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Section - Annual Report 2004

The Year 2004 was a fruitful year for many composers in Hong Kong because we had great opportunities to perform our works in various overseas events as well as in numerous local concerts.

The three professional orchestras in Hong Kong have continued their great support of new music development by commissioning new works from local composers. Clarence Mak's Voice of the Harbour and Richard Tsang's Overture fm-Fantasy for Orchestra were successfully premiered by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in 2004. The first appearance of the newly appointed Artistic Director/Chief Conductor Edo de Waart in the new orchestral season 2004/05 was marked by the world premiere of the distinguished Chinese composer Guo Wenjing's Journeys.

The Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, an 85-member orchestra consisting of all traditional Chinese instruments, have always been the key player in commissioning new works and new arrangements, partly because of the lack of repertoire for this instrumentation and the innovative programming ideas of the Music Director Mr. Yan Huichang. One of their major premieres in 2004 was Chan Wing-wah's Symphony No.7 which was later awarded the Golden Sail Award by CASH (Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong) in November. Chan Ming-chi, Chen Ning-chi, Joshua Chan, Chew Hee-chiat, Mui Kwong-chiu, and Ng Cheuk-in have also been active in writing new compositions and arrangements for this orchestra. In June 2004, a chamber concert of exclusively contemporary works were organized. Six young composers' works were successfully featured. Discussion were held among the compsoers and the audience right after the concert.

The Hong Kong Sinfonietta, a medium-size (double-wind, smaller string size) orchestra under the music directorship of Miss Yip Wing-sze, has staged many well-attended concerts with popular support especially among students and parents. The orchestra tends to have an interesting programming approach, and they commission new works by local composers from time to time. Well-acclaimed premieres of Clarence Mak's Sentiments in the Wind and Ng Cheuk-in's White were given in 2004. Audiences have found these contemporary compositions very appealing and inspiring.

Hong Kong was the host of the 5th Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival in August 2004. Five evening concerts and numerous competition sessions were held during this 6-day event which was organized by the Hong Kong Harmonica Association and sponsored by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. One of the major highlights of this festival was the opening ceremony in which a new commission for a 90-member harmonica ensemble with mixed orchestra and 2 Chinese instrumental soloists Sunshine Rhapsody by Joshua Chan was premiered. Mui Kwong-chiu's Prelude for Harmonic Orchestra and Hui Cheung-wai's Elites Gathering and Jubilee Overture, all written for large-scale harmonica mixed orchestra, were also performed in this festival. This is a new kind of repertoire, very rare to find elsewhere. The festival participants from Asia-Pacific countries were very fascinated by the music.

The Chinese Music Virtuosi is one of the most active Hong Kong ensembles who perform contemporary music regularly. This 6-member group, playing all traditional Chinese instruments, was invited by Fundacion Encuentros Internacionales to participate in the 36th Festival Internacional Encuentros in Buenos Aires, Argentina in August 2004 in which new works by Chan Wing-wah, Chan Hing-yan and Lo Hau-man were performed. This group were also featured in one of the concerts of our Musicarama 2004 festival in which two new Hong Kong premieres were given.

The Musicarama's, mini-festivals of international contemporary music, have been one of the key events organized by the Hong Kong Composers' Guild regularly. In Musicarama 2004, we invited one of Denmark's leading chamber music groups LINensemble to perform a number of Northern European works (e.g, Per Nørgård, Tommie Haglund, etc). They also premiered Tang Lok-yin's A Change of Scenery, and performed Mui Kwong-chiu's Twinkling Reflections and Joyce Tang's mixed ensemble piece Stretch (jointly performed by a member of the Chinese Music Virtuosi). Four pieces were featured in the multi-media concert of Musicarama 2004, which include a commissioned work Touched by Space and Time for percussion and electronic music by Christopher Keys and a premiere Two Heads Spinning for two percussionists and video tape by Vincent Pang. Nine compositions were featured in the vocal/choral concert of Musicarama 2004. The highlights were the new commissioned works Phonomusica for children choir by Daniel Law and the Enigma for soprano, tenor, cello and piano by Anthony Cheng. Non-local composers' works such as Chen Yi's Wild Grass and Ernst Toch's Geographical Fugue were also featured.

