Author Archives: Leonard Wong

演藝學院三十周年研討• 論壇

一九八四年,可以說是香港表演藝術界的轉捩點,因為這年,香港演藝學院正式成立。令有志從事表演藝術的熱血之仕,有一個正規的渠道可以投身其中。

轉眼已經過了三十年。

這些年來,眾多畢業生對於業界,起了翻天覆地的改變,亦正值三十周年這個日子,是時候讓我們回顧及展望。

演藝學院三十周年籌備委員會,聯同香港演藝學院校友會,於二零一四年十月三日至五日,一連三天,晚上七時半,於香港演藝學院戲劇院,舉行三場演藝論壇,歡迎各位出席參與。

論壇的題目分別為:

十月三日《在業界工作的苦與樂》

十月四日《如何在香港表演藝術界營運藝團》

十月五日《表演藝術和人文精神》

論壇分別邀請了各學院的畢業生,希望通過論壇形式的交流,把寶貴的經驗和理念,跟大家真誠分享。

無論過去、現在、將來,香港演藝學院一定會繼續推動香港表演藝術的發展,亦希望藉此機會,讓一眾來自這大家庭的業界棟樑,或後起之秀,攜手開創未來的道路。

 

演藝學院免費節目,入場劵可於演出前半小時在演藝學院票房索取,先到先得。

或 網上預定門票

 

Joey_leung

 

 

 

 

梁榮忠
演藝學院三十周年研討• 論壇 主席

Creation & Recreation

Author: Prof. Adrian Walter

Published in Ming Pao on 9 July 2014

 

Having just completed my second year as Director of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts my initial impression of Hong Kong as a dynamic and creative space with a rich cultural life has been well and truly confirmed.

 

Let me share with you some of the innovative performances I’ve enjoyed over the last month. Last Saturday evening I attended a performance by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra with English percussionist Evelyn Glennie. Her performance, with its sharp edged rhythms combining so effectively with a deeply felt lyricism was extraordinary.  What really captured my attention though was that every work on the programme was a new work, or at least a work composed in the last decade or so – and they were all incredibly well received by the audience.  There was no shying away from the new and challenging for the HKCO and its audience. I am not sure where else you would see such courage and conviction in programming.

 

This is an approach that the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts also embraces with gusto – original creativity continually drives us in our work with the young emerging artist studying at the Academy. I am sure this contributes significantly to creating a highly receptive environment for new and innovative work. The Academy now has 7637 graduates many of whom are deeply embedded in the cultural life of this city and have undoubtedly done much to shape its development since it opened its doors in 1984.

 

As part of the Academy’s 30th Anniversary Year Celebration we presented a performance of the The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare.  On the surface this would not seem unexpected for a performing arts academy, but let me tell you more. The play was presented in Cantonese with the ‘play within the play’ set as a Cantonese Opera, all in all involving 178 Academy students, alumni and faculty staff.  Where else but Hong Kong could such an original, innovative reimaging of this work occur, capatilising on Hong Kong’s position as a unique point of intersection between Eastern and Western cultural practice.  As one enthusiastic audience member noted, it could easily have been taken to the West End for a season and would have proudly showcased the unique creativity of this city.

 

Nurturing talented and creative young performers is a critical part of achieving the outcomes that we all strive for in building Hong Kong as a dynamic cultural hub. This was wonderfully demonstrated last week in a concert presented by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. This concert featured a rising star of the Hong Kong piano world, Johnson Li, an eleven year old student of the Academy’s junior music programme and student of Eleanor Wong. The young pianist looked relaxed and in control from the very opening tutti. The orchestra sensitively accompanied him giving him every opportunity to shine. The conductor Jun Märkl was outstanding in the way he worked with this young performer – a fine musical mentor in action. The whole audience was entranced by the rapport that clearly existed between conductor and soloist.

 

The need to nurture young performers has also been a vital part of the preservation and reinvigoration of Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong. Last month I was fortunate to attend the opening performance of the Cantonese Opera Young Talent Showcase presented by Ba Wah (香港八和會館) which presented the work of some of the emerging stars of this most engaging of arts forms.

 

If you look through an average weeks performance calendar for Hong Kong you soon realise that this is only a small sample of the rich array of offerings  that are presented week on week in Hong Kong across so many art forms.

