Hong Kong Oratorio Society "War & Peace: Haydn & Britten"

2012-09-01 15:00 - 2012-09-15 22:00

Hong Kong Oratorio Society "War & Peace: Haydn & Britten"

When: 15 Sep 2012 Sat 20:00
Where: Auditorium, Tsuen Wan Town Hall

Hong Kong Oratorio Society


Music Director/ Conductor: Prof. Chan Wing-wah
Guest Conductor: Vivian Ip
Orchestra: Hong Kong Strings
Guest Choir: SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School Choir
Soprano: Nancy Yuen
Alto: Louise Kwong
Tenor: Sam Kan
Bass: Patrick Chan
Trumpet: King Ng
Narrator: Jonathan Douglas & Jenny Lee


Haydn: Movement I & III from Trumpet Concerto in E-flat, Missa in tempore belli in C (Mass in Time of War)
Britten: The World of Spirit


The Hong Kong Oratorio Society
The Hong Kong Oratorio Society (HKOS) was founded in 1956 by Wong Ming-tung and a group of music enthusiasts. It is one of the most active choir with the longest history and the largest membership in Hong Kong. HKOS usually presents five concerts per year with a total of more than 300 concerts presented for over 50 years. Its repertoire covers oratorios and major choral works by classical and contemporary composers. They include the masterpieces of Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Mendelssohn and Chinese composers Xian Xinghai and Huang Zi, etc. Many of these works were debut in Hong Kong. HKOS takes its name from its favourite genre of repertoire, the oratorio, which refers to extended choral works with religious or mythological stories. In recent years, HKOS has commissioned composers Chan Wing-wah, Victor Chan and Huang Anlun to compose choral works for them. The choir has performed under the batons of many famous conductors with various professional orchestras. It has also gone on concert tours overseas and in many major cities in the Mainland. The present Music Director, Prof. Chan Wing-wah took over the baton after a few successful collaborations with HKOS since 1995.


Hong Kong Strings
Hong Kong Strings was founded in early 1998 comprising many enthusiastic local musicians. Members are mainly graduates of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and reputable music overseas institutions. Some of them are players of Hong Kong Sinfonietta, City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong and some are part-time instructors of the Music Office. Hong Kong Strings dedicates to promote music to the public through demonstration concerts. These concerts include demonstrations of instruments and their playing characteristics, explanation on music history, composing style and also interesting stories about the composers. In recent years, Hong Kong Strings has been invited by Hong Kong Oratorio Society and HKU SPACE to perform in their concerts.


Prof. Chan Wing-wah
Music Director of the Hong Kong Oratorio Society since 1995, Prof. Chan has been leading the choir with regular concerts and occasional concert tours to perform oratorios and other choral masterpieces. Several of which are Hong Kong premieres. He has conducted the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, Hong Kong Strings and orchestras in Shanghai, Beijing, Macao, Shenzhen, Gwangju (Korea). Prof. Chan is a prolific composer of orchestral, chamber and choral works including hymns, children songs, drama and film music. He was for three seasons Resident Composer of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Seven of his eight symphonies were published by Hugo Productions and recorded by the orchestra of Hong Kong and Russia. His latest work Sages' Plateau to commemorate the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011 will be premiered in Hiroshima, Japan, in October 2012. His international awards include "First Prize in the International Double Reed Society Composition Contest" in the United States, the "Yoshiro Irino Memorial Award" from the Asian Composers League and the "20th Century Masterpiece Award" by the China Culture Promotion Society in Beijing, etc. His biography is included in the New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians Online. He is now the Associate Director at the School of Professional And Continuing Education, the University of Hong Kong (HKU SPACE) and Head of its Centre for Creative and Performing Arts.


Vivian Ip
Ip was graduated from the Music Department of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (First Class Honour), where she studied piano with Raymond Young and voice with Chan Siu-kwan. With an Associate Instructorship and the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fellowship for Overseas Studies, Ip received her Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting at the Indiana University Bloomington. Ip came to the fourth place in the 6th International Competition for Young Choral Conductors in 2011, and received the special prize "Most Authentic Performance of a Hungarian Piece". She has extensive conducting experience. During her studies in the United States, she has conducted with various local choirs. She was also an assistant conductor of the Hong Kong Children' s Choir in 2006 for bring the choir to Germany, Hungary and Japan. As a member of Wiener Singverein, Ip has worked with world-class conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Fabio Luisi, Franz Welser-Möst, Zubin Mehta, and Riccardo Muti. Currently, Ip studies Orchestral Conducting with Uroš Lajovic at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna in Austria.


Nancy Yuen
One of the most outstanding and exciting singers from Asia, Nancy Yuen has been invited by the Welsh National Opera in singing the title role of Madama Butterfly, her signature role winning great international critical acclaim immediately upon graduation from London' s Royal Academy of Music. Notable musicians she has worked with include, Christopher Hogwood, Trevor Pinnock and Richard Armstrong. She has sung with many orchestras including the London Mozart Players, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Tivoli Symphony Orchestra and more. Yuen was the Head of Vocal Studies at Singapore Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts from 2003 to February 2010. She joins The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts as Head of Vocal Studies in March 2010.


