Hong Kong Philharmonic
Orchestra of the Year 2019

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra has been named Orchestra of the Year 2019 by Gramophone

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra has been named Orchestra of the Year 2019 by Gramophone, making it the first in Asia to win the title since the prestigious classical music magazine introduced it a year ago.

The 45-year-old professional orchestra trumped nine others, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra, thanks to its live recordings of Wagner’s The Ring Cycle under music director Jaap van Zweden.

A 14-disc set, Wagner Der Ring Des Nibelungen, was released by the Naxos label in November 2018. The orchestra gave concert performances of the four parts of The Ring from 2015 to 2018.

Of the Gramophone accolade, van Zweden said: “The HK Phil is especially proud since we are making history by being the first orchestra in Asia to receive this prestigious and highly acclaimed honour.”

The orchestra’s chief executive, Benedikt Fohr, said the accomplishment “is a powerful demonstration of the HK Phil’s truly world-class quality”. He acknowledged all those involved in the recordings “who realised this enormous project with great energy and supreme artistry”.
According to Gramophone, the award “celebrates ensembles that have made significant recorded contributions in the past year and reflects the excellence of music-making across the globe”. It is decided by public vote; last year’s winner was the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. (South China Morning Post)