The Macao Orchestra (OM), conducted by its principal guest conductor Lio Kuok Man, performed The Dawn of Symphony – Lio Kuok Man’s Sibelius and Bruch on Saturday at the Macau Cultural Centre, featuring Finnish composer Jean Sibelius’s Finlandia and his Symphony No 2, as well as the first violin concerto by German composer Max Bruch played by Japanese violin soloist Rio Arai.
Macao Orchestra Company Limited announced in October last year the appointment of Lio as its principal guest conductor and artistic advisor, and the performance on Saturday was Lio’s first concert with the orchestra.
Educated at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, as well as Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory in the US, Lio is also serving as programme director of the Macao International Music Festival and resident conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.
Lio, who was born in Macao, said before the concert that he was honoured to lead the Macao Orchestra, underlining that the first symphonic concert he listened to was Brahms Symphony No 2 performed by the Macao Orchestra when he was five years old, and it inspired him to become a musician.
Arai said that this was the first time she had visited Macao and cooperated with Lio. She noted that Macao is a “great city with wonderful food”.
Orchestral manager Wong Ka noted that besides conducting the OM, Lio will also be drafting music programmes for the upcoming season, underlining that Saturday’s concert marked a new chapter for the Macao Orchestra, The Macau Post Daily reported.