Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, 2018

Tour Dates: 13th September - 25th September, 2018

Founded in 1977, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra is the only professional, full-sized Chinese orchestra in Hong Kong.

Tour Dates
  • 13th September - 25th September, 2018

Tour Information:

14th September, 19:30, Tsinghua University
16th September, 19:30, National Library Arts Center | Click for Tickets
20th September, 19:30, Zhejiang University
22nd September, 19:00, Shanghai University
24th September, 19:30, Nanjing Forest Music Festival | Click for Tickets

Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra

Founded in 1977, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra is the only professional, full-sized Chinese orchestra in Hong Kong. It has won the accolades as "a leader in Chinese ethnic music" and "a cultural ambassador of Hong Kong", and is often invited to perform at various famous venues in the world and at international festivals. It has been heard by audiences in Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and the Arctic Circle. The Orchestra has an establishment of 91 professional musicians, playing in four sections: bowed-strings, plucked-strings, wind and percussion. The instruments include both the traditional and the improved, new versions. In particular, the bowed-string section has adopted, since 2009, the Eco-Huqin series developed by the Orchestra. With its roots in the Chinese cultural heritage, the Orchestra has built a repertoire that includes not only traditional Chinese music but also contemporary works. It also explores new frontiers in music through commissioning about 2,300 new works of various types and styles, whether as original compositions or arrangements.

Apart from regular concerts and activities promoting arts education, the Orchestra has organized symposia and competitions. One of its milestone events is the world's first ever 'Hong Kong International Conducting Competition for Chinese Music' in 2011. The Orchestra has won numerous awards for its achievements in the arts, arts education, marketing and promotion, governance and administration. They include 'The Most Outstanding Achievement in Advancing Contemporary Chinese Music' presented by the ISCM World Music Days Hong Kong (2002), 'Directors of the Year – Statutory / Non-profit-distributing Organization Board' by The Hong Kong Institute of Directors for achievement in corporate governance (2004), '2004 Best Corporate Governance Disclosure Awards - Gold Award of Public Sector/ Not-for-profit Category' by the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (2004),'The Most Outstanding Achievement in Advancing Asian Contemporary Music' by the Asian Composers League (2007), and the 'Instrumental Music – Album' category and the 'Instrumental Music – Performance' category at the 6th China Gold Record Awards (2008) for their album, Roots of the Chinese. Its 'Chinese Music Alive' Scheme won the 'Hong Kong Arts Development Awards - Arts Education 2010' in 2011. In May 2012, the 'Hong Kong International Conducting Competition for Chinese Music' organized by the Orchestra won a 'Bronze Award – Group / Organisation Category' from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. Apart from the '4th Ministry of Culture Innovation Award', its Eco-Huqin series has also won many other awards for its green and innovative concepts.

Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for Life: Yan Huichang

Yan Huichang was conferred the title of National Class One Conductor at the First Professional Appraisal of China in 1987. Over the years, he has received numerous accolades and awards, such as the 'Cultural Medallion (Music)' by the National Arts Council of Singapore in 2001, a Bronze Bauhinia Star (BBS) by the Hong Kong SAR Government, the Jurors' Award for Conducting at the 6th China Gold Record Awards – Multi Arts Category, and the Overseas Award for Music at the 51st Literary and Art Works Awards in Taiwan. He is currently a Visiting Professor or Adjunct Professor in many conservatories. He regularly gives talks and lectures in Hong Kong and Overseas to promote Chinese music as a legacy. He is currently Honorary Fellow of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Visiting Scholar in its School of Music, Distinguished Professor in Conducting at the China Conservatory of Music, Senior Research Fellow in Conducting of He Luting Advanced Research Institute for Chinese Music of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Director of Chinese National Orchestra Research Center of the Advanced Research Institute for Chinese Music, and concurrently Music Director of the National Chinese Orchestra Taiwan, Council Member of Chinese Musicians' Association and the National Commission of China Federation of Literary and Arts Circles.

Led by Yan, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra has been setting many milestones in Chinese music over the last dozen years or so. Artistically, it has commissioned new works and reached out proactively to the world of Western music to explore new frontiers together – one example is the annual concert series, 'Music About China', now becoming a hallmark event of the Orchestra. It has also led the way in instrumental reform with its 'Eco-Huqin' series. In terms of education, the Orchestra was the first to initiate the Professional Orchestra Internship scheme through collaboration with The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. In bringing Chinese music to a wider audience, the Orchestra has organized themed festivals based on instrumental types. On a professional level, the Orchestra has hosted several international symposia on Chinese music and organized the first ever 'International Conducting Competition for Chinese Music', the latter of which won the enthusiastic support of music institutions in China and other parts of the world.

Yan received the teaching and coaching of renowned conductor Xia Feiyun, and famous composers Hu Dengtiao and He Zhanhao. In addition to Chinese music conducting, he has also conducted Western symphony orchestras. The professional orchestras he has worked with include the China National Symphony Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Russian Philharmonic Orchestra of Moscow, Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra etc. Yan is also actively engaged in composition, with many award-winning works.