Hong Kong Children’s Symphony Orchestra
Dr. Yip Wai-hong established the Hong Kong Children’s Symphony Orchestra in 1996. Members, aged from seven to 18, are recruited under highly competitive open auditions. They have received training under the baton of Yip Wing-sie and Dr. Yip Wai-hong.
The Orchestra has been holding concerts presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department annually. It has invited young talented musicians to perform with the orchestra, e.g. Lu Wei, Yang Tianwa, Yang Xiaoyu, Shun Wenyu, Zhang Haochen, Tang Yun, Wong Wai-yin, Mengla Huang and Angela Cheng.
The Orchestra was invited to perform in important occasions and concerts in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, United States and Canada.
Most of the violinists of the Orchestra have attained LRSM, Dip.ABRSM, FTCL, LTCL, and ATCL.
Violin Soloist: Charles Castleman
Charles Castleman, perhaps the world’s most active performer/pedagogue on the violin, has been soloist with the orchestras of Philadelphia, Boston, Brisbane, Chicago, Hong Kong, Moscow, Mexico City, New York, San Francisco, Seoul and Shanghai. Medalist at Tchaikovsky and Brussels, his Jongen Concerto is included in a Cypres CD set of the 17 best prize-winning performances of the Brussels Concours’ 50-year history.
Professor and former String Department Chair at the Eastman School, Castleman has conducted master-classes in London, Vienna, Helsinki, Kiev, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo, and all major cities in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. He is founder/director of The Castleman Quartet Program, now still at S.U.N.Y Fredonia and University Colorado Boulder, an intensive workshop in solo and chamber performance. Yo-Yo Ma has praised it as “the best program of its kind…a training ground in lifemanship.”
Castleman earned degrees from Harvard, Curtis, and University of Pennsylvania. His teachers were Emanuel Ondricek (teaching assistant of Sevcik, Ysaye student) and Ivan Galamian, his most influential coaches David Oistrakh, Szeryng, and Gingold. He plays the “Marquis de Champeaux” Stradivarius and "Sammons" Goffriller from 1708, and chooses from over 80 bows.
Music Director and Conductor: 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. On 1 July 2011, Dr. Yip is awarded the Bronze Bauhinia Star (BBS) for his outstanding service over a long period of time in Hong Kong.
Guest Conductor: Prof. Gabriel Leung
As a boy soprano, pianist and percussionist, Prof. Gabriel Leung’s concert appearances have taken him to most of the major music halls and music centres in North America, Europe and Asia. As an educator, he believes music serves as a medium to develop young people’s critical intellectual, social and emotional qualities. In the field of music, he holds a Master’s degree in Music awarded by the University of Western Ontario, Canada. He served as Director and Chief Conductor of Yip’s Children’s Choir (Canada), leading the Choir on several highly acclaimed overseas concert tours. He was the founding conductor of the Canadian Music Competitions Orchestra and elected Co-President of the Canadian Music Competitions (Toronto) and to the Board of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation. He previously served on the Board of Governors of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta.
Leung holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Western Ontario, and is a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard University. Also, Leung was professor in Public Health Medicine at Hong Kong University of Hong Kong until his present government appointment as Director of Chief Executive’s Office.
Assistant Conductor: Law Po-kwan
Law Po-kwan is a PhD candidate for Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in choral conducting at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she completed her Master in Music programme in orchestral conducting. She also holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance and a Master of Music degree in choral conducting from the Oberlin Conservatory, and a Master of Music in piano performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Throughout her studies, she has received numerous scholarships and awards, including a full-tuition scholarship, a teaching assistantship and a graduate assistantship at the University of Illinois, the Conservatory Scholarship at the San Francisco Conservatory and the Dean’s Talent Award at the Oberlin Conservatory. She was selected to participate in prestigious conducting workshops in the United States and Europe, and won commendation from such leading names as Michael Tilson Thomas, Simon Carrington, Ann-Howard Jones, William Weinert, Edwardo Diazmunoz, Brian O`Connell and Dennis Keene when she attended their master classes. Her recent guest conducting engagements include the Illini String Orchestra, the University of Illinois Philharmonia, the Illinois Chamber Orchestra and the Pan Asia Symphony Orchestra.