About the Orchestra and Chief Conductor

About the Orchestra

City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong (CCOHK) enjoys a unique position as one of the most active chamber orchestras in the Asian region. Members are professional musicians who enjoy a busy calendar of concerts and the most diverse music-making in Hong Kong. Currently in its thirteenth season, the CCOHK gives an annual subscription season of concerts specializing in a wide range of chamber-orchestral repertoire from Baroque masterpieces to newly commissioned works. Over the years the orchestra has worked with many internationally renowned artists including Sir James Galway, Dame Emma Kirkby, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Sir Thomas Allen, Alexander Rudin, Daniel Binelli, Michael Chance, Takako Nishizaki, Lu Si-qing, Cristina Ortiz, Giovanni Sollima, Karl Jenkins and Vladimir Ashkenazy. The CCOHK has also forged exciting collaborations with stars and celebrities such as Dame Edna Everage, Olivia Newton-John, Katherine Jenkins, Jacky Cheung, Sandy Lam and Robin Gibb.

 CCOHK May 3468

About the Chief Conductor Jean Thorel

"The chief conductor, Jean Thorel, is a passionate musician from France. In his performance he strived for perfection without exaggerating. He was instrumental in leading the orchestra to give a fine, delicate and uplifting performance" Express Weekly


French conductor Jean Thorel was appointed chief conductor of the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong in 2008. In Paris he has been engaged as the permanent conductor of the Stringendo Orchestral Ensemble since 1985 and the Ensemble Instrumental Polytone since 2012. With the support of renowned French conductor Jean-Claude Casadesus, he was awarded the 1989 Vocation Foundation Prize for his outstanding work with the Stringendo Orchestral Ensemble. Jean Thorel is increasingly in demand as a guest conductor throughout Scandinavia, Europe and Asia, his versatility enabling him to conduct a wide range of music from ballet, opera and choral works to multi-faceted chamber and orchestral programmes. He has guest conducted the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Musica Vitae, the Danish Chamber Players, the Saint Michel Strings, Ensemble Quartz, Musiques Nouvelles and the Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia in Belgium. In 2011 he was appointed the principal guest conductor of the EQ Ensemble in Ireland, specializing in contemporary music. He has also appeared as a guest conductor with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the Copenhagen Royal Ballet, the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, the Stockholm Lans Symfoniker and the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra.

An impassioned promoter of new and rare music, Jean Thorel is regularly invited to guest conduct at major festivals of contemporary music including the Numus festival in Oslo, the UNM Festival in Arhus, the Composer’s Biennale in Copenhagen, the PULSAR Festival in Denmark and Musicarama in Hong Kong. To date he has given more than 450 world premieres. His extensive discography of more than 25 DVD and CDs includes a recording of works by Louis Saguer with the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble which was joint winner of the 2002 Académie du Disque Lyrique “Orphée d’Or” prize together with Pierre Boulez’s interpretation of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. He is also the first French conductor to record with the Russian National Orchestra and the internationally acclaimed Hilliard Ensemble. Jean Thorel studied orchestral conducting with Jean-Jacques Werner and Léon Barzin and ballet conducting with Antal Dorati and André Girard.