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7/F., Sheung Wan Municipal Services Bldg.,
345 Queen's Road Central,
Hong Kong.
Tel: (852) 3185 1600
Fax: (852) 2815 5615
Email: inquiries@hkco.org


HKCO Annual Report

"A locally-based orchestra with global visions and values - the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra"
By Chow Fan-fu


Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra

Mission Statement:

Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra is united in its commitment to offering excellence in Chinese music. With a contemporary momentum and a professional spirit, we aims to strive for the peak in music and attain the status of a world-class orchestra that is the pride of Hong Kong people.


  • The Orchestra was founded in 1977 and is the only professional, full-sized Chinese orchestra with 85 musicians in Hong Kong. It came under the management of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra Limited on 1st April, 2001 when the latter took over from the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of Hong Kong.
  • The Orchestra is deeply rooted in the Chinese cultural heritage. Its performance format and repertoire include both traditional Chinese music and contemporary full-scale works. It also explores new frontiers in music through commissioning new works of various types and styles, and over the years, has commissioned more than 1,700 original compositions and arrangements. The Orchestra currently has an establishment of 85 musicians who perform in the four sections comprising bowed-strings, plucked-strings, wind and percussion instruments. Traditional as well as improved Chinese instruments are incorporated.

Scope of activities

  • To bring the colourful world of Chinese music to the people of Hong Kong, the Orchestra organizes more than 100 regular and outreach concerts every year, as well as mass activities such as the Hong Kong ¡Õi¡ÖHuqin Festival, the Hong Kong Drum Festival, the Hong Kong Dizi and Xiao Festival and the Hong Kong Zheng Festival.
  • As a Cultural Ambassador of Hong Kong, the Orchestra has been invited to perform at various famous venues in the world and at international festivals. It has performed in Australia, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, mainland China, Taiwan, Macao, Canada, the United States, Holland, Austria, Germany, England, France, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Ireland, Russia and Belgium.
  • To promote Chinese music to different sectors of the community and to provide long-term financial support for the development of the Orchestra, the Friends of HKCO was set up in 1998 and the HKCO Development Fund was set up in 2002.
  • For the purpose of nurturing young music talents and building a young audience base in Chinese music, the Orchestra gives regular performances in schools, and has been offering instrumental classes since 2003. The Hong Kong Children Chinese Orchestra and the Hong Kong Junior Chinese Orchestra were also established in the same year. As part of the educational projects organized in conjunction with television stations, radios and other institutions, the Orchestra produced a CD-Rom entitled The Treasure of Chinese Music: The Huqin.
  • The Orchestra is dedicated to nurturing professionals in Chinese music through the Internship Scheme, which is jointly offered with the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, in 2009, the Orchestra established the world's first Chinese orchestral academy - The HKCO Orchestral Academy.
  • The Orchestra continues to conduct research on and develop Chinese traditional and contemporary compositions and to strive to achieve the best acoustic effects through the application of improved instruments by setting up a Folk Music group, Chamber Music group, Instrument R & D group and HKCO Pop.
  • The Orchestra has an extensive discography to date, which includes live recordings of its concerts, studio recordings etc. in CD, VCD and DVD formats. It also launched the world's first ever SACD recording of a live concert by a Chinese orchestra in 2003.
  • The Orchestra performed the soundtrack music for world famous films, Warriors of Heaven and Earth and Kung Fu Hustle.
  • Apart from collating and publishing papers presented at the symposia and conferences, the Orchestra also publishes books on Chinese music. The titles published to date are The Enjoyment of Chinese Orchestral Music and A Handbook to Appreciating Chinese Orchestral Music.
  • In carrying out social commitments, the "Music for Love" scheme was set up in September 2005 to bring the beauty of Chinese music to the under-privileged like seniors, orphans and single-parents centres etc.

Conferences and Symposia
The Orchestra organized an international conference on the development of Chinese music, entitled Retrospect and Development of Modern Chinese Orchestra. Experts and scholars attending came from Hong Kong, China and overseas, and many enlightening views were raised on the occasion. (1997)
The Orchestra organized the International Competition for Chinese Orchestral Composition 2000 and the Chinese Orchestra Composition Symposium to promote Chinese orchestral compositions and explore the acoustic effects through different configuration layouts. (2000)
A seminar series entitled On the Ecology of Chinese Music in a Modern Environment and Its Future Developments was held as part of the activities of the worldwide poll for Golden Chinese Classics of the Century. (2002)
The Orchestra organized The Fourth International Symposium on Chinese Music - Tradition and Evolution. (2007)
The Orchestra organized The Concert and Post-Performance Seminar on the Improved Huqin. (2009)

