The Last Big Concert of the HKAPA Year!

Tomorrow (Thursday 19th), the Academy Symphony Orchestra will perform in its last big concert of the academic year.

It’s a particularly special occasion because our new Chair of The School of Music, Sharon Choa, will be conducting the orchestra for the first time.  Sharon has a great reputation as a conductor in the UK (see her website www.sharonchoa.co.uk) so I wanted to ask her a couple of questions about how she’s finding her HKAPA experience so far.

How do you find the Academy’s student musicians, compared to those you worked with in London?

They are brilliant – I have a lot of respect for them; especially the soloists – they are quite exceptional compared to any young musician in the world.

An outstanding quote on your website reads: “What drives my life is passion, at every level of endeavour…”. Do you think musicians in Hong Kong share that feeling of passion for what they do? And how about our classical music audiences?

Many of them do; but as with everything in life, there are people who are passionate and devoted to everything they do and there are some who simply aren’t. Sometimes, it may also be a matter of mode of expression.  

I do believe there are a lot of music lovers in Hong Kong who would perhaps like to understand more about their passion – their reason for loving music, or a specific kind of music. There seems to be a lot of initiatives in HK to ‘enlighten’ audiences, so I sense that there is a good trend and good potential for development in all directions.

How was the programme for the concert chosen? (for details, see below) Did you have final say on pieces and performers?

The programmes were entirely chosen by the student soloists – we just have to learn the scores of the repertoires they have chosen – it is quite a task! – as these are big works of very different styles.

I notice that there is a Chinese music piece included in the programme.  Have you conducted musicians playing Chinese instruments before and what, if any, are the differences in approach?

No, I have never conducted a piece with Chinese instrumental soloists – I find this most interesting because of the different ‘accents’ and ‘intonation’ Chinese music presents.  We are trying to create a ‘Chinese spirit’ with a Western-style symphony orchestra – in terms of colour, mode of articulation and the music’s dramatic narrative.  I hope this will come through in the performance.

This should be an exceptional and enjoyable evening of music.  Hope you can make it!

Academy Concerto Concert III, Academy Concert Hall, Thursday June 19 2014 @ 7.30pm

Composers & Programmes                                                           

Zhou Yuguo: Guzheng Concerto, Tune of Rainbow Cloud                                             Soloist: Ho Ying-ying

Strauss: Horn  Concerto No 1, OP 11                                                                                Soloist: Harry Chu Chin-pong

Forsyth: Viola Concerto in G  minor                                                                                 Soloist: Chris Choi Shu-lun

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major, OP. 35                                                       Soloist: Sharon Chan Shawn-nan

Concert duration: 2 hours with an intermission

Tickets are free and released half an hour before the start of the performance from the Box Office on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

如鑽石般的28年...

 

可以在同一機構工作28個年頭, 實在是一件令人敬佩的事!!

我們的研究生課程中心Chair 白朗唐(Tom Brown)先生, 明年將會榮休了! 多少年來, 跟Tom學習過的學生們都不會忘記他, 他絶對是一位出色而認真的老師!而作為帶領著整個碩士課程的舵手, 他亦是位傑出的領袖, 這些年來, 各個碩士課程皆順利開展, 而且獲得驕人的成績!今日是他最後一次在APA主持碩士課程的教務會議,我馬上趁此機會與他合照一張,以表達對這位師長的敬意!

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《粵樂薪傳》

繼《馴悍記》後,另一個別具意義,令我十分期待的演出,是在這星期五(13/6)下午六時於演藝音樂廳舉行的演藝中樂系《粵樂薪傳》唱片發佈和音樂演奏會。在余其偉教授的領導和多位專業音樂演奏家悉心指導下,學院中樂系在保存和推廣傳統粵樂方面成就斐然,即將面世的一套兩張粵樂唱片,就是當中的見證。「獨樂樂,不如眾樂樂。」讓當代社會大眾認識、欣賞傳統音樂和藝術之美,我們演藝人責無旁貸。謹預祝音樂會圓滿成功。

中學生APA工作體驗

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上個月, 我們應數名來自King George V的中學生的要求, 讓他們來到戲劇學院淺嚐”劇場人”的工作情況!