With the support of Foreign Affairs Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Bilateral Cultural Exchange Project co-presented by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and the Leisure and Cultural Services and Department, HKSAR, the Penderecki String Quartet were brought to Hong Kong in October 2004 to deliver a number of master classes and concerts at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. They performed a number of difficult pieces by Glen Buhr, K. Penderecki, G. Ligeti and Alice Ho, respectively. And they also premiered Law Wing-fai's Wind Dance which was commissioned by NUMUS Inc. for the NUMUS Chinese Contemporary Music Festival held in Canada in January 2005.

Three Hong Kong composers' works (Chan Wing-wah, Tak Lok-yin and Lam Fung) were featured in the Asian Composers League Conference/Festival 2004 held in Israel. Some of the other overseas performances include Chan Hing-yan's On a Sudden Inspiration for erhu and an ensemble of Chinese instruments which were premiered by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra. His Madame Cadaver for violin and orchestra was performed by Ensemble orchestral de Paris at the Théatre des Champs-Élysées in January 2004. Joshua Chan's Distant Reflections for huqin quartet, saxophone and piano were premiered by the Singapore Huqin Quartet during the New Zealand Arts Festival in March 2004. Chan Ming-chi's Trees and Wind for multi percussion and recorders were preimered during the Second Sino-Japanese Contemporary Music Festival held in both Beijing and Tokyo.

The local scene has also been flourishing. In April 2004, the distinguished violinist Leung Kin-fung, with the support of CASH and the historial-violins dealer Music Chamber, hosted a pure string recitals of all newly commissioned by the Hong Kong composers in which nine compositions were featured (by Doming Lam, Chan Wing-wah, Victor Chan, So Ting-cheong, Lo Hau-man, Joshua Chan, Clarence Mak, Richard Tsang and Lam Man-yee). These compositions were written for various scorings such as violin solo, viola solo, violin-cello duet, violin-piano duet, piano trio, etc. The whole concert was also recorded and released on a DVD later in the year.

Another regular major event organized by the Hong Kong Composers' Guild was the New Generation 2004 in which eight works written for wind quintet and piano by young composers were performed by Les Six and later broadcast on Radio 4 of RTHK in May/June. Adrian Lam's Astray was selected as the best composition of the event, and the composer will receive a commission for a new work to be premiered in New Generation 2005.

With the aims to broaden young people's horizons in creative arts by nurturing contemporary music making into primary and secondary schools, the Hong Kong Composers' Guild, with the helf of the Education and Manpower Bureau, has been staging the major annual event called Schools Creative Music Showcase in which different school teams will give a gala performance of multi-media works (music, choreography, lighting, props, etc.) all composed and performed by the students themselves. A number of awards will be given to the best schools at the end of the concert. The 4-hour event Schools Creative Music Showcase 2004 was held in January 2004 and it featured eight primary schools and four secondary schools, which were competitively chosen among more than 20 participating schools.

In the 2004 Annual General Meeting of the Hong Kong Composers' Guid held in September 30, 2004, Associate Professor from the University of Hong Kong Dr. Joshua Chan was elected as the new Chairman (2004/2006), taking over from Prof. Chan Wing-wah who had served in the post since 1993. Other newly elected members of the Council include Clarence Mak (Vice-Chairman), Lo Hau-man (Secretary), Ada Lai (Membership Secretary), Leung Chi-cheung (Treasurer), Chan Hing-yan, Victor Chan, Hui Cheung-wai, Daniel Law, Ng Chun-hoi, and Joyce Tang. One of the first major events started by this new Council will be the bidding of the host of the jointed ISCM/ACL 2007 Festival in Hong Kong.




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