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Annual Report

  • Year: 
  • Please describe your organization’s activities over the past year, including concerts, commissions, collaborations, publications: 

    I) Foreword
    The Hong Kong Composers’ Guild has a productive and fruitful year in the last 12 months. We not only actualize the Guild traditional artistic events and performances as in previous years, but also launch into new artistic arena and platforms for the compositional development of the Guild in the long run:

    1. With the success of the launching of 唐詩合唱 project by the Education University of Hong Kong, spearheaded by Richard Tsang in the past years, and the good compositions resulted in that CD, we are entrusted by the sponsor to sign a million-dollar project in July to create and publish another set of new choral and vocal bilingual music pieces in the next eighteen months, using Tang Poems 唐詩 as lyrics, with the aims of

    i) Creating another quality music repertoire based on such selected poems targeted to both the Chinese and the world-wide English speaking community;
    ii) Publishing scores and two CDs; and
    iii) Showcasing a concert to present selected new pieces.

    Guild members have received calls for interest to participate in this new project.

    2. To explore new platforms and opportunities of new musical presentations, we have laid the foundation of building a long term working relationship with Tai Kwun 大館 to present our Guild members’ new works utilizing their facilities and their new architectural complex in future. Another new series of project calls will be in place later.

    3. We have designed and are prepared to launch Appreciation Workshops with EDB in December to showcase the development of

    1) Chinese ensemble compositions; and
    2) piano writing- from the traditional to the contemporary through an interactive excerpt-performance-format to focus on the compositional techniques and the stylistic changes of the selected excerpts.

    This is a story telling like journey for all to learn of the transformation changes of music composition styles from the traditional to the contemporary. This is an interesting educational format in the form of a dialogue-like score reading session, to benefit mostly the selected audience structured by EDB from a pool of selected current music teachers plus also our Guild members.

    4. We have formulated the Honorary Guild Advisory Board to tap the collective wisdom of the think-tank, which consists of our Ex-Chairmen and founding Chairman, including Richard Tsang, Chan Wing Wah, Victor Chan, Joshua Chan and Lo Hau Man. We will continue to learn and benefit from their valuable advice, relentless support and proper guidance.

    5. We continue to explore ways and support to disseminate the music works of our members through radio broadcast channel in RTHK Radio 4. We set up communication channels with Radio 4 to target for a more frequent broadcast/presentation of Hong Kong composers’ works.

    6. We have recovered a sound and healthy financial position through a prudent cost control policy and frugal approach, without compromising the quality of Guild activities. We have adopted internship program from various universities to make up for such manpower loss. We are prepared to further utilize this new manpower-resources for the mutual benefits of the Guild and the interns themselves.

    7. We have successfully presented our concerts, events, activities as listed below in the following five areas: public performances, international exchanges, competition, education and dissemination of music ideas. In that regard, Musicarama 2016, SOUND-IMAGination, Melodious Hong Kong, School Creative Showcase, New Generation, School Performing Arts in Practice Scheme, Sharing Lectures by Hong Kong Composers have been presented smoothly.

    The above is the work and fruits of the whole Council Directors, under the guidance from the Advisory Board. The council have worked selflessly as a team and served the Guild whole-heartedly. They have gone through a year of long hours of meetings, making painstaking decisions, or even spending time to lobby the related community/parties for achieving the best benefits of our Guild. My heartfelt thanks go to our beloved dedicated team of the whole council and the office executives.

    II) The Hong Kong Composers’ Guild has organised various projects in the last 12 months from 1st July 2016 to 30th June 2017, details of which are reported according to the following categories:

