In view of the reopening of performing venues on 19 February, the Hong Kong Arts Festival announces changes to in-venue programmes. Please visit this page for details.

The 47th Hong Kong Arts Festival closes on 23 March
Over 1,700 top international and local artists performed in 166 performances and related events.
90% of tickets available at the box office were sold.

(Hong Kong, 23 March 2019) The 47th Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) celebrates its official finale on 23 March with a performance from The Hamburg Ballet – John Neumeier, The World of John Neumeier, sponsored by ICBC (Asia). At the post-performance ceremony, Guest of Honour, Mr Matthew Cheung, HKSAR Chief Secretary for Administration, toasts this major annual international event and highlight of Hong Kong’s cultural calendar.

This year’s HKAF has presented over 1,700 acclaimed artists from at home and around the world in 166 performances and related events. It has featured a total of 15 new works and 16 Asian premieres.

This year the total number of audience members at Festival performances was approximately 109,000 (including Young Friends) with 90% of tickets available at the box office sold. Across the 166 ticketed performances, 116 have had attendance rates of over 90%, with 96 at full capacity.

In addition to the wide array of performances, HKAF has presented, in its 47th season, around 420 outreach events comprising events for Young Friends, other education activities with schools and community groups, three exhibitions and a comprehensive PLUS programme of talks, workshops and masterclasses, of which over 350 are free of charge.

This year, HKAF produces a two-weekend dance extravaganza, HKArtsFestival@TaiKwun, with a series of arts performances, workshops and screenings, all offered free of charge.

Taking into account all the aforementioned performances and events, the Festival reached an estimated total of over 300,000 people in Hong Kong this year.

The HKAF is a non-profit organisation. The budget for the 2019 Festival is about HK$136 million. Around 13% of its income comes from the HKSAR Government as baseline funding, with nearly 6% specially provided by the Government as a time-limited additional funding for five years. About 28% comes from box office revenues, and another 33% from sponsorships and donations from corporations, individuals and charitable foundations (including the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust). The remaining 20% is expected to come from other revenue sources, including the Government’s Art Development Matching Grant Scheme, which matches Festival income generated through private sector sponsorships and donations.

The Festival sincerely thanks the 2 main funding bodies, 30 major sponsors and Patron’s Club members, all donors, in-kind and other supporters, over 1,700 outstanding international and local artists, as well as its audiences and event participants for their support.

Programme Highlights of the 47th Hong Kong Arts Festival

Programme highlights of the 47th HKAF include: Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser performed by Oper Leipzig with Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Chor der Oper Leipzig; Madame White Snake, opera by Zhou Long and Cerise Lim Jacobs; Cantonese Opera – Global Traces, Local Stages performed by international and local veteran opera performers; the Cantonese opera Pavilion of a Hundred Flowers (Reboot) directed by Fredric Mao; Marin Alsop with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and violinist Ning Feng; Paavo Järvi with the NHK Symphony Orchestra and pianist Zee Zee; P is for PERCUSSION! Family Concert by Li Biao Percussion Group; Quartetto di Cremona; Denis Matsuev in a solo piano recital, a piano gala with young laureates and a jazz concert with friends; Yekwon Sunwoo Piano Recital; Thomas Quasthoff Quartet’s Nice ’N’ Easy jazz concert; Nouveau Jazz and World Music Weekends; 887 created and performed by Robert Lepage; Touching the Void co-produced by Fuel, Bristol Old Vic, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Royal & Derngate Northampton; The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by Beijing LiLiuyi Theatre Studio, with title sponsorship from China Everbright Limited; HOME by Geoff Sobelle; Gangsters of Hong Kong; Jockey Club Local Creative Talents Series’ Always by Your Side; The World of John Neumeier, The Nutcracker and Beethoven Project performed by The Hamburg Ballet–John Neumeier; the 45th Anniversary Gala Programme: Retrospectives of Lin Hwa-min’s Works performed by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan; and the special event HKartsFestival@TaiKwun, to name a few.

Festival PLUS

Adding to the list of great performances, over 100 Festival PLUS events have offered audiences an exciting array of outreach activities including family arts days, cultural walks, special performances, masterclasses, workshops, meet-the-artist sessions, backstage tours, exhibition and film screenings that have enriched the Festival experience. Highlights include:

  • Family Arts Day: Oper Leipzig and Leipziger Notenspur Music Adventure Day and P is for Percussion! Family Day
  • Special performances of SPSO Strings Quartet, Choreography Walk and Family Dinner with dance artist Justine A Chambers
  • Masterclasses with Thomas Quasthoff, Li Biao Percussion Group, Riyehee Hong, Quondam, etc.
  • Open Rehearsal with Marin Alsop, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and local student orchestras
  • John Neumeier and Hamburg Ballet Photo Exhibition and Artist Salon with John Neumeier to share his love of ballet and his extensive Nijinsky-related art collection
  • HKAF@Cattle Depot Creative Hub for collaborative work and shared resources by local and overseas artists, showcasing a chamber opera, a Cantonese opera, an experimental social theatre, an immersive theatre, a new play laboratory, etc.

Reaching Out to Young People

HKAF’s Young Friends Scheme has remained popular amongst students this year. Over 150 school tour showcases and in-school workshops reached over 17,000 students, and around 6,400 secondary and tertiary school students became members. They have attended a total of 98 performances, rehearsals and Young Friends Specials.

Discounted student tickets have been in high demand and over 11,000 were made available, fully supported by donations to the Student Ticket Scheme.

With the support of corporate sponsors, HKAF organises a wide range of outreach programmes via the Artists-in-Residence Project, school-based projects, as well as arts appreciation performances and workshops targeted at young students. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust continues to sponsor the Student Matinee programme, this year enabling around 3,200 students, who might otherwise have lacked the resources or opportunities, to attend two performances of The Hamburg Ballet- John Neumeier’s The Nutcracker.

Highlights of the 48th Hong Kong Arts Festival

Highlights of the forthcoming 48th HKAF in 2020 include: the Bavarian State Opera’s production of Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos; Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo’s The Taming of the Shrew; Andris Nelsons with the Boston Symphony Orchestra; the four early southern Chinese operas including Story of the Wooden Hairpin, Story of the White Hare, Praying to the Moon and Story of a Slain Dog; Midori with the Festival Strings Lucerne; the Prague Philharmonic Choir; and Basel Chamber Orchestra with Christian Gerhaher. More programme highlights will be announced in August and Advance Bookings for the 48th HKAF will start in October.

About the Hong Kong Arts Festival

Launched in 1973, the Hong Kong Arts Festival is a major international arts festival committed to enriching the cultural life of the city. In February and March every year, the Festival presents leading local and international artists in all genres of the performing arts, placing equal importance on great traditions and contemporary creations. The Festival also commissions and produces work in theatre, music, chamber opera and contemporary dance by Hong Kong’s own creative talents and emerging artists, many of which have had successful subsequent runs in Hong Kong and overseas. The Festival also presents over 300 “PLUS” and educational activities that offer diverse arts experiences to the community as well as tertiary, secondary and primary school students.

For more information, please visit: www.hk.artsfestival.org.

Media Enquiries

For further enquiries, please contact Ms Katy Cheng, Marketing Director (katy.cheng@hkaf.org) or Ms Alexia Chow, Marketing Manager (alexia.chow@hkaf.org).