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The Hong Kong Composers’ Guild had a fruitful and productive year in the last 12 months in organizing various projects and activities in 5 different areas: (1) international exchange, (2) public performance, (3) education, (4) competition, and (5) dissemination. Internationally, a total of 9 works by Guild composers were presented in ACL Conference and Festival 2014, ISCM World Music Days 2014, and International Rostrum of Composers 2015 via our international network. Locally, we featured a total of 58 Hong Kong compositions in Musicarama 2014, SOUND-IMAGination 2014, and ISCM-Musicarama 2015. We premiered 23 group works and 1 individual work in Schools Creative Music Showcase 2014/15; showcased 100 young composers’ pieces in New Generation 2015, LCSD SAAS project – Lively Instrumental Pieces, LCSD NSAAS project – Texture and Counterpoint as well as QEF project – Music Composition Training Programme with Cultural Exploration. In total, we have facilitated the performance of 190 compositions of new music in Hong Kong and abroad, 162 of which were premieres written by people of very different ages (from 10s to 80s).
The details of the projects the Guild has organized/participated during the past year are listed below.
LCSD Schools Arts Animateur Scheme 2014/15 – Lively Instrumental Pieces &
LCSD New Synergy Arts Animateur Scheme 2014/15 – Texture and Counterpoint
In 2015, we continued to work with LCSD on 2 projects under their School Arts Animateur Scheme (SAAS) and New Synergy Arts Animateur Scheme (NSAAS); these projects were called Lively Instrumental Pieces and Texture and Counterpoint respectively. Both projects started in September/October 2014 when we either sent composers-instructors to schools or conducted composition classes off campus for the advanced students. A total of 7 composers-instructors took part in the projects: Ada Lai, Lam Lan-chee, Lee Kar-tai, Chris Hung, Tang Lok-yin, Poly Ng and Tam Chin-fai. Seven musicians were hired to provide instrumental workshops and performances: Chan Cheong-lung (violin), Wong Pak-hang (violin), Tong Wai-ho (cello), Cheng Wing-kin (oboe), Cheung King-lun (bassoon), Lai Kwok-kwan (viola), Ma Ka-man (flute), Martin Choy (bass clarinet) and Leung Chi-shing (bass clarinet). After an intensive training throughout the academic year, not only 4 school concerts were successfully held, but 2 public concerts featuring the best pieces amongst the trainees were given in the Cultural Activities Hall of Sha Tin Town Hall on 2nd and 3rg July 2015, respectively. The participated schools included Tsuen Wan Catholic Primary School, Hotung Secondary School, Pui Ching Middle School, and Stewards Pooi Kei Primary School.
QEF Project – Music Composition Training Programme with Cultural Exploration
Another major activity this year has been the 2-year project “Music Composition Training Programme with Cultural Exploration” funded by a QEF Project Grant of 1.88 millions. We have hired RhapsoArts Management to provide the main administrative support. The first stage of the project started in January 2014 when we recruited 12 co-writers to start writing a specific Teaching Manual for composers-instructors to carry out the year-long training in schools between September 2014 and June 2015. A series of meetings have been held to work on the Teaching Manual, with Joshua Chan being the Chief Editor, Alex Au, Phoebus Lee, Leung Chi-hin, and Ip Mun-wah being the major writers. We have also enrolled 14 schools (both primary and secondary), having 20 students of each school to work with one composer-instructor. All field trips, workshops, in-school concerts were completed by the participating schools by June 2015. The 2 public concerts featuring the best pieces amongst 14 schools were also given in the Theatre of Sai Wan Ho Civic Centre and the Cultural Activities Hall of Tsuen Wan Town Hall on 1st July and 7th July 2015 respectively. We have successfully recruited another 5 schools to join this project in the upcoming school semester, the finale concert of which will be held in June 2016.
ISCM World Music Days 2014
The ISCM World Music Days 2014 was held in Wroclaw, Poland from 4th to 12th October 2014. Chan Ho-yi David had his vocal work A Retrospect performed during the festival, while Joshua Chan (the Chief Delegate of ISCM Hong Kong Section) attended a series of General Assembly sessions as well as Festival concerts.
