Orchestral manoeuvres in Ocean Park for launch

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 June, 2012, 12:00am


The Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, set to celebrate its 35th anniversary along with Ocean Park, showed an innovative touch by unveiling its programme for the new season at the amusement park yesterday.

'We were founded in October 1977, and Ocean Park in January, so we are the little brother,' the orchestra's artistic director, Yan Huichang, said at the launch. He said both institutions were seen as icons and promoted cultural tourism.

'Like the park's attractions from roller coaster to aquarium, we too offer a wide variety of music from large orchestral works to solo and chamber pieces,' Yan said.

In announcing plans for 2012-13, the orchestra also became the first local arts group to launch its new season at Ocean Park.

Beginning in September, the programme will see nine world premieres by Chinese and Western composers writing for the 85-member orchestra, the largest of its kind in the world.

The season-opening work, Ode to Water by Hong Kong composer Mui Kwong-chiu, will also feature calligraphy and dance.

In a 'Music about China' series at the Hong Kong Arts Festival next year, the orchestra will premiere works by Polish composer Zygmunt Krauze and Taipei Chinese Orchestra director Chung Yiu-kwong. It will also join with the Luxemburg Society for Contemporary Music to host its 10th International Composition Prize during which new pieces based on 14 instruments - half Chinese and half Western - will be performed in both locations.

The orchestra's overseas trips will include performances in Poland, Taiwan and Singapore. The Taipei show in December will be marked by the launch of the orchestra's new gehu, or Chinese cello, as a solo instrument.

There will be an emphasis on percussion in hosting a visit by Berlin Philharmonic percussionists and the orchestra plans to invite the community to celebrate its 10th annual drum festival.

The event was first held in 2003 to boost spirits after the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome.

During the new season, the orchestra will invite children born in 2003 to participate in the drum festival.