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The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Appoints Professor Gillian Choa as New Director with effect from 1 January 2021

2 Sep 2020
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Appoints Professor Gillian Choa as New Director with effect from 1 January 2021

The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Appoints Professor Gillian Choa as New Director with effect from 1 January 2021

The Council of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (the Academy) announces today the appointment of Professor Gillian Choa as the new Director of the Academy with effect from 1 January 2021, to succeed Professor Adrian Walter who will retire at the end of December 2020 after serving the Academy for over eight years. Professor Choa will become the first female Director since the establishment of the Academy in 1984.


Currently, Professor Choa is the Deputy Director & Provost of the Academy. She has been serving the Academy for more than 2 decades. Professor Choa received her Bachelor (Honours) degree in Drama from the University of Hull, and an Advanced Theatre Design diploma from Croydon College of Art and Design. She furthered her studies at The University of Hong Kong where she was conferred with both Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Education Policy, Management and Social Sciences. Her professional expertise has seen her regularly design sets and costumes for Academy productions. She has also worked extensively as a designer of sets and costumes in Theatre, Television, Film and high-end commercial concerns before joining the Academy. During her earlier career, she also directed and designed theatre lighting and has been an editor for local fashion and architectural magazines. Her work has covered innumerable film and stage productions both overseas and in Hong Kong, she was recognised as the first professionally trained theatre designer in Hong Kong, and was the first Resident Designer for Chung Ying Theatre Company. Professor Choa has been nominated and received numerous accolades for her local and international work.


Professor Stephen Chow, Council Chairman of the Academy said: “On behalf of the Council, I am delighted to welcome Professor Gillian Choa as the next Academy Director. Professor Choa is a veteran, and a highly regarded practitioner in the performing arts industry, locally and internationally. She has been contributing to the Academy for over 20 years, gaining a deep understanding of its unique strengths, so is well positioned to lead it forward in its next stage of development. I am confident with her extensive and broad experience in the performing arts industry, and also as a dedicated educator, Professor Choa will take the Academy to new heights. I would also like to take this opportunity to convey our gratitude to Professor Adrian Walter, Director of the Academy, for his leadership and great contribution to the Academy over the past 8 years. I wish him a very happy retirement.”


Professor Adrian Walter, the current Academy Director, commented that “the appointment of Professor Choa as the new Director is a very positive and exciting outcome for the Academy. With her extensive practical experience of the performing arts, and breadth of experience as a senior manager within the higher education sector and within a conservatory setting, Professor Choa is ideally positioned to lead the Academy in its future development, and to ensure its continuing role as a leading higher education institution within Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area, regionally and globally.”


Professor Choa expressed that, “I am most honoured to be offered this very prestigious position that will allow me the opportunity to take the reins in overseeing the Academy’s future. I am excited and committed to work with our Academy Council, stakeholders, and the bright and creative minds of my staff and students, to bring the Academy to yet another level as a highly regarded performing arts institute of global significance. The possibilities are endless even in these challenging times. I firmly believe that challenges are opportunities for positive transformation if taken head on with wisdom, rigour, determination, mutual respect and tolerance.”


Professor Choa shared her vision and plans for the future development of the Academy at a consultation session via a webinar with students, staff and alumni representatives on 28 August 2020.


Biography of Professor Gillian Choa:


About The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (

The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA), established by The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Ordinance in 1984, is a leading tertiary institution in the performing arts in Asia. It provides professional undergraduate education and practice-based postgraduate studies. The study encompasses Chinese Opera, Dance, Drama, Film and Television, Music, and Theatre and Entertainment Arts. Its educational philosophy reflects the cultural diversity of Hong Kong with emphasis on Chinese and western traditions, and interdisciplinary learning. In the QS World University Rankings announced in 2020, the Academy is ranked the 1st in Asia and the 7th in the world in the Performing Arts category.