On 18 November, German cellist Maximilian Hornung will finally make his debuts with Hong Kong Sinfonietta after two years of postponement due to the Covid pandemic. He will be playing Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No 1 under the baton of Music Director Emeritus Yip Wing-sie, at Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall. The programme of the orchestra that night will also include Stravinsky’s Suite No 2 for Small Orchestra and TchaikovskySymphony No 4.
Born in 1986 in Augsburg, Germany, Maximilian Hornung has gained international recognition and fame after being appointed Principal Cello of the prestigious Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra at the young age of 23. Since then, Hornung has performed with leading orchestras and conductors worldwide, such as London Philharmonic Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich, Vienna Symphony, Mariss Jansons, Daniel Harding, Yannick Nézét-Séguin, Bernard Haitink, etc.
We had the chance to exchange with Hornung ahead of his recital and he shared his enthusiasm to be back in Hong Kong ten years after his first concert with Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Hong Kong Arts Festival 2012.
“I feel incredibly excited and happy for so many reasons. The possibility to travel to Asia again (…), the opportunity to visit this wonderful city again for the first time since more than 10 years, and to finally meet all the wonderful people of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta and share music for the much missed enthusiastic Hong Kong audience. This project had some time to age (like a good wine), which sometimes can turn out to be even better”, he expressed.
Hornung will play Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No 1. As he explained, “Shostakovich’s music has always been very close to my heart because there is always such an incredible human power behind his music that is frightening but also very uplifting and eye opening. Especially in times like these, Shostakovich should be put on every program to remind us all that peace can never be taken for granted”.
Hong Kong audience will also enjoy the premiere of the duo recital of Maximilian Hornung and his German compatriot, pianist Alexander Krichel, on 15 November at Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall. “We know each other since a while but we have never played together before, this will be our premiere. So we will see how everything works and I’m really very much looking forward to finally also making music with him!”, shared Hornung.
Their duo recital will present timeless works of chamber music by Beethoven and Brahms, while also individually showcasing interpretations of solo works by Rachmaninov and Dieter Ammann.
“For the recital, we basically wanted to put together a German program and the two most beautiful sonatas for Cello and Piano by German composers are definitely the Beethoven A major and Brahms F major sonatas. Combined with a very exciting and unusual solo piece by the Swiss composer Dieter Ammann, which has never been played before in Asia, and the Rachmaninov Etudes for Piano solo, to have a slight link to Shostakovich, is a very fresh and colorful program”, explained the cellist.