Date
28 July 2017
The Hong Kong Philharmonic (inset) performs during a recent tour of Europe. It's under fire from critics for performing at a private concert in Amsterdam. Photos: facebook, wikipedia
The Hong Kong Philharmonic (inset) performs during a recent tour of Europe. It's under fire from critics for performing at a private concert in Amsterdam. Photos: facebook, wikipedia

HK Philharmonic hits sour note after private Amsterdam concert

Critics are calling out the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) for performing at a private party in Amsterdam.

They said HKPO should not have agreed to a private concert at a birthday party for a billionaire’s wife because it is funded with public money.

Lawmaker James To accused the orchestra of engaging in an activity at the expense of Hong Kong taxpayers, according to Apple Daily.

HKPO, founded in 1895 by the British, receives more than half of its funding from the Hong Kong government.

It has been allocated HK$74 million (US$9.54 million) in government subsidies in the 2015 fiscal year.

The group played at a birthday party for Gert-Jan Kramer, wife of a Dutch billionaire, during a recent European tour, according to reports.

The Feb. 24-March 7 tour was led by music director Jaap van Zweden and included 100 musicians.

Pictures of the group’s public performances in London, Vienna, Berlin and other cities were uploaded on Facebook and Twitter but there was nothing on the Amsterdam concert.

HKPO executive president Michael MacLeod said the Amsterdam performance was approved by the board and the contract signed in September last year.

He said Kramer has donated violins to orchestras and is also a friend of van Zweden.

The performance was aimed at building friendly relations with potential donors, MacLeod said.

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