Composer vows to make contribution of note

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 January, 2007, 12:00am

Celebrated conductor, composer and lecturer Chan Wing-wah walked out of court yesterday declaring his love for music has not diminished and vowing to continue to serve the community with his talent.

'My passion will not diminish, and I will continue to serve the community,' Chan said as he faced 200 hours of community service of another kind on a housing allowance fraud charge.

Chan also said he had no plans to pursue his Singapore-based ex-wife, Jean Zee Pui-man, over the case, despite a suggestion by Deputy District Court Judge Garry Tallentire that she could have been behind the scheme that landed Chan in court.

Instead, he was preparing for a concert with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra on Saturday during which he will conduct the world premiere of his latest work.

But his academic life is over for the time being, after his resignation as professor of music and associate dean of arts at Chinese University - which he was convicted of cheating out of HK$1.9 million - took effect on Tuesday.

He graduated from the university in 1979 and had taught there for 20 years.

Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra executive director Celina Chin Man-wah confirmed yesterday that the concert at the Cultural Centre on Saturday would include four works Chan composed for the orchestra, including the premiere of his Symphony No8: This Boundless Land.

Thanking the orchestra for its continued support, Chan said he respected the court's decision, adding that his experiences would give him further inspiration for his music.

The composer, who began teaching at the university in 1986, became a professor in 1996 and was made associate dean two years later. In 2000, he was appointed a justice of the peace.

Known for his work in development of music and culture in the city, Chan was the first composer-in-residence of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and is now chairman of the Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong, and adviser to the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra.

Ms Chin said the orchestra appreciated Chan's contribution to the music world, and his conviction would be considered 'a separate matter'.

She said he and the orchestra and Chan had been planning the concert, with chorus by the Hong Kong Oratorio Society and the Allegro Singers, since last year.