Making Guinness Records

  • A new Guinness Record was set by the Orchestra when some one thousand erhu players played at a mass performance entitled Music from a Thousand Strings. The official entry was made as the largest number of people performing the erhu at the same time. (2001)
  • The Orchestra held the Opening Rally of the Hong Kong Drum Festival at an unprecedented mass performance witnessed by all Hong Kong, when three thousand Hong Kong citizens played a drum piece, The Earth Shall Move. The event marks another Guinness World of Records entry for the Orchestra and served to boost the morale of the people of Hong Kong after the ravages of SARS. (2003)
  • More than 500 dizi players joined the HKCO in a mass performance at the Opening Ceremony of the Hong Kong Dizi and Xiao Festival 2005 - another world record for having the largest number of people playing the dizi together. (2005)

Honours and Awards

  • The Orchestra was awarded for 'The Most Outstanding Achievement in Advancing Contemporary Chinese Music' by the ISCM World Music Days 2002 Hong Kong. (2002)
  • The Council of the Orchestra was awarded 'Directors of the Year - Statutory/ Non-profit-distributing Organization Board' by The Hong Kong Institute of Directors for achievement in corporate governance. (2004).
  • The 2003-2004 Annual Report of the Orchestra was awarded '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 Orchestra was awarded for 'The 28th Top Ten Chinese Gold Songs Award - The Golden Needle Award' by Radio Television Hong Kong. (2005)
  • Awarded the 'Caring Organization' logo by The Hong Kong Council of Social Services. (2005-2007)
  • The Orchestra was awarded the 'Most Outstanding Achievement in Advancing Asian Contemporary Music' by the Asian Composers League. (2007)
  • Roots of the Chinese, a recording that featured the Orchestra, won two awards in the 'Instrumental Music - Album' category and the 'Instrumental Music - Performance' category at the 6th China Gold Record Awards. (2008)
  • The Orchestra was awarded the Judging Panel's Grand Prize in The 2nd Hong Kong Corporate Branding Award (2008)
  • The Series of Eco-Huqin developed by the Orchestra was awarded the "Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence - 'Class of Good' Productwi$e Label"(2008)


Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra Council Members List
Honorary Patron
The Chief Executive, HKSAR
The Hon Donald Tsang GBM

Dr Carlye W L Tsui BBS MBE JP

Ir Edmund K H Leung SBS OBE JP
Dr Chan Wai Kai

Honorary Secretary
Mr Ricky W K Li

Prof Chan Wing Wah JP
Mr Yau Yat Him MH
Mr Jack Chow
Mr Samson Leung
Mr Alan K L Wong

Council Advisor
Mr Carlson Tong JP
Dr Kelvin Wong
Mr Henry Lai

Senior Music Advisor
Ms Barbara Fei BBS
Mr Doming Lam

Music Advisors
Prof Li Xian
Mr Aik Yew Goh
Mr Chen Tscheng-hsiung
Prof John Lawrence Witzleben
Mr Kwok Hangkei
Mr Tong Leungtak
Prof Qiao Jianzhong
Dr Richard Tsang
Dr Cham Lai Suk-ching, Estella (Arts Education)
Mr Li Song (Ethnic & Folk Arts)

HKCO Ambassadors
Mr A F M Conway
Ms Winnie Ng
Ms Jessica Ng
Mr Patrick Tam


To mark the corporatization of Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, a new symbol has been created to help usher in a new era, a new image and a new outlook for the Orchestra.

The symbol is a multi-faceted sign. Together with the Orchestra name in Chinese and English characters of elegant fonts, the symbol forms the signature of the Orchestra. This is a work of art by renowned designer Mr. Hon Bing Wah.

The symbol itself is developed from a musical note.

The top part of the musical note consists of two distinct strokes and dots, which can transpire into various images to convey different meanings, including:

  • A soaring, dancing dragon with two bright eyes, symbolic of the land of origin of Chinese music, also denoting an abundance of vigour.
  • A person in vivacious motion with both arms outstretched, symbolic of an orchestra conductor, or musicians in concert, or an appreciative audience, all denoting the interaction of the Orchestra at work.
  • A flower in full bloom, denoting the Orchestra's progress towards prosperity.

Similarly, the bottom part of the musical note carries multiple notations, such as:

  • Drawn in strokes of Chinese calligraphy, it has an English character "C" embedded in an English character "O", as a synonym for "Chinese Orchestra".
  • The round shape implies the pinnacle reached by Chinese music — harmony.

The entire symbol also looks like an abstract rendition of a traditional Chinese musical instrument.

The symbol is dressed in two warm colours. Red is the predominant colour on the national flag of China and the SAR flag of Hong Kong. Purple conveys a touch of class as well as the colour of Hong Kong's flower, the Bauhinia Blakeanna.

While saluting oriental culture in tint and tone, the symbol is built on a simple and clear modern-day structure, applying the musical note as an international language. Through the fusion of charms of east and west, tradition and contemporary, Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra works towards reaching out to the world with its music.