匆匆四天時間, 同學們透過觀察和參與”馴悍記”的制作, 感受到一個制作背後的艱苦和大量的工作時間. 為了要讓觀眾們看到最美妙, 最具娛樂性, 最有趣的演出– 背後的制作團隊必須投入極多的準備工夫, 以不斷的重覆和練習來獲取最完美的效果!

相信同學們現在更明白, 當一個劇場人並不如想像中的”只有好玩”, 而是百分之二百的投入和付出! 不過, 對於愛好劇場的人而言, 這卻正正是它迷人之處呢! 🙂

《馴悍記》第一晚演出

這幾天就像待在產房外的父親一樣, 要做的工夫前期已做了(!), 現在看着待產的媽媽(演員), 醫生(導演)、助產護士(後台製作)忙這忙那, 我一點也幫不上忙, 心裏很是內疚. 今晚順產第一胎, 觀眾反應不錯, 沒有向我丟石頭, 反報以熱烈的掌聲 @~@.
掌聲實在是答謝台前幕後的努力, 我期待明晚更精彩、更成功的《馴悍記》演出, 這兩晚將使我畢生難忘.

Young Talent Time

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A very special Academy concert took place on the weekend which put the spotlight on the Academy’s young talent. The concert featured two of the Junior Music Programmes’ choirs, the Chinese Music Ensemble and the Junior Symphony Orchestra. A cracking performance of a movement from Mendelsohn’s 4th Symphony highlighted the quality and depth of training our young musicians receive. This was again highlighted in the performance by the Chinese Music Ensemble that someone commented would make us proud wherever they performed.

There are clearly some wonderful things going on in this most important area of the Academy’s work – if you get the chance please join us for one of our Junior Music Programme events during our 30th Anniversary Year. I am sure you will be as impressed as I was and most importantly have a wonderfully entertaining time.

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The Bard’s Birthday Bash

Celebrating Shakespeare 450th birthday was a wonderful way to highlight the upcoming Academy production of the Taming of the Shrew, one of our major 30th Anniversary Year events. This extraordinary and innovative production draws together all the Schools at the Academy and truly fulfils the Academy’s vision of creating a cross disciplinary creative learning space in a city that is renowned as a unique point of intersection between Eastern and Western cultural practice. I am sure everyone will be intrigued to see how we weave a play within a play showcasing the extraordinary Cantonese operatic tradition.

Our Chair of Drama, Professor Ceri Sherlock, drew attention to Shakespeare’s work as a creative, collaborative innovator who was worldly wise and understood the demands of the industry. Shakespeare had that special ability to be able to deliver what the audience wanted while at the same time creating works of art that challenged the entrenched and pushed the boundaries of traditions – one thinks of Bach and Mozart in the same vein!

For me Shakespeare was first and foremost a consummate storyteller, something all of us in the performing arts aspire to be, whatever our medium of expression.

Join us on the 9th and the 10th of May for this special event but get in quick as without doubt it will be a sell-out performance.

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An Impressively Professional Production

Over the four day Easter break our team at EXCEL presented six high octane performances a day at the Hong Kong International Airport. Based on the Wizard of Oz this ‘tailor made’ production entertained a large number of people being ideally placed in the arrival hall. What better way to while away the time while waiting for colleagues, friends and loved ones to arrive – clearly those at the airport agreed and thoroughly enjoyed the twenty minute show.

The Airport Authority spared nothing and committed to very high production values that made the experience very special for all involved.

Something quite unique that I hope to see continuing into the future – a great relationship for the Academy that gives our students a very special performance opportunity indeed.

Congratulations to the EXCEL creative team led by Alice van Kapel and Charles Teo and of course all the young performers who shone as the stars of the show.

And a big thank you to Rebecca Ho and the Airport team for their support.

Have a look at the YouTube clip at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dK0lvgkgkZI#t=18

Be sure to use some good headphones if you want to capture the full experience.Group Photo with Director (3)Airport 1A