Pan Asia Symphony Orchestra
Pan Asia Symphony Orchestra is a highly organized orchestra aiming at promoting music among the general public especially the young generation in Hong Kong. In order to achieve its goal, the Orchestra has performed frequently in the Hong Kong City Hall, regional town halls and civic centres a few hundred times over the past 34 years. A number of internationally famous conductors and soloists have been invited to perform with it. By using the idioms of popular music and organizing concert talks, the Orchestra has successfully introduced serious music and Chinese orchestral music to the public, and at the same time, brought about an awareness of the indigenous culture of the people.
Music Director/Presenter (in Cantonese): Dr. Yip Wai-hong
Dr. Yip Wai-hong is an eminent music educator. He served Hong Kong Baptist University as the Head of Music and Fine Arts Department for almost 30 years. He founded the Pan Asia Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Children’s Choir, Yip’s Children’s Choir and Hong Kong Children’s Symphony Orchestra with the aim to nourish young talents in Hong Kong.
The honours and accolades bestowed upon Dr. Yip include Honorary Citizenships of Fort Worth, Dallas and Tucson; The Golden Key of Avon Lake, Florida; Colonel of the State of Kentucky, the United States; and Hong Kong Art Education of the Year in 1990. In 2003, he was awarded the Medal of Honour of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. In 2006, he was conferred the Award of Honorary University Fellow of Hong Kong Baptist University. Dr. Yip was made the Fellows of Wells Cathedral School, the United Kingdom in 2008.
In 2011, Dr. Yip is awarded the Bronze Bauhinia Star (BBS) for his valuable contribution to children music education, as well as his dedication in promoting the development of choral and orchestral music.
Guest Conductor: Fan Tao
Fan Tao holds the rank of National First Class Conductor in China. He graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, studied composition and conducting under the famous conductor and pedagogue, Huang Xiaotong. In 1995, he was appointed Resident Conductor of the National Radio and Film Symphony Orchestra under the auspices of the China Broadcasting Performing-Arts Troupe. The orchestras and ensembles that Fan has conducted include the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Finnish National Broadcasting, the Avanti chamber orchestra of Finland, the Sibelius Academy Symphony Orchestra, and Oberlin Symphony Orchestra of the United States, the Florida State University Chamber Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestras of the Shanghai Opera, the National Ballet of China and the China National Chinese Opera and Dance Drama Company etc.
At the International Sibelius Conductors' Competition held in Helsinki in May 2000, Fan was awarded a special prize, donated by the Sibelius Estate, by the jury which enabled him to receive a master class with Esa-Pekka Salonen. In the following year, he received a full scholarship to study with the renowned conductor and pedagogue, Philip Spurgeon, in the United States. During his famous contemporary composers at the 11th Contemporary Music Festival in Florida in 2003, and a concert of contemporary music at the Carnegie Hall in New York to critical acclaim.
In 2006, China's Ministry of Culture chose Fan to conduct an orchestra drawn from the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at the opening of ASEAN's conference in Cambodia. Fan was the final juror in the final round of the Oberlin International Piano Competition in 2007 and Oberlin International Concerto in 2009.
Piano Soloist: Xie Yaou
"What a strong personality… Brilliance through a performance of pliability and precision… Xie Yaou understood how to create a magical and hallucinating acoustical climate." - Lettre du Musicien, Frankreich
Born in southwestern China, Xie Yaou has performed before international audiences at the Berlin Philharmonie, Beijing Concert Hall and the Vienna Konzerthaus. As a soloist she has appeared with grand orchestras, including the China National Symphony Orchestra, and the Sinfonie Orchester Berlin under conductors such as Victor Yampolski and Zheng Xiaoying. She is a guest performer at numerous festivals and as the winner of important prizes at the Orléans Concours XXème Siècle and Concours Olivier Messiaen, she received accolades for her interpretations of works by Franz Liszt and Claude Debussy.
Her teachers were Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Zhao Pingguo. With a scholarship from the prestigious International Piano Academy Lake Como, she has studied intensively with great musicians. Xie studied conducting in Shanghai with Huang Xiaotong. She is co-founder and conductor of the ensemble Berlin PianoPercussion. In 2009, she received a scholarship from Dartington Sommer School for the Master Class in conducting with Diego Masson.
Alongside classical literature, both Chinese and Western contemporary music occupy an important place in Xie's repertoire. She has worked with composers such as Chen Xiaoyong and Helmut Lachenmann and has given frequently premieres in many countries.
Her recordings and live appearances have been broadcasted by several radio stations including Deutschland Radio and China Central Television. Her latest CD features compositions by Debussy, Schoenberg and Messiaen.