Home / Culture / 4 Things You Have To See at This Year’s Hong Kong Arts Festival

4 Things You Have To See at This Year’s Hong Kong Arts Festival

The Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) is back! Now in its 45th year, this storied cultural juggernaut certainly isn’t resting on its laurels as being one of the finest arts festivals in the global calendar. The 2017 edition features a staggering 1,700 international and local artists partaking in 129 performances throughout the festival’s tenure from February 15 to March 19. The creative extravaganza encompasses everything within the whole performance lexicon including art, music, dance, and theatre. As such, there’s an eye-watering array of incredible performances to choose from. But, if there are four things that you absolutely must see this year, it has to be these …

1. Sascha Goetzel and the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra

Photo credit - Özge Balkan
Photo credit – Özge Balkan

A proper Turkish delight, this orchestra has won international acclaim for its head-turning performances at some of the world’s most prestigious festivals and venues, including the Salzburg Festival and Vienna Musikverein. The orchestra’s two performances at the Hong Kong Arts Festival will explore the eastern roots of 19th and 20th century European music, with stunning renditions of Rimsky-Korsakov’s dazzling Scheherazade, based on 1001 Nights on the first night (February 15).  The second performance (February 16) brings Balakirev’s showpiece, Islamey, to life, as well as eastern-themed ballet and dance music by Respighi and Schulhoff – culminating in a piano concerto by international star soloist, Gülsin Onay.

Venue: Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Performance times:
15 & 16 February, (8pm)
Book tickets here

2. Bavarian State Ballet La Bayadère

Photo credit - Charles Tandy
Photo credit – Charles Tandy

A very special treat for Hong Kong’s ballet lovers, as the Bavarian State Ballet makes its first full-company visit to Hong Kong, all under the guiding hand of artistic director, Igor Zelensky. Audiences can expect a sumptuous, world-class performance of the Russian classic, La Bayadère, (as well as a mixed bill of other renditions), all set against spectacular backdrops and gorgeous costumes. Not seen in Hong Kong for more than 20 years, La Bayadère contains one of ballets most famous scenes by way of The Kingdom of the Shades. Its procession of white-costumed ballerinas dancing across a moonlit stage will blow you away, and is but one highlight across a series of performances you simply can’t miss.

Venue: Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Performance times:
16 & 17 February (7.30pm), 18 February (2.30pm & 7.30pm), 19 February (2.30pm)
Book tickets here

3. Arthur Miller’s All My Sons

Photo credit – Mark Douet

From the Rose Theatre Kingston in the UK (renowned for its quality productions of classics with stellar casts), and directed by Tony Award-winner Michael Rudman, All My Sons is surely the Hong Kong stage highlight of the year. The classic story, penned by Pulitzer Prize-winner Arthur Miller, is based on true events and tells the story of Joe Keller, the self-made US businessman who knowingly supplied the US Air Force with faulty engines throughout World War II. It’s a compelling story of love, guilt, and the corrupting influence of greed, all brought to life through Rudman’s peerless direction.

Venue: Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, 1 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai
Performance times: 
March 3 – 11 (show times here)
Book tickets here

4. Emir Kusturica & The No Smoking Orchestra

Photo credit - Dragan Teodorovic Zeko
Photo credit – Dragan Teodorovic Zeko

Without doubt the most fun you’ll have at a concert all year. Led by acclaimed film director and musical powerhouse, Emir Kusturica, The No Smoking Orchestra is a genre-busting collision of gypsy punk rock and Balkan folk music, creating a high-octane, no-holds-barred performance where anything can (and often does) happen! With more than 500 concerts in 30 countries, Emir Kusturica’s first appearance with his band in Hong Kong will be a one-night-only performance that you won’t forget in a hurry!

Venue: Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Performance times: 
March 7, (8pm)
Book tickets here

Discover more! For more information on the 45th Hong Kong Arts Festival, click here or watch the highlights video below.

Hong Kong Arts Festival Preview Video


Redbox Storage – Gold Footer Ad
Messy Jam Gold
Redbox Storage – Gold Footer Ad
Apple Hotel Footer
Wahtiki Footer
Farmer’s Market Footer Banner

Sign up to our e-newsletter for Hong Kong’s best insider tips, upcoming events and get a free copy of the Hong Kong Survival Guide Sign Up