 

I couldn’t close however without mentioning the performance I attended by the Hong Kong Dance Company ‘The Butterfly Lovers’. Celebrating the 55th anniversary of this well-loved work it was presented in a new version interwoven with a newly created choreography by Yang Yuntao.
This takes be back full circle to my reflections on the HKCO performance – what an extraordinary creative space Hong Kong is – something we need to celebrate and most importantly safeguard and nurture for future generations.

 

Where have all the composers gone?

Author: Prof. Adrian Walter
Published in Ming Pao on 2 July 2014

While we still celebrate those outstanding creative individuals who can compose music for the concert hall the industry now offers a broader range of opportunities for those skilled in the craft of composition. Someone with such skills is able to ‘craft’ music for a particular end use, be that for a music library, adverts, computer games or one of the many of areas of demand within the creative industries –the musical equivalent of a graphic artist.

The later part of the nineteenth century saw the rise of the artist as ‘hero’– the performer who could transcend physical limitations and whose god like prowess became the source of legends. As the twentieth century progressed so too did the demand to specialize and define yourself by that specialization.

We now celebrate Johann Sebastian Bach as a ‘star’ composer but in his own time he was equally respected as an organist and improviser, as a manager – a jobbing muso! The same story can be repeated for Mozart, Rossini, Mahler, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev. These were highly versatile creative artists and performers, who were also adept business people, entrepreneurs and arts managers.

While we celebrate the genius of Mozart he also spoke the common musical language of his day. There are many little known names who were contemporaries of Mozart who created large amounts of new work for an ever demanding market place. Who has heard of Johann Christian Cannabich composer, director and creator of hundreds of works including symphonies, concerti and occasional music? Much of which indeed influenced the work of Mozart. By taking the ‘star’ out of their temporal and social context we loose the true sense of a thriving creative industry in which many versatile creative artists are involved.

Two great impediments to the 21st century creative mind are the concept of the ‘star’ and the concept of specialization. Two attributes deeply embedded in the modern psyche. The idea of the ‘star’, the competition winner, have more to do with contemporary celebrity culture and business imperatives than creativity and artistic excellence or broader industry demands.

How do children learn to use language? They write stories about the family holiday, their sister’s wedding, the trip to the beach. Are we imagining by asking our children to do such activities that they will become Nobel prize winning authors? What more natural way for a child to use their newly acquired language and communication skills than to use them creatively as a way to express themselves and to explore and understand their worlds.

We need to reclaim the creative space within our educational programmes. We need to see composition again as a creative process for all young music students to explore. The time for specialization and the market to support such specialization has passed. As well as ‘composers’ we need those skilled in the ‘craft’ of composition – versatile, adaptable and creative young artists who are highly skilled but not limited by the specialized nature of that skill.

Music student Tin-Wai Lai in Rome Chamber Music Festival

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I am Tin-Wai Lai from Hong Kong, currently a second year student in the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, majoring in Viola. This June, it was my great honour to be sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels to participate in the prestigious Rome Chamber Music Festival, where students had the opportunities to rehearse and perform together with famous coaches from all around the world in the Palace Barberini.

In this festival, I played the Dvorak Sextet along with three other students coached by Ms. Rebecca Albers and Ms. Julie Albers. Since we only had less than a week’s time to prepare the whole piece, we worked very hard every day to play the best out of ourselves. I learnt a lot in every rehearsal, not only the knowledge of music, but also how to communicate with different people, as well as how to come up with an idea that everyone would agree.

In addition, I was chosen to play in the master class conducted by the three viola teachers in this festival, namely Ms. Hsin-Yun Huang who is a teacher from the renowned Curtis Institute of Music, as well as Ms. Rebecca Albers and Mr. Luca Sanzo. I had a chance to play in front of them and other students. They all gave me many valuable comments, which helped me to improve myself even better. It’s really a very rare chance for me to get to know different styles of interpreting a piece.

The performance was really a huge success, and I enjoyed it very much. This was truly a fascinating and unforgettable experience, because I had the chance to work with international students from Italy, Brazil, Poland and America, and we exchanged our views about music and different cultures.

Lastly, I would like to give huge thanks to the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels which helped me a lot in arranging everything, made my trip an extremely smooth and enjoyable one and most importantly, marked a difference in my journey to professional musicianship.

Tin-Wai Lai