Mr KWAI, Frederick
Accompanist (Chinese Dance)
Frederick Kwai has been appointed as Accompanist in Chinese Dance for the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) since 1985. He is a gifted pianist and has worked with countless dance teachers for decades.
Kwai graduated from the Guangzhou Music Conservatory (now renamed as Xinghai Conservatory of Music) in 1970. He later worked for the Hainan Minor-Nationality Autonomous Region Dance Troupe of the Guangdong Province as composer, conductor and piano accompanist. He studied music composition with famous composer Wang Ming and was under the tutelage of renowned pianist Li Mingqiang, while he composed many instrumental pieces and dance music.
After returning to Hong Kong, Kwai continued to compose music. He worked as Accompanist for the Hong Kong Dance Company in 1981, has written music for the Company's productions, including Zi Zi Bu Juan (Keep Working), Xi Nu Ai Le (Joy, Anger, Grief and Happiness), Yi Gu Zuo Qi (Pressing On Without Let Up), Shen Yun (Body Rhythm) and Minjian Fengqing Hua (Folk Scenes). For the Company's production at the Tenth Asian Arts Festival organized by the Urban Council, he again created seven musical compositions, including Marriage of Chung Kuei's Sister, Madam Du Sinks her Treasure Chest in Anger and The Warm River of Spring and received wide acclaim.
In 1987, Kwai composed dance music Four Season and wrote White Cloud in 1989 for the HKAPA Dance School, which are both well-received.
In 2000, Kwai published seven episodes of Chinese dance training music CD "Music for Dance", which includes Chinese classical dance, body rhythm, water sleeves and folk dance, and has become the most popular Chinese dance classroom training music CD in Hong Kong, China, Macau and Taiwan. Liu Youlan, Professor at the Beijing Dance Academy (BDA) and former Head of Chinese Dance of the HKAPA remarked that "Kwai exhibits profound understanding in the individuality of various kind of folk and ethnic dance music, his musical rearrangement is brilliant and his creative piano performance define the uniqueness of each ethnic musicality, which works perfectly with the dances"; Pan Zhitao, Professor at the BDA, founder of BDA Chinese Ethnic and Folk Dance Department and the "Taoli Cup" Dance Competition, remarked that "Kwai's compositions are impressive. His performance style and artistry brings out the best in his piano accompaniment. As a veteran accompanist, Kwai is highly regarded by a great number of dance teachers who has been collaborating with him. With his profound musical skills, he is one of the best in the field."
In 2014, he was invited to contribute to the "Chinese Classical Dance Classroom Training Music Collection" published by the BDA. Qin Chao, Assistant Professor of the BDA, Head of the Teaching and Research Office, gave compliment to Kwai's mastery of musicianship and genuine attitude in making several pieces of classical dance music for the publication.
Kwai has also written and published a book in memory of his father, Kwai Ming-yang, a phenomonal Cantonese Opera actor with unique acting persona leading a style of his own. "The Founder of the Cantonese Opera Kwai School: Gold Medal Xiaowu Kwai Ming-yang" is the first ever biography depicting Kwai, one of the five major schools of Cantonese opera: "Sit (Kok-sin)", "Ma (Shi-tsang)", "Kwai (Min-yang)", "Pak (Yuk-tong)" and "Liu (Hap-wai)". The biography is well received by Cantonese opera historians: "With affection, it described the ups and downs of Kwai's life. It's authenticly presented and very touching."; "After years of thorough research, Kwai documented his father's art career and life story for further generation to savour. It's a gem to the Cantonese opera community." The biography has been included in the collection of the National Library of China, Guangzhou Sun Yat-sen University Library, the America Chinese Artists Association New York, Guangdong Artists Association, Cantonese Opera Art Museum, Guangdong Cantonese Opera Museum, various Cantonese Opera troupes in Guangzhou, various University libraries in Hong Kong, The Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Museum of History, Hong Kong Central Library, Hong Kong Film Archive and Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts.
He is now member of the Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong Ltd. (CASH), member of the Hong Kong Piano/ Electone Teachers Circle and artistic advisor of Guangzhou Xinghai Conservatory of Music.