Arts preview: Champions in Concert

Sam Olluver

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 July, 2013, 10:26pm

Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra


The Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra (HKCO) is pulling out all the stops for its upcoming event, Champions in Concert. True to its title, the programme features a number of top-drawer artists playing in a variety of styles.

The HKCO is acknowledged as the standard bearer for Chinese orchestras around the world and, for the concert on July 13, the ensemble will be conducted by Sun Peng, who was the winner of the first International Conducting Competition for Chinese Music held in Hong Kong two years ago.

In addition to directing orchestral works that include Law Wing-fai's Flowing Phantasm and Jiang Ying's Silk Road, he'll be joined by leading soloists throughout the evening. Among them is Sun Huang, winner of no fewer than 12 national erhu competitions in China, who will feature in Wang Jianmin's challenging Rhapsody No. 2 for Erhu.

Su Chang from Beijing, three-time winner of major zheng competitions on the mainland, will be centre stage for Zhou Yuguo's Lady Yang's Heavenly Dress, a throwback to the Tang dynasty court.

Winners of the 1997 World Harmonica Festival, the King's Harmonica Quintet may at first seem an odd, Western-style fit for a backcloth of traditional Chinese instruments. One of the harmonica's ancient forerunners is the sheng, one of the oldest Chinese instruments that still takes its place in modern Chinese ensembles.

The HKCO has commissioned a new piece from Hui Cheung-wai to feature the King's Harmonica Quintet, to be premiered on July 13. The 10-minute, concerto-style work is titled Golden Pledge, Resounding Dream.

"Throughout the work, composer Hui combines tradition and modernity, which reflects the latest trends in Chinese culture," says Rocky Lok Ying-kei, the quintet's leader. "The audience will be interested to hear a number of contemporary special effects in our playing."


Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, July 13, 8pm, HK$150-HK$300. Inquiries: 3185 1600