Pianist Excites Audience – In Hong Kong (Believe it or not)

11 days until the Hong Kong Sevens!

Last Saturday night I attended a performance featuring The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra with guest artist, pianist, Kirill Gerstein, a last minute substitute for Boris Berezovsky, playing Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3. The orchestra warmed us up with Sibelius’s “Finlandia” and his Third Symphony before Mr. Gerstein excited us all with his mastery of the popular Concerto.

The audience was so enthusiastic, Mr. Gerstein returned for two encores. I’ve been to many Classical music concerts but I can’t remember the last time I saw the featured artist actually responding to the audience by playing additional pieces. The myth that Hong Kong audiences are not capable of being moved was exploded again.

In addition, celebrating Mozart’s 300th birthday, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is offering a number of programs in April featuring Mozart and others. The one I’m aiming for is “Mozart and Beethoven,” April 28 and 29. The program includes Mozart’s Symphony No. 35, his Piano Concerto No. 25, featuring soloist, Igor Roma, and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, once described to me by a friend as “akin to walking bare-headed in a thunder storm.”

Maybe, I’ll see you there. I’ll be the white haired, bare-headed, bearded chap yelling for more.