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Ensemble to give a taste of Scottish highlands

The City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong will team up with Scotland's finest traditional folk ensembles next month for a great performance.

The concert, Scotland the Brave! will be held at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall at 8pm on Tuesday, January 17, 2006.

Under the baton of guest conductor Professor David Gwilt, the orchestra, together with The Whistlebinkies, a seven-piece ensemble of flutes, pipes, Celtic harps, drums and fiddles from Scotland and local pipe band, The Red Guards Band, will play a series of traditional Scottish and Celtic tunes, keeping the audience tapping their feet, if not dancing in the aisles.

The Whistlebinkies were formed in the late 1960s. Since then, they have become a leading force in the field of folk music, specialising in traditional Scottish music both old and new. The ensemble has toured extensively taking Scottish music to France, Germany, Italy, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Sweden and Spain and were the first Scottish music group ever to tour to China. Major festival appearances include the Edinburgh International Festival, Celtic Connections, the Hong Kong Folk Festival and the Festival Interceltique at Lorient, Brittany. The Whistlebinkies are also pioneers in the collaboration of traditional folk musicians with orchestras and have performed on numerous occasions with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

A key figure in Hong Kong's classical music world, Professor Gwilt's achievements include composing, conducting, writing music criticiques, presenting radio programmes and teaching. Born in Scotland, Professor Gwilt studied music at the University of Cambridge, UK. After graduation he worked as a professional pianist and viola player in the UK alongside teaching, composing and conducting commitments. He came to Hong Kong in the early seventies and has been an active part of Hong Kong's music scene ever since.

In addition to teaching at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, he has served as Chairman of the Music Committee for the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Chairman of the Jockey Club Trust Fund for Music. In 1992, Professor Gwilt was awarded an MBE for services to music and the arts in Hong Kong, in 1996 a Fellowship of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and in 1998 the title Emeritus Professor of Music by the Chinese University of Hong Kong where he has taught for 25 years.

Since 1999, the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong has established itself as one of Hong Kong's leading orchestras with a reputation for innovative programming. Comprised of professional musicians resident in Hong Kong and former members of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the orchestra specialises in the performance of small and intimate works for orchestra. Since its inception, the orchestra has given regular concerts with distinguished local and international artists such as Danish recorder virtuoso Michala Petri, French saxophonist Claude Delangle, Australian pianist Roger Woodward and British clarinet prodigy Julian Bliss.

Scotland the Brave! is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

Tickets priced at $80, $120 and $180 are now available at URBTIX outlets, while senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients may have 50% off (limited quota for students and CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). A 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues.

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 online at .

Ends/Tuesday, December 20, 2005

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