The Wang Kwong Chinese Orchestra will collaborate with two promising musicians - pianist Avan Yu and saxophonist Kevin Ling - for a concert in June.
Under the batons of guest conductor Xia Feiyun and three other conductors, the orchestra and duo will perform "Concert Overture - Wild Dance of the Golden Snakes", "Like the Heavens' Ways of Self-rejuvenation", "Flying Dragons and Leaping Tigers", "Chinese Rhapsody No. 3", "The Chinese Dragon" and "The Spring River Flows".
Born in 1936 in Zhejiang, Xia Feiyun entered a middle school affiliated to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 1953, taking with him with a violin that he had made himself. Three years later, he entered the conservatory to study Chinese music conducting under Yang Jiaren, Wei Zhongle et al. Upon graduation, he joined the faculty as a teacher while at the same time providing training for ensembles in Shanxi and Jiangsu. With his solid training in Western music and his knowledge of the various characteristics of Chinese musical instruments, Xia has great insight into the ethos of Chinese music. He has conducted many ensembles and orchestras, including the Chinese Music Ensemble of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra, the Chinese National Orchestra of China and the ensemble of the Shanghai Peking Opera Troupe. He was also formerly the resident conductor of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. He has also been on overseas tours as a performer and given talks on occasions.
Avan Yu's music teachers include Shen Jiqiu, who formerly taught at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and Klaus Hellwig of Berlin University of the Arts. A winner of many international awards, Yu caught the attention of the music world when he came first in the Canadian Chopin Competition at the age of 17 - the youngest of the contestants. He also became the only pianist to win first prize in the junior and senior divisions of the Missouri Southern International Piano Competition. This achievement made him the first ever gold award winner in both divisions in the competition's 20-year history. He was awarded the silver medal and the audience prize at the 16th Paloma O'Shea Santander International Piano Competition in 2008.
Kevin Ling took his first saxophone lesson at an early age. He was awarded a scholarship to further his studies by taking a postgraduate advanced diploma in performance at London's Trinity College of Music and was awarded fellowship status by the Trinity Guildhall. Ling is an experienced performer and has performed in many countries around the world. As a soloist he has performed with many music groups in Hong Kong and with the National Saxophone Choir of the United Kingdom.
Founded in 1962, the Wang Kwong Chinese Orchestra first came to attention when it won many prizes in Chinese ensemble in the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival. In 1989, it performed at a concert in the inauguration programme of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, and marked its place as the first amateur Chinese orchestra to perform there. Since 1981, the orchestra has initiated collaboration between Hong Kong amateur groups and artists from the Mainland by inviting famous musicians from China to perform in Hong Kong. In 2003, it gave two concerts in celebration of its 40th anniversary featuring virtuosi from all over the world, to wide acclaim.
The concert by the Wang Kwong Chinese Orchestra is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. It will be held at 8pm on June 2 (Saturday) at the Auditorium, Sha Tin Town Hall. Tickets priced at $110, $140 and $160 are now available at URBTIX outlets, on the Internet and by credit card telephone booking. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and their minders, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis). A maximum discount of 20 per cent is offered for group bookings.
For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7321 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/Programme/en/music/000003b6.html. Ticketing enquiries can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at www.urbtix.hk.
Ends/Wednesday, May 2, 2012