sound bites

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 February, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 February, 2006, 12:00am

Doming Lam at 80 - a Birthday Concert by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra celebrates the composer's birthday. What's the importance and influence of his work on Chinese music?

Professor Chan Wing-wah, chairman of the Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong:

'Doming Lam (below) is a pioneer in local new music. Since the early 20th century, there have been various kinds of music performed in Hong Kong - like western classical, Chinese opera, political campaign songs and folk songs. But none contains any local touch. They're borrowed from Europe or the mainland.

'Lam was the first one to add local culture to the music in Hong Kong. Although he was born in Macau, he has a special attachment to Hong Kong that's reflected in his western and Chinese orchestral works.

'Lam has also set a successful example of reinventing and reinterpreting Chinese music for many composers, including Tan Dun. He plays violin and piano and studied at the University of Southern California under Oscar-winning composer Mikros Rozsa.

'But Lam doesn't apply his composing skills only to western music. He also experiments with Chinese pieces and traditional instruments. His works such as Autumn Execution, The Insect World and A Silent Prayer are a source of inspiration to many contemporary Chinese composers.'

Doming Lam at 80, Feb 26, 8pm, Hong Kong City Hall, Concert Hall, $100-$200