Louise Kwong
Louise Kwong is currently a student at the Dutch National Opera Academy in Amsterdam. She obtained her Master of Music degree at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where she studied classical voice with Sasja Hunnego. Before moving to the Netherlands, she has studied with Chan Siu-kwan and Kathleen Livingstone. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Western Music from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Post-graduate Diploma with distinction from the Royal College of Music, London. In April 2012, Louise won the Second Prize, the Best Soprano Prize in memory of "Dame Joan Sutherlands" and the Audience Prize in the 18th International Singing Competition "Ferruccio Tagliavini" held in Austria. She was invited to give concerts in Austria at Graz Opera House in April and with the Graz Philharmonic Orchestra in August in 2012.


Sam Kan
Sam Kan is a graduate of Music from McGill University, Canada. He was a member of the Montreal Opera Chorus and the Tudor Singers for five years and has performed as soloist for Emanu-El-Beth Sholom Synagogue and Christ Church Cathedral of Montreal. Kan is one of the most active tenors in Hong Kong and has given recitals, radio recordings and performances for churches, charitable institutions and non-government organizations. Kan focuses on the performance of German, French, Italian and English songs in recent years. He performed songs by Poulenc, Ravel, Quilter, Barber, Strauss, Vaughan Williams, Mahler, Bach, Schubert and Schumann's Dichterliebe in his recitals in 2008, 2011 and 2012 with much acclaim. Kan is currently Associate Head, Centre for Creative and Performing Arts of HKU SPACE and Vocal Tutor of The Chinese University of Hong Kong.


Patrick Chan
Patrick Chan entered the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) to pursue a Bachelor' s degree in Music in 1995 and concurrently received voice training from Jimmy Chan. Upon graduation in 1998, he continued to pursue a Master' s programme at HKBU and was awarded the degree in 2000. As Guest Conductor of the HKBU Choir, he led it to win a bronze certificate at the 2000 Choir Olympics in Linz, Austria. On receiving his Master' s degree in Music Education, Chan has been a part-time lecturer at the Department of Music of the HKBU and a choir instructor at Yip' s Children' s Choir.


King Ng
King Ng graduated from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts majoring in trumpet performance, studied with Jacobus Chong, Brian Thompson and Stuart Essenhigh. He was the founder, music director and soloist of the "Citywinds Ensemble", founded in 2005 with the aim to nurture young musician. King is now the principal trumpet of Hong Kong New Philharmonic Orchestra and Pan Asia Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Hong Kong String Orchestra, Hong Kong New Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra, City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong and Macau Chamber Orchestra as a freelance trumpeter. Besides, he also serves as band director and faculty tutor of numerous schools throughout Hong Kong.


Jonathan Douglas
Jonathan Douglas is known to radio listeners as the presenter of programmes on classical music and the arts. He has also played the piano professionally for many years and regularly performs his own original piano music and songs. He recently appeared with his sons Cameron and Jamie at the Edinburgh Fringe. His solo piano music was used on the soundtrack to the movie, West Of Thunder, which opens in New York in September. His acting credits include Hamlet and Richard 2nd in Shakespeare, and leading roles in 20th century classics by Pinter, Eliot and Chekhov. In 2009 Douglas was awarded the MBE for his services to British Arts in Hong Kong.


Jenny Lee
Jenny Lee is an international award-winning broadcaster. She is a bilingual presenter and producer at RTHK Radio 4, hosting ‘Four for Classics with Jenny Lee' , which won ‘Top 10 most favourite radio programmes' in 2012.  She has interviewed over 400 artists and produced acclaimed documentaries on music in Hong Kong, including ‘Shanghai Conservatory of Music and Central Conservatory of Music' , which the latter' s English version was awarded ‘World Bronze Medal' in the prestigious New York Festivals in 2010. Apart from writing for FineMusic Magazine, she occasionally involved in RTHK TV section and hosting TV interviews.


SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School Choir
SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School Choir was established in the 1970s, currently having 100 choir members. The Choir has been awarded a number of First Prizes in secondary school choral competitions and were selected as the Most Outstanding New Territories Secondary School Choir of the Year for more than 10 times in the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival for the past 20 years. Also, the Choir have been awarded the first prize in both Chinese and English songs in the urban mixed voice choir classes. Furthermore, the girls of the Choir won the first prize in the Intermediate Girls' Choir competition in the 61st Hong Kong Schools Music Festival as well as the first prize in the Senior Girls' Choir competition in the 62nd Hong Kong Schools Music Festival. Last year, the Choir won the Gold Medal and was attained the Champion of the World Choir Games in the Mixed Youth Choir category of the 6th World Choir Games held in Shaoxing, China.


Programme Length
Running time of this performance is about 2 hours with an intermission of 15 minutes.


Pre-concert Talk
War & Peace in Music 
Some wars are for justice and freedom. However, often it is about aggression and selfishness. Writers gather the thoughts of people and record it on literature. Composers express their emotion through musical notes. There are many well-known musical works with War & Peace as theme. Some were intended by the composers such as Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5, "War & Peace", some were labeled after the premiere such as Haydn's Symphony No. 100 "Military". Actually, some military marches have become very popular. This talk will walk through some masterpieces with this theme. Triumph, cheering, pain, sarcasm, complaints or hope, it always relates to our present selves.

Speakers: Prof. Chan Wing-wah & Vivian Ip (Conducted in Cantonese)

1 Sep 2012 Sat 15:00
Room AC1, Level 4, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Admission free on a first-come-first-served basis


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