“The sound they produce is out of this world.” The Guardian
The Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra has always been committed to promoting Chinese music while breaking new ground for the genre. Its top-class performances have drawn acclaim on the global stage. The orchestra has also been a driving force behind the creation of new material, with a commissioned repertoire of over 2,400 works, including new compositions and arrangements. The Music About China series, jointly launched by the HKCO and the Hong Kong Arts Festival in 2007, has premiered a considerable number of works by composers from Greater China and beyond, promoting Chinese culture and perpetuating the heritage of Chinese music. As the series enters its 15th year, it has been designated the opening programme of the Hong Kong Arts Festival 2021.
The concert features a spectrum of imaginative music, such as Chan Ming-chi’s new composition, It’s the East Wind Again from Tale of the Mahjong Heroes. Using alternative musical instruments, Chan captures vividly the many reactions of the game’s players. Blue Notes by Golden Horse Award winner Leon Ko is an ingenious hybrid of the Cantonese nanyin and American blues. It encapsulates the demotic yet graceful sounds of Chinese traditional music as well as the worldly-wise sensibilities of ordinary people. The cello concerto Zhuang Zhou’s Dream, a tour de force that took Zhao Jiping ten years to complete, and which was premiered in 2008 by the HKCO and the world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, is a philosophical dialogue between a cello and a Chinese ensemble. It has been taken on tour to some of the world’s great venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York and the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. This Hong Kong revival should inspire audiences to revisit the wisdom of the great philosopher Zhuang Zhou.
Chan Pui Fang
Symphonic Poem: Flowing Water
Blue Notes (World Premiere)
It’s the East Wind Again from Tale of the Mahjong Heroes (World Premiere)
Percussion: Chau Chin-tung
Shakuhachi: Sun Yongzhi
Handpan: Luk Kin-bun
Zhuang Zhou’s Dream Cello Concerto
Cello: Richard Bamping
“A Va Mountain” (Excerpt from the first movement of Three Melodies of West Yunnan)
All programmes are commissioned by the HKCO