Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Yo-Yo Ma Hong Kong tickets sell for as much as Taylor Swift gig

Yo-Yo Ma Hong Kong tickets sell for as much as Taylor Swift gig
Celebrated cellist, Yo-Yo Ma. (Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s upcoming concert in Hong Kong is in such high demand that scalpers are charging more than $2,200 (R41,370) for a ticket, similar to the resale value of those for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. 

On US-based tickets resale platform Viagogo, entry to Ma’s performance on 8 November costs as much as $2,206 — almost nine times the highest price of a ticket sold by the concert organiser. Taylor Swift’s show a day later in Buenos Aires, Argentina, fetches as much as $2,288 for a ticket on the same website. 

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Ma will be performing with Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director Jaap van Zweden and the 90-minute concert will open with Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3. It will close with Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien and will be performed at the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, which has about 2,000 seats. 

Born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris, Ma grew up in New York and began to study cello at the age of four. His principal teacher was the late American cellist Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School. A talent with Sony Group Corp.’s classical unit, Ma, one of the best-selling classical artists, released more than 75 albums and won 19 Grammy awards. He’s performed for several US presidents, including at the inauguration ceremonies of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. 

Buying tickets from second-hand platforms can involve risks, such as high service fees, getting seats that are not what purchasers paid for and lack of proper communication channels with customer service, according to the Hong Kong Consumer Council.

While scalping is illegal in the city, consumers may not be able to get proper protection if the resale platforms and actual sellers are overseas, the council said. 

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