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   For Immediate Release
October 24, 2003

Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra (HKCO) has always been known for its support in new music and its endeavour in expanding the music horizon. This is evidenced in its stock repertoire of over 1500 commissioned works. Last year, the Orchestra was awarded for ¡§The Most Outstanding Achievement in Advancing Contemporary Chinese Music¡¨ by the ISCM World Music Days and this year, it will lift the veil on the 2003 Chinese Composers¡¦ Festival with Global Chinese Composers in Concert.

Seventeen years ago, Chinese composers worked on their own without gaining the attention they deserved. But today, those who published their works at the first Contemporary Chinese Composers¡¦ Festival in 1986, including Chen Qigang, He Xuntian, Tan Dun, Chen Yi, Su Cong, Ye Xiaogang, Guo Wenjing, Xu Shuya, Zhou Long, Huang Anlun, Qu Xiaosong, Lin Pinjing, Law Wing-fai, Richard Tsang and Chan Wing-wah, have carved a niche for themselves in the world of music. They have become not only the driving force behind the development of music by Chinese composers, but also a growing influence on the international scene.

This opening concert of the Festival will be conducted by HKCO¡¦s Artistic Director-cum-Principal Conductor, Yan Huichang. The use of modern and traditional techniques and the blending of east and west compositional concepts in the six selected pieces are examples of the strength and creativity of some of the most respected figures in the Chinese music scene. The six pieces include Ri Huan Shi by Xu Jianqiang, The World of Chinese Painting by Chung Yiu-kwong, Song of Wind-scape by Chan Ming-chi, Rain¡DBamboo by Yang Qing, An-Ching by Richard Tsang and Fire Sacrifice by Tan Dun.

Local music fans may be more familiar with An-Ching, Fire Sacrifice and Song of Wind-scape, the latter of which was premiered in the HKCO concert, Routes of Pipa, last year. On this occasion, the Orchestra has invited Kakujo Iwasa from Japan to play the Satsuma biwa, and HKCO¡¦s Section Leader (Wind), Sun Yongzhi, will play the dizi and the shakuhachi. An-Ching, which in its original Chinese title means ¡¥peace¡¦ and ¡¥bright sky¡¦, was commissioned by the HKCO for the concert in celebration of the return of Hong Kong to China on July 1, 1997.

Fire Sacrifice was recently performed in another HKCO concert, Strings Rendezvous. Structurally it is a combination of ritualistic and court music in the Chinese tradition, and in the presentation, there would be the dramatic element of music theatre. The solo section will be performed by the renowned huqin artist, Wong Hiu-nam who will demonstrate her musical versatility with the zhonghu, erhu and gaohu.
Local composer Chan Ming-chi will be at the concert to hold a dialogue with other composers to examine his own composition and to take the audience deep into the creating process.
Global Chinese Composers in Concert will be held on November 26, 2003. Tickets are available at all URBTIX Outlets at $180, 150, 120 and 100. Half-price tickets are offered for senior citizens, people with disabilities and full-time students. Please refer to the programme leaflet for details on other discount schemes. Enquiries: 3185 1600; Booking Hotline: 2734 9009. Internet Booking: www.urbtix.gov.hk

Artists Biography

Yan Huichang Artistic Director cum Principal Conductor
¡EYan Huichang was conferred the title of National Class One Conductor at the First Professional Appraisal of China in 1987. He was appointed Music Director of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra in June 1997. Yan was awarded the "Cultural Medallion (Music) " by the National Arts Council of Singapore in September 2001.
¡EIn collaboration with renowned directors Zhang Yimou, Teng Wenji, the famous composer Zhao Jiping and the Symphony Orchestra section of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra of China, Yan had made soundtrack recordings for such award winning films as Raise the Red Lantern, Ballad of Yellow River, and Five Girls and a Rope.
¡EYan is actively engaged in composition. His representative works include the symphonic poem The Sound of Water which won a Class One Prize in the Composition Contest of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and Class Two Prize in the Third National Music Composition Competition; and the pipa solo work Nostalgia which won a Class One Award at the First National Pipa Contest of Contributing Works.

Wong Hiu-nam Huqin
¡EWong Hiu-nam started her erhu training at the age of six, and graduated with honour from the Central Music Academy. Wong joined the China Central Orchestra upon graduation. She has held numerous ¡§Wong Hiu-nam Erhu Solo Concert¡¨ over the world.
¡EWong was the first female performer to master the standing style of erhu performance in the world. Her superb technical skills, and unique style have been described as ¡§vanguard performer of the new century¡¨ and ¡§exceptional representative of China¡¦s news folk music¡¨.

Kakujo Iwasa Satsuma Biwa (Turuta School)
¡EIn 1976, Kakujo Iwasa studied biwa under Kinshi Turuta. Iwasa graduated from NHK Japanese Music Technician Training Meeting in 1977. In 1995, he studied biwa under Kiyohiko Yamada who is the player of Imperial Palace Music Department. In 1996, he passed the NHK Hogaku (Japanese music) audition.
¡EIn the 1997, Iwasa won the 1st prize at the Japanese Biwa Contest, the Minister of Education Encouragement Prize, and the Japan Broadcasting Corporation Chairman Prize Award. His repertoire includes classic, modern, and pop music.

Sun Yongzhi Dizi¡þShakuhachi
¡ECurrently the Section Leader (Wind) cum Dizi Principal of Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, Sun was a protege of dizi maestro Zhao Songting. Before coming to Hong Kong, he was the Head of the Centre for Teaching and Research at the Chinese Music Department (Wind Section) of the Conservatory.
¡EApart from teaching, Sun is also an active performer on the stage. He published a number of articles, including The Northern and Southern Styles of the Dizi, On the Intonation of the Dizi and graded teaching materials for dizi examinations (Vol.1-8).


For more details

Tel¡G3185-1001 (Ms Annisa Tong)