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Orchestras & Ensembles

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Academy Symphony Orchestra

Within the HKAPA’s School of Music, orchestral training is a significant part of the students’ education. All students of orchestral instruments participate in the Academy Symphony Orchestra, whose weekly rehearsals cover the standard symphonic literature as well as contemporary works. In recent years, the Academy Symphony Orchestra has worked with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and guest conductors such as Marko Ivanovi (Principal Conductor of the National Theatre Brno Opera), Pietro Mianiti (Principal Conductor of the La Scala Academy), Lio Kuokman, Patrick Furrer, Andrew Mogrelia, Eitan Globerson amongst many others. The orchestra members have toured to Beijing and Shanghai to join professional orchestral concerts and to Jerusalem and Taiwan to give chamber recitals. They also collaborated with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta in their Penderecki project and participated in the Hong Kong Philharmonic’s “Share the Stage’’ events. In November 2017, Maestro Jaap van Zweden, Music Director of Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra visited the Academy and rehearsed Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony with our students and the players from the HK Phil. With the Academy Choir, they performed Bach’s Christmas Oratorio under the direction of Helmut Rilling. The Orchestra has a busy performing schedule every academic year including playing for our annual opera production.

Under the baton of Prof. Sharon Choa, the Orchestra was invited to perform in the Festive Korea 2016 Gala Concert presented by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in October 2016 at the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre together with three international Korean violinist Hyuna Kim, violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill and cellist Clara Minhye Kim. In June 2017 the Orchestra joined forces with the Shenzhen Arts School Philharmonic Orchestra to perform in two concerts which were held in Shenzhen and Hong Kong respectively. In October 2017 the Orchestra visited Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA) and gave a performance with the wind and percussion students from TNUA to critical acclaim. In June 2018 “Concerto Feast” was broadcast by RTHK Radio 4, showcasing the talents of the student soloists and the ensemble. In October 2019, the strings of the orchestra joint hands with their counterpart in TNUA and were invited to perform in their Kuandu Arts Festival in Taipei for a second time. 


Academy Chinese Orchestra

Academy Chinese Orchestra consists of students and graduates from the Department of Chinese Music of the School of Music. The Orchestra presents large-scale concerts as well as various ensemble performances such as Silk and Bamboo, Guangdong Music, Chinese Wind and Percussion, Zheng, Chamber Music, Plucked String and Percussion ensembles. Renowned composers and conductors the Orchestra has worked with include Kuan Nai-chung, Liu Wenjin, He Zhanhao, Gu Guanren, Zhao Jiping, Hu Bingxu, Yan Hui-chang, Zhou Chenglong, Ho Man-chuen, Henry Shek, Wang Huiran, Tsung Yeh, Chung Yiu-kwong, Wu Hua, Wang Yongji, Shao En, Wang Fujian, Liu Xijin, Liu Sha, Zhang Lie, Hong Xia, Chen Ningchi, Li Zhuxin, Liu Shun, Kwok Hang-kei, Qu Chunquan, Zhou Yuguo, Zhu Changyao and Fang Xiaomin, Liu Chiang-pin, Wen Feng-chao among others. The Orchestra’s regular solo, ensemble and concerto concerts feature a wide range of repertoire including traditional Chinese classics, folk music, contemporary works and new commissions to composers for the Orchestra.

Academy Chinese Orchestra strives to promote the art of Chinese music to the local community and actively participate in performances on and off campus in Hong Kong. By invitations from overseas, the Orchestra performed in the UK, USA, Canada, Austria, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Japan and New Zealand to critical acclaim.

Ho Man-chuen is Resident Conductor of the Academy Chinese Orchestra.


Academy Choir

The Academy Choir of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts consists of students from different music departments including the Department of Vocal Studies. The Choir rehearses weekly and performs a wide range of choral repertoire in the academy's departmental concerts, opera scenes, and annual fully staged opera productions. The Choir has also performed in collaboration with local and overseas arts organisations. Recent engagements include Bach’s Christmas Oratorio under the direction of Helmut Rilling with SingFest, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 together with the choir of St. Martin-in-the-Fields under Sir Neville Marriner, Purcell's Dido and Aeneas for RTHK Radio 4 and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 Resurrection with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Other major works include Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Faure's Requiem & Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy.


Academy Concert Band

The Academy Concert Band provides opportunities for the woodwind, brass and percussion students to participate in the wind band tradition. It performs a varied repertoire that includes classical, contemporary and popular music. Highlights of recent concerts include concerts guest conducted by Paul Archibald, Peter Bassano, James Gourlay and Colin Touchen, a performance of Heinrich Hubler's Concerto for Four Horns with the Vienna Horn Ensemble, as well as a concert of music by Alfred Reed conducted by the composer himself and featuring the Hong Kong première of his new Trumpet Concerto played by the renowned Taiwanese trumpeter Yeh Shu-Han. Tours include Guangzhou performances by the invitation of the South China University of Technology and International Horn Symposium in Denver Colorado with international horn soloists Frank Lloyd and the American Horn Quartet.


Academy Brass Ensemble

The Academy Brass Ensemble gives students the opportunity to play a wide variety of brass ensemble music, ranging from Renaissance music to modern works and including large-scale arrangements, sometimes involving percussion as well. The Ensemble has performed with well-known artists around the world including the American Horn Quartet and Peter Harvey. Highlights of recent concerts include a performance of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition arranged by Elgar Howarth and conducted by Roger Harvey.


Academy Chamber Music Ensembles

The School of Music runs an extensive chamber music programme for Western Music students. Chamber music ensembles include both standard and interdisciplinary combinations. Students are assigned to groups or form their own and receive regular coachings from faculty staff. The programme also features residencies and masterclasses given by world renowned artists. Past guests include the Orion String Quartet, Penderecki String Quartet, Miami String Quartet, Borromeo String Quartet, Endellion String Quartet, Shanghai String Quartet, and members of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society as well as Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. 


Academy Contemporary Intercultural Ensemble

Academy Contemporary Intercultural Ensemble is a dynamic and innovative group that embraces a wide range of contemporary music styles. With a repertoire that includes famous contemporary repertoire, as well as mixed East and West music repertoire, new pieces from young composers, and cross schools' intercultural/interdisciplinary collaborations.


Academy Jazz Ensemble

The Academy Jazz Ensemble introduces students to the creative challenge of improvisation in the major jazz styles.