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Nieuw Ensemble to perform at Chinese Composers' Festival


Amsterdam's unique Nieuw Ensemble will perform during the "2003 Chinese Composers' Festival" in November.

The concert, presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, will be held at 8pm on November 27 (Thursday) at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall.

Nieuw Ensemble was founded in 1980. It has a unique instrumental structure, using plucked instruments such as mandolin, guitar and harp in combination with wind, string and percussion instruments. Ed Spanjaard has been its Principal Conductor since 1982.

The lack of compositions for this highly specific group makes it as dependent upon composers, as composers have always been upon musicians. The Nieuw Ensemble has thus set out to build its own repertoire. The provision of new pieces is encouraged by continuous contact with composers from different cultures, countries and generations. More than 300 pieces have been written for the ensemble, including several by young Chinese composers.

Since 1991 unique programmes with new works written especially for the Nieuw Ensemble by young Chinese composers such as Tan Dun, Qu Xiaosong, Xu Shuya, Chen Qigang and Guo Wenjing have attracted wide attention. The group premiered three new Chinese operas and made its first tour to China with concerts in Shanghai and Beijing in April 1997. The ensemble and its Artistic Director, Joel Bons, were awarded the prestigious Music Prize by the Prins Bernhard Foundation in 1998.

In the Hong Kong performance, the ensemble will perform numerous works by ethnic Chinese composers from different countries, including "Evapora" by Chen Xiaoyong (Germany), "Cothurnus" by Alice Ho (Canada), "Ji #6 - Flowing Sands" by Qu Xiaosong (China) and "Last Days, Hommage a Messiaen" by Aenon Loo (Hong Kong).

Commissioned by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, the "2003 Chinese Composers' Festival" aims to provide Chinese composers with a platform to discuss and perform their works, to exchange ideas and to enhance their artistic standards and international status.

Tickets for the concert priced at $120, $90 and $60 are now available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessions will be granted to senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Please check programme leaflets for more booking discount schemes.

For programme enquiries, call 2268 7321; for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009; for credit card telephone booking, call 2111 5999; for internet booking, visit; for more information, visit

End/Monday, September 22, 2003

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