Hong Kong International Conducting Competition for Chinese Music

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 July, 2011, 12:00am


Hong Kong International Conducting Competition for Chinese Music
Cultural Centre Concert Hall
today, 7pm

Three aspiring conductors will be 'baton-ing' it out tonight for the top spot in this city's first ever conducting contest for Chinese music. Organised by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra and supported by the Bank of China (HK) Charitable Foundation, the inaugural Hong Kong International Conducting Competition for Chinese Music sets out to identify future maestros.

According to the 34-year-old orchestra, composition, performance and instrument development in Chinese music have all made progress in recent years, but the same can't be said about conducting. Its artistic director and principal conductor, Yan Huichang, says many 'conductors' in Chinese music at the moment are either conductors in Western music or Chinese instrumental players.

'The dire lack of conducting expertise must be filled, and this constitutes the main purpose of this competition,' says Yan. 'We hope to provide an opportunity for young, talented conductors to show their skills, with the ultimate purpose of bridging the gap between supply and demand in conducting needs.'

Of 55 contestants from Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, the US and Austria, 15 made the preliminary round in March. They conducted a traditional piece and a modern work in round two, and the highly demanding Ambush from All Sides and Flowing Phantasm in the semi-finals earlier this month.

The three finalists tonight will conduct the Chinese Orchestra in Doming Lam's Autumn Execution and Zhao Jiping's Follow the Pagoda Tree to Trace the Roots of Our Ancestors. The winner will be picked by a jury of professionals including Yu Feng, head of the conducting department at Central Conservatory of Music, conductor Tang Muhai as well as composers Zhao and Yan and Chen Tcheng-hsiung.