42nd Orchestral Season

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The Drums of Hong Kong

Hong Kong Drum Festival

Date and Time
26/10/2018 (Fri)
8:00 pm
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
Ticket Fee
$200, $250, $320, $420
Chew Hee Chiat
Performed by
Percussion: Lung Heung-wing
Percussion: Choy Lap-tak
Percussion: Margie Tong
Percussion: Choi Suk-fan
Percussion: Four Gig Heads Percussion Group
Lion Dance Drums: International Seven Star Mantis Style
Lee Kam Wing Martial Art Association
Kung Fu: Hing Chao
Four Gig Head Rehearsal Video
Dr. Lung's Rehearsal Video
Dr. Lung Heung-wing Introduce The Drum of Hong Kong
Final Rehearsal & Interview
Four Gig Heads Percussion Group
Rehearsal Video
Demostration of Lion Dance Drums by International Seven Star Mantis Style Lee Kam Wing Martial Art Association

Since its inauguration in 2003 as a rousing bounce-back for the Hong Kong community after the SARS outbreak, the Hong Kong Drum Festival has become a time-honoured tradition that drives percussion music to new heights. This year we have local drum maestro, Dr Lung Heung-wing and the Four Gig Heads to join us, and we will perform a new work for lion dance drums by Dr Mui Kwong-chiu. Hear us roar!


Percussion Quartet Fang Yuan Fang Yuan John Chen Kwok-ping 

Percussion Quartet Paper Fun V.2 John Chen Kwok-ping      

Percussion: Lung Heung-wing,Choy Lap-tak,Margie Tong,Choi Suk-fan

jose / beFORe JOHN5 Aurél Holló 

Escape Velocity Dave Hall

The Crested Myna Washing Daliuzi of the Tujia Ethnic Group in western Hunan 

Percussion Quintet  Shan Hai Jing (Excerpt)  Guo Wenjing

Percussion: Four Gig Heads Percussion Group

Lion Dance Drum(s) and Orchestra Spirited Lion Dance Drums Mui Kwong-chiu (Commissioned by the HKCO / World premiere)

Lion Dance Drums: International Seven Star Mantis Style Lee Kam Wing Martial Art Association

Percussion Solo and Orchestra  Rhapsody for Solo Percussion and Orchestra Ney Rosauro Arr. by Chow Jun Yi (Arrangement commissioned by the HKCO / Premiere of the Chinese Orchestral Version)

Percussion: Lung Heung-wing

Percussion Quartet and Orchestra  Journey The Third Movement: Sojourns  Ng Cheuk-yin

Percussion: Four Gig Heads Percussion Group

Percussion and Orchestra Let the Thunder of Drums Roll VII.1018  Chew Hee Chiat Audience perform with the artists and the HKCO

Open Rehearsal (Full!)

Date: 26/10/2018 (Fri) 

Time: 4pm (30-45min)

Venue: Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall

Pre-concert Talk

Date: 26/10/2018 (Fri)

Time: 6:45pm

Speaker: Dr. Mui Kwong-chiu

Venue: Level 4 Foyer, Auditoria Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Free Admission. Quota is limited. First come first served.

Reservation:3185 1647
Music Views & Previews

Upholding the Spirit of Music Inclusion – The Hong Kong Drum Festival

Other than the human voice, percussions are the earliest musical instruments in the history of mankind. Yet in the history of Western music, percussion instruments only began to develop towards the end of the 19th century, or less than 150 years ago. Whether in terms of construction of the instruments, modification of the timbre, enhancement of performing skills or invention of new instruments, they only happened in the 20th century. Thanks to the arduous efforts of musicians in the 20th century, the percussion world of today can experience a quantum leap in the cross-cultural era of the 21st century.

The expansion can be seen in the following aspects: first, the repertoire has grown to cover Western classical, Eastern traditional, jazz, folk, ethnic and modern music, as well as the now unclassifiable New Age Music. Second, the performing format now incorporates theatre, digital technology, interactive projection, street dance, magic, and loads of cross-disciplinary attempts. Third, apart from commonly seen percussion instruments, folk percussion instruments from different ethnic groups, especially hand drums of the world’s many places, can be seen on stage today. A massive amount of specially crafted percussion instruments have emerged, while some performances may even involve no instruments at all.

These three characteristics can be found in the programming of this concert.
The first half of the concert consists of six items, performed by the renowned local percussion group, Four Gig Heads, and the ensemble Lung Heung-wing and Friends, led by the leading percussionist Lung himself. They include Fang Yuan Fang Yuan, a highly innovative piece by Hong Kong composer John Chen Kwok-ping, who has ingeniously blended modern compositional techniques with jazz and African music, on top of his perceptions of Chinese and Western music. He also made use of different paper crafts and instruments to play new sounds in Paper Fun V.2

jose / beFORe JOHN5 by the Hungarian percussion composer Aurél Holló is an interesting blend of Spanish, Arabic, Gypsy and African music elements. In Dave Hall’s Escape Velocity, the four instrumentalists will create an earful with a potpourri of percussion instruments, including the African drum, and it smacks of modern style and taste. The Crested Myna Washing, a Chinese daliuzi ensemble, features folk musical instruments of the Tujia ethnic group of Xiangxi (western Hunan). They come from a lineage of more than a thousand years. Guo Wenjing’s percussion quintet, Shan Hai Jing (second and third movements), is a fusion of tradition and modernity.

The second half of the concert is the world premiere of a brand new commissioned work, created by Mui Kwong-chiu, called Spirited Lion Dance Drums. It also combines modernity and tradition, marrying modern full-scale symphonized music with the folkloric drum sounds of Chinese lion dance. With two lions dancing to the rhythm onsite, it promises to be a cross-disciplinary, stunning percussion show. Just like previous years, there is the usual item of interactive drumming fun involving the Orchestra, guest performers and the audience with Let the Thunder of Drums Roll VII.1018. It is a work specifically composed with South China tonalities by Chew Hee Chiat, and this year’s version has been spiced up with multimedia presentation formats.

In Rhapsody for Solo Percussion and Orchestra by the Rio de Janeiro-born, prolific percussion composer Ney Rosauro, it is a mish-mash of percussions and Brazilian traditional instruments, showing its inspiration from the folk music of Brazil.  Journey by Hong Kong composer Ng Cheuk-yin, written for percussion quartet and orchestra, was premiered more than a decade ago. (Only the third movement is performed for this concert.) It prominently displays how percussion instruments can be highly expressive with the use of modern techniques.

To conclude, the ten works on the programme tonight cover Chinese and Western ethnic music, with styles that are eclectic and diverse. While the performing techniques and aesthetics may differ between ancient, modern, East and West, they are held together in this show through integration. The percussion instruments used consist of traditional folk instruments originating from several Chinese and Western ethnicities, therefore highlighting the unique timbres of the works. The world premiere of Spirited Lion Dance Drums highlights Hong Kong’s vitality as a modern city, at the same time integrating the folk art form of lion dance. This reflects one characteristic of modern percussion in that it broadens its development potential by advancing towards a cross-disciplinary, universal approach.

In the past 16 years of development, the Hong Kong Drum Festival has witness the historic and rapid growth of the percussion world. In this concert, not only have the tonality and expression of percussion significantly widened, the depth and width of music has also drastically changed. This may be a portrayal of the modern world that emphasizes creative imagination and diversified development as we move to the future together.