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Wagner Forum

Jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and Asia Society Hong Kong Centre

A limited number of tickets are still available. Get your tickets NOW!

Venue Date & Time Price
Miller Theater, Asia Society Hong Kong Center (9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong)

About the Programme

Wagner was not only the creator of a series of monumental operas, but also a prolific writer who was never shy of propagating his beliefs, although some of his ideas may now seem distasteful.  While undoubtedly a remarkable composer, Wagner showed extreme egotism throughout his life, with everything to be sacrificed to his genius.  His avowed anti-semitism may seem deplorable, yet some of his greatest disciples were and are Jews! Wagner is perhaps as renowned for controversy he inspires as for his music.  This forum gathers three captivating speakers of different backgrounds to share their insights on various aspects of Wagner and his music: Dr. Chan Hing-yan, Chairperson of Music, The University of Hong Kong (HKU); Professor Gabriel Leung, Dean of Medicine, HKU and himself a conductor; and Professor Simon Shen, Director of Global Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.  A team that promises an interesting event definitely not to be missed!

About the Speakers

Moderator / Speaker: Dr. Chan Hing-yan

Speaker: Prof. Gabriel Leung

Speaker: Prof. Simon Shen


Dr. Chan Hing-yan          Moderator / Speaker

Chan Hing-yan received his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, majoring in composition and minoring in ethnomusicology.  As a composer, he has represented Hong Kong on different occasions, including Hong Kong Sinfonietta's North American Tour (2012), South American Tour (2010), and European Tour (2005), the performance of his Madame Cadavre in the Year of China in France by l’Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and John Nelson (2004), and UNESCO's International Rostrum of Composers (2000 & 2003).

Chan's diverse output, which includes solo, chamber, choral and orchestral, often subtly incorporates Chinese elements.  More than half of Chan’s compositions are written for a mixed ensemble consisting of Chinese and Western instruments.  His works have been heard around the world at festivals such as the Second Spring of the Chinese Symphony, Beijing (2010), Edinburgh Festival (2009), Chinese Musicians Residency, Cornell (2009), Hommage a Bartók, Budapest (2006), International Gaudeamus Music Week, Amsterdam (2003), Melbourne Festival (2002), and Singapore Arts Festival (2002 & 2006).

Chan's most recent composition is Heart of Coral, a three-act chamber opera commissioned by the 41st Hong Kong Arts Festival (2013).  His three collaborations with the City Contemporary Dance Company (2005, 2007, 2009) have won him much acclaim as well as a Hong Kong Dance Award in 2008, when he also received commendation for "Persons with Outstanding Contributions to the Development of Arts and Culture" in the Secretary for Home Affairs' Commendation Scheme of that year.  Chan currently chairs the Music Department of The University of Hong Kong.


Professor Gabriel Leung                Speaker

As a boy soprano, pianist, percussionist and conductor, Prof. Gabriel Leung’s concert appearances have taken him to most of the major music centres in Asia, Australasia, Europe and North America, as well as locally and on the mainland.  During the 1990s, Leung served as Chief Conductor and Director of Yip’s Children’s Choir (Canada).  He was the founding conductor of the Canadian Music Competitions Orchestra and a frequent guest conductor of the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra.  Leung had been elected Co-President and Artistic Director of Canadian Music Competitions (Toronto) and to the Board of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation.

Since his return to Hong Kong, Leung has been in constant demand as a choral clinician and orchestral conductor.  Regular performance partners have included Hong Kong Children’s Symphony Orchestra and Pan Asia Symphony Orchestra.  He has also made recent guest appearances with Hong Kong Oratorio Society and Good Hope Singers.  He previously served on the Board of Governors of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta and is a current board member of the Hong Kong Philharmonic.  Leung is currently the Dean of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong.


Professor Simon Shen            Speaker

Trained as an international relations scholar, Prof. Simon Shen is an Associate Professor and Director of both Global Studies Programme and the Master of Global Political Economy Programme in the Faculty of Social Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.  In the meantime, he is also serving as the Co-Director of International Affairs Research Centre in the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies in the same University.  He got his DPhil degree from University of Oxford's Department of Politics and International Relations in 2006, and his MA/BA degrees in political science and history from Yale University in 2000.  He worked at the University of Warwick and Brookings Institution's Center of Northeast Asian Studies as a Visiting Fellow in 2011 and 2010 respectively.  His current researches include Chinese nationalism and Chinese foreign policy, external relations of Hong Kong, anti-terrorism and regional security in Asia, among others.


Tickets available from 9 August onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet and Telephone Credit Card Booking.

Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (Limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis).


‘Verdi & Wagner Year’ Forum Series Package Discount

10% discount for each purchase of standard tickets for 'A Bayreuth Experience' and 'Wagner Forum'.

Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount schemes for each purchase.  Please inform the box office staff at the time of purchase.


Programme Length

Running time of the forum is about 1 hour and 30 minutes with no intermission.



Programme Enquiries: 2268 7321

Ticketing Enquiries: 2734 9009

Telephone Credit Card Booking: 2111 5999

Internet Booking: www.urbtix.hk

The contant of this programme does not represent the views of the Leisure and Cultural Service Department and Asia Society Hong Kong Center.

The presenter reserves the right to substitute moderator and speakers should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.


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