credit card booking, please call 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at www.urbtix.hk.

Ends/Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Issued at HKT 14:51