It is that old woodwind quintet and bus joke. Not a concert for months and suddenly four come along at once. Is this quartet of quintets a revival, or just a blip in the programming diary? Nobody is yet willing to say, but the Arts Development Council and RTHK are ploughing money into ensuring that chamber music - so lowly rated in Hong Kong - has a chance of taking off in the next decade. Richard Tsang, head of Radio 4, said there were two main reasons why chamber music has not really happened in Hong Kong - unlike other big cities. 'Firstly, a lot of chamber performers in Hong Kong just form ad hoc groups for a couple of concerts, so there is no time for them to build a rapport and make music which is intimate and subtle like the best chamber music.' Secondly is that old Hong Kong story: space. 'Rehearsal space is hard to find, so it's not easy for musicians to get together without a lot of advance planning.' If those two problems were overcome, Mr Tsang said, the audience would follow. 'So we have decided to engage one group every year, give them rehearsal space - which we hope they will use very often - and give them exposure in concerts that will be broadcast live.' The first RTHK group is Le Six - pronounced, French-style, 'le sees'. It is a wind quintet plus one - pianist Nancy Loo - and their first appearance will be on October 27, postponed from a few weeks ago by Typhoon York. The programme includes Haydn's Divertimento In B Flat, Ibert's Trois Pieces Breves For Woodwind and Poulenc's Piano And Woodwind Sextet. To apply for free tickets call 2339 6427 or fax 2339 6427 - or tune into RTHK Radio 4 (FM 97.6-98.9) between 8pm and 10pm. Bring on the flutes Another venue, another quintet. Oboeist Rhondda May used to play in the Hong Kong Philharmonic until she had a daughter and her life changed. 'I had a friend who was in the same position - but we missed playing music, so we formed I Fiati Dolci.' Back in her home town of Milwaukee, chamber music was popular. 'We used to play house concerts: someone would have a great house and invite 40 people and we'd perform.' It was intimidating at first, she said, to have the audience so close that you were brushing elbows with them, but it made for exciting music-making. 'We did a small fund-raising evening recently in Hong Kong and the reaction was amazing. People said, 'Wow, it's so cool to be next to you when you play'.' Next Wednesday, I Fiati Dolci will appear at the Union Church in Kennedy Road, with an exciting programme which includes one Hong Kong premiere (by Baptist University associate professor Christopher Coleman), and works by Leos Janacek and Jean Francaix. The Francaix is a 'sparkling, attractive piece of French music' while the Janacek is called Mladi (Youth) and was written when the composer was an old man but still observant. That truculent childish singsong - 'na naany na na' - begins the piece. 'Someone once told me that was the universal kids' interval,' May joked. The programme will be repeated on October 28 at Christ Church in Kowloon Tong. Until recently the church was on the flight path, so flutes would not have stood a chance against the rumbles of 747s. 'The vicar said he's been wanting to do this for years,' May said. Tickets $50 - call 2523 7247. Four plus one The third quintet of the moment is the HK-Taiwan Metropolitan Woodwind Quintet, established this year by four Taiwanese players and one Hong Kong musician (early Academy for Performing Arts graduate Kenny Chen on horn). Their first concert was at the Taipei National Concert Hall, and their debut in Hong Kong will be next Friday at City Hall. The programme, 'Colours Of The Winds', includes Mozart's Adagio And Allegro For A Clockwork Organ, Verdi's La Forza Del Destino Overture and Taiwanese folk songs by Chang Yue-wei. Meanwhile, the Eastern Winds Ensemble will perform an adventurous programme at Tuen Mun Town Hall tomorrow at 3.30pm (repeated on October 24 at City Hall Theatre) with Law Wing-fai's world premiere Link and music by Barber, Milhaud and Hindemith. Tickets from Urbtix on 2734 9009.