Local and foreign arts talents get full play in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 December, 2016, 4:19pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 December, 2016, 10:52pm

I refer to the article by Oliver Chou (“Invitation to Berlin orchestra hits wrong note with official”, December 6).

To support Hong Kong’s development as a world-class cultural metropolis and events capital, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department has been presenting a wide array of high-quality cultural programmes for local audiences.

To this end, the department invites one to two world-renowned orchestras every year, including the Czech Philharmonic in 2014, the Russian National Orchestra and Singapore Chinese Orchestra in 2015 and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2016. These programmes not only benefit local music lovers, but also expand audience base and enhance the appreciation of classical music within the community.

In 2017, the department will invite the Berlin Philharmonic and the China National Traditional Orchestra to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong special administrative region. The Berlin Philharmonic has enjoyed international acclaim for over 100 years and has recorded numerous award-winning albums. The orchestra’s Hong Kong debut in 2005 drew overwhelming response and local fans have been longing for their return visit.

The Berlin Philharmonic has lined up an Asia tour with Lang Lang as a piano soloist next year and we are pleased to have grasped the opportunity to include Hong Kong in the tour. Apart from indoor concerts, live relays will be arranged at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre piazza, Sha Tin Park and Yuen Long Theatre Auditorium.

The department also attaches great importance to supporting local arts groups and nurturing budding artists, through various programme series and cultural presentations to showcase their talents. The government also provides annual subvention to nine local major performing arts groups, including the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil). Furthermore, as a venue partner of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, HK Phil enjoys unparalleled priority in booking the highly sought-after venue and presents more than 150 concerts every season. We are pleased to note that HK Phil has flourished as Asia’s foremost classical orchestra.

To promote our home-grown talent in the regional and international arenas, special funding will be provided to support HK Phil in staging performances outside Hong Kong as part of the 20th anniversary celebration.

We firmly believe that through the concerted efforts of the government and local arts sector, we will enhance the diversity and vibrancy of the arts scene in Hong Kong.

Elaine Yeung, assistant director (performing arts),

Leisure and Cultural Services Department