    Public Performance
    With sponsorship from CASH Music Fund and support from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, the Guild organised our annual music festival Musicarama in 2016. We have launched a press conference on 8th November 2016 at the Rehearsal Hall of Sheung Wan Civic Centre. Our Honorable Officiating Guests were Ms Barbara Fei (Head of Hong Kong Arts Development Council’s Music division), Dr Joshua Chan (Former HKCG Chairman) and HKCG Chairman Dr Mui Kwong-chiu. It was attended by commissioned and featured composers, performers, coordinating parties, guests as well as several media organisations. The concerts were promoted and published the next day in several newspapers and their website pages. The 3 concerts of Musicarama 2016 were successfully held on 14th, 15th and 20th November 2016 at the Theatre of Hong Kong City Hall. Conducted by an emerging conductor Angus Lee, the 1st concert premiered a commissioned work Voices II written by Tang Man-ngai. The RTHK Quartet also performed a work written by Stravinsky and 7 other works by Hong Kong composers. The 2nd concert was a choral concert, featuring the Hong Kong Children’s Choir in the first half and Die Konzertisten after the intermission. The audiences enjoyed the outstanding performances by these 2 groups of young and energetic singers under the baton of Kathy Fok, Dominic Lam and Felix Yeung. Two commissioned works My Lunch by Richard Tsang and Trekking Forward by Yim Fuk-wing were premiered, while 11 other local works mostly composed in recent years were also performed. Having a repertoire of piano duet, the final concert showcased 2 newly commissioned works – Cheung Pui-shan’s The Taste of Old Hong Kong and Adrian Lam’s Loving You, Even, Without You. The performance of the 2 established pianists Nancy Loo and Mary Wu was magnificent; they received a big round of applause from the audiences. This is our first time to solely organised and managed our annual music festival Musicarama without the administration support from our previous working partner RhapsoArts Management Limited. Our staff have again gained experiences in different aspects in event management, as well as skills in marketing and public relations.

    On 1st December 2016, we staged the fifth time the SOUND-IMAGination project, with a new subtitle Hong Kong Reflections. Similar to what we did in the previous concerts, we continued to explore the dialogue between music and other art forms. All commissioned pieces were newly written for small instrumentation with duration from 1.5-2 minutes. The composers included are Chan Ming-chi, Chan Nga-man, Hui Cheung-wai, Kam Shing-hei, Ada Lai, Adrian Lam, Lam Kin-yee, Lam Lai, Lam Lan-chee, Galison Lau, Leung Hin-yan, Leung Ka-tung, Luk Wai-chun, Shao Litang, Tang Man-ngai, Meilina Tsui, Wat Nga-man, Wong Chun-wai, Wong Kong-yu, Wong Yue-hin, Yau May-kay, Yip Kim-fung, Stephen Yip and Yiu Siu-lung. Twenty-four new works were inspired by Hongkong related images taken by photographer Lam Chong-shing, and presented side by side with these photos projected on screen behind the performing musicians. Written by composer Sierra Tse and translated by composer Chan Kai-young, a poem was also written especially for each photo to enrich the audience’s perspective. These short pieces have aroused the audiences’ imagination between the music and images during the concert. Positive feedbacks were again received. Members of the Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble did a great performance in the Theatre of Sheung Wan Civic Centre. The total CASH Music Fund sponsored to run this project was $96,393.

    Collaborating with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra (HKCO), Melodious Hong Kong as a continuation of the Cadenzas of Hong Kong project of 2006 marks another close collaboration between the Guild and the HKCO. Five new original compositions written by Joshua Chan, Chan Ming-chi, Cheung Pui-shan, Lam Lan-chee and Kwok Hang-kei were premiered by the orchestra on 14th January 2017 at the Grand Hall of Lee Shau Kee Lecture Centre of the University of Hong Kong. These new works portrayed Hong Kong, vis-à-vis its people, the place, the times or the local feature. On top of these, two important works by Chan Wing-wah and Richard Tsang completed the programme of the concert with aplomb.

    We staged another SOUND-IMAGination project, entitled Hong Kong Motions in the year of 2016-17. Unlike our previous SOUND-IMAGination concerts that combined sound with still images, we collaborated with the Hong Kong Multimedia Design Association who provided videos for this concert held on 15th May 2017 at the Studio Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Fifteen videos with theme of metropolitan were presented along with fifteen newly composed works by local composers: Chan Chin-ting, Chan Ming-chi, Chan Sze-rok, Anthony Cheng, Ada Lai, Lam Wing-ka, Angus Lee, Leung Hin-yan, Luk Wai-chun, Ng King-fung, Shing Chun-hay, Tang Man-ngai, Wat Nga-man, Joseph Wong and Stephen Yip. We have invited Mavis Lam (pipa), Born Lau (viola) and Tan Cong (cello) to perform works written for solo, duet or trio with duration of 2.5 minutes. We received encouraging responses and hope to organise concerts with videos again soon. CASH Music Fund sponsored a project grant of $139,791 for this concert.

