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5th Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival coming to HK in August

Hong Kong will host the 5th Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival 2004, the largest international event of its kind, in August.

The event, which runs from August 3 to 9, is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), the Hong Kong Harmonica Association (HKHA) and the King's Harmonica Quintet.

Details of the festival were announced at a press conference today (June 23) at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Present were Chairman of HKHA Dr Ho Pak-cheong, Acting Senior Manager (Music), Cultural Presentations Section of the LCSD Ms Au Wai-ying, and Hong Kong-based Johnny Chan, a renowned harmonica collector and player.

Ms Au said the department was honoured to join the HKHA and the King's Harmonica Quintet in presenting the 5th Asia-Pacific Harmonica Festival 2004. She said that as host of this important biennial event, Hong Kong was indebted to the association and the quintet for their years of dedication to promoting harmonica music in the city and overseas.

Ms Au said the festival would consist of four concerts, each with a different theme.

The first concert will be the "Asian Folk Gala", featuring outstanding harmonica players from all over Asia. They will perform folk ballads, ancient music and modern compositions that are rich in Asian colour.

The second is the "Jazz and Blues 'K'night" featuring jazz music performed on the harmonica by four musicians from New Zealand, France, Japan and Germany and will be a refreshing listening experience for both harmonica fans and lovers of jazz.

The "Classical Delights" concert will bring to Hong Kong many classical works by harmonica performers from Austria, Norway, Japan and the Hong Kong City Chamber Orchestra. Hong Kong-based King's Harmonica Quintet will also premiere a new work by local composer Hui Cheung-wai, entitled "The Last Time We Met Larry Adler".

Ms Au said the last concert would focus on young Hong Kong performers. "To promote the art of harmonica music in Hong Kong, and to encourage younger players to continue to contribute to and enrich the tradition of harmonica music, we will hold a concert called 'Asian Rising Powers'. These four concerts not only bring to audiences the wonderful notes of the harmonica, but also let them experience the diversity of this type of music and the versatility of the instrument."

Details of the concerts are as follows:

Asian Folk Gala
August 5 (Thursday) 8pm
Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Jazz & Blues 'K'night
August 6 (Friday) 8pm
Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Classical Delights
August 7 (Saturday) 8pm
Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Asian Rising Powers
August 9 (Monday) 7.30pm
Auditorium, Yuen Long Theatre

Tickets priced from $60 to $170 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. A 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues.

About 1,500 delegates from more than 15 countries and cities will attend the festival. As well as the four concerts, the festival will have 16 competition categories and a variety of programmes including seminars and forums, open stage performances and an exhibition. The latter showcases the sumptuous collection from the Hohner Harmonica Museum (Germany) and other private collections.

For programme enquiries, call 2268 7321 or visit . Ticketing enquiries and reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked through .

Ends/Wednesday, June 23, 2004
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