    We have 2 major annual events: (1) Schools Creative Music Showcase – a competition for multimedia composition and performance by primary and secondary school teams, and (2) New Generation Concert - a competition for student composers in territory institutions. The first project was collaboratively organised with EDB, sending a jury panel to different schools in late November to early December 2016 to select the best pieces for the final concert. We also had another 2 jury panels for the final showcase sessions held on 24th January 2017 at Shatin Town Hall Auditorium. A new work called As the Lightning Flashes written by the scholarship awardee of the same scheme last year Miss Che Hiu-lam, was also premiered during this concert. Under the HKCG Mentorship Scheme, the Guild also awarded a special scholarship of $5,000 to Mr. Chan Lok-shen of St. Stephen’s College, the best composer in this year’s Showcase, to enable him to have 10 composition lessons with Chan Ming-chi between March and December 2017. EDB has spent $181,060 on this project, while the Guild also contributed $84,338 sponsored by CASH Music Fund.

    The second project New Generation was collaborated with RTHK Radio 4. Out of the 31 submissions, the Score Selection Panel (Leung Chi-cheung, Leung Chi-hin, Matthew Tommasini, Tang Man-ngai and Christopher Keyes) picked the best 8 pieces for performance by Leung Chi-shing (clarinet), Cass Ho (viola), Juanita Wong (cello) and Karen Sung (piano) at the final competition held in RTHK Studio One on 1st June 2017. The final judge panel, consisting of Ho Sung-chi, Lai Sheung-ping, Mui Kwong-chiu, Matthew Schreibeis and the performers selected the following works: Fearing the Shadow by Chan Chi-long Tony (1st Prize), Surrounded by Cosmic Dust by Tsui Mei-ling Meilina (2nd Prize) and Sea Scraped by Wu Chi-ching Esther (3rd Prize). They also premiered the commissioned work A Game of Tonality by the First-Prize winner Zheng Zhong of last year’s New Generation Concert. This project was funded by CASH Music Fund, with a project grant of $67,375.

    In September 2016, we continued working with LCSD on the project “School Performing Arts in Practice Scheme”. Our SPAPS project in 2016/17 is called East and West. The project idea is the same as previous years. We have recruited 4 composers-instructors to work with a total of 80 students in 2 primary and 2 secondary schools, respectively. The instructors are Lee Kar-tai, Sandy Lee, Wong Chun-wai and Yau Yuk-fung, while the 4 participating schools are Pui Ching Primary School, The Education University of Hong Kong Jockey Club Primary School, Carmel Pak U Secondary School and Kiangsu-Chekiang College (Kwai Chung). Four professional musicians have premiered the best-selected works written by students in the finale concert held on 7th July 2017 at the Theatre of Ngau Chi Wan Civic Centre. The total LCSD funding to run this project was $250,000.

    We organised the fifth series of “Sharing Lectures by Hong Kong Composers” in collaboration with Cultural Presentations of LCSD in March – April 2017. The talks were given in six Wednesday evenings from 15th March – 26th April 2017 at the Lecture Hall of Hong Kong Space Museum. The six Hong Kong composers featured were Joyce Tang, Leung Chi-cheung, Wendy Lee, Christopher Coleman, Wang Qiang and Tang Man-ngai. Each composer chose a particular topic and shared his/her personal experience with the audience. Some lectures were supplemented by live performances by guest musicians. These lectures have facilitated some fruitful exchanges between composers and the general public.

    International Exchange
    Annually, the Guild participated in 3 major overseas events of international exchange: ACL, ISCM and IRC. We participated in an international exchange festival in the 34th Asian Composers League Conference and Festival held in Vietnam from 12th to 18th October 2016. Eight compositions by Hong Kong composers were featured (Chan Ho-yi's A Night Abroad, Livia Lin's Labyrinth, Mak Yui-kan's Orchestra Piece for New Era, Ian Ng's Think Twice - Three Little Musical Games, So Ho-chi's Cautious Indulgence, Richard Tsang's Shades, Meilina Tsui's Dancing Shades and Echoes, Austin Yip's String Quartet No.1: BE).

    With the travel grant sponsored by CASH Music Fund, 9 Hong Kong composers attended this festival. During the Conference, Lo Hau-man (Hong Kong Chief Delegate) presented the ACL Country Report 2016 of Hong Kong. The international networking of these events was very fruitful. We also appointed Lee Kar-tai Phoebus as the Hong Kong Representative to attend the 64th International Rostrum of Composers (IRC) held in Palermo, Italy from 16th to 20st May 2017. Three HK composers’ pieces (Ng Chun-hoi’s Prelude, Ng Ka-chun’s Hop Out and Shuffle Away and Wong Chun-wai’s Clouds in Twilight) were presented in the Rostrum. Phoebus Lee had also selected many interesting overseas pieces for subsequent broadcast in RTHK4. In these festivals, we were also able to identify and meet some of the best overseas ensembles and composers, and prepare for new initiatives of future collaborative projects.



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