ACL Conference and Festival 2014
The 32nd ACL Conference and Festival 2014 was held in Yokohama and Tokyo, Japan in November 2014. Five compositions by Hong Kong composers were selected for performance during the festival: Chan Ming-chi's Qian Dui Xue for shakuhachi and electro-acoustics, Lau Hiu-kong's Thorns for chamber music, Leung Chi-pong's Corona for orchestra, and Richard Tsang's Overture fM for orchestra. Li Kin-yat was chosen as the Hong Kong Young Composer Representative with his violin duo piece Seventh Son of the Seventh Son performed in the ACL Young Composers Competition. Lo Hau-man presented the ACL Country Report on Hong Kong during the conference. All these composers attended the Festival with the travel grant from CASH Music Fund.
Our annual festival Musicarama 2014 was held between 8th and 30th November 2014. The four concerts were (1) “Eclat-Flashes of Asia”, performed by Ensemble Eclat from Korea, (2) “Lost and Regain”, a multimedia performance for dance and music, (3) “Anamnesis-Music and Hermitage”, performed by Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble, and (4) “Musical Moment 2 by 4”, performed by Romer String Quartet and Tatto Piano Duo. We were able to present 29 pieces of contemporary music in these concerts, 6 pieces of which were commissioned works. These works were written by Joshua Chan, Chan Kai-young, Chan Ming-chi, Chan Wing-wah, Chen Ning-chi, Anthony Cheng, Cheung Pui-shan, Chung Yiu-kwong, Chris Hung, Lam Kin-yee, Lam Lan-chee, Phoebus Lee, Leung Ka-tung Tony, Li Cheong, Clarence Mak, Pang Chun-ting, Shao Litang, Joyce Tang, Brian Ting, Alfred Wong, Austin Yip, Stephen Yip, and Viola Yuen.
SOUND-IMAGination: Hong Kong Postcards 
The concert project “SOUND-IMAGination” started in May 2012. Due to its great success, we have decided to turn it into an annual event. The third series named “SOUND-IMAGination: Hong Kong Postcards” was held in Agnès b. CINEMA of Hong Kong Arts Centre on 8th December 2014. This concert was organized by Leung chi-hin and Viola Yuen and performed by the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble. The programme consists of 30 short pieces by, respectively, Alex Au, Chan Ho-yi, Chan Nga-man, Anthony Cheng, Cheng Chin-man, Chris Hung, Denise Mei-yan Hofmann, Ko Ka-shing, Ada Lai, Doming Lam, Lam Fung, Adrian Lam, Galison Lau, Leung Chi-pong, Lun Wai-kit, Mark Wing-yi, Poly Ng, Shao Litang, Shuen Lai-yin, So Ka-wai, Tang Ho-ling, Tang Man-ngai, Tse Kin-chuen, Joseph Wong, Wu Guanqing, Austin Yip, Yip Kim-fung, Stephen Yip, and Yiu Siu-lung. Each piece went with a photo provided by the composer.
Schools Creative Music Showcase 2014/15
This annual project began in the autumn of 2014 when the participating schools started working on their pieces. The adjudicators Ada Lai, Lam Lan-chee, Li Chi-man and Tang Lok-yin then visited the schools to select the best pieces for the final performance which was held on 17th February 2015 at Kwai Tsing Theatre Auditorium. Some of these works were created with the sound-project guidelines written by Hong Kong composers, i.e., Joshua Chan’s The Launch of the ShenZhou Spacecraft, Hui Cheung-wai’s Fantasia on the Bus, and Ng Chun-hoi’s A Song of Mountain’s Praise. Fifteen primary schools and eight secondary schools performed in two sessions (primary schools at 2:30 pm, secondary schools at 7:30 pm). The jury panel consisted of Lo Hau-man, Ada Lai, Lam Lan-chee, Tang Lok-yin and Tai Kit-man, and Carrie Lo. Together with additional interviews made at the end of the concert, the recording of the evening session was accessible via the Government website (www.youth.gov.hk). Under the HKCG Mentorship Scheme, the Guild also awarded a special scholarship to Chan Yui-woon of St. Stephen’s Girls’ College, the best composer in this year’s Showcase, to enable her to have 10 composition lessons with Tang Lok-yin between March and December 2015. A new work called Pastoral Rhapsody written by the scholarship awardee of the same scheme last year Ng Hei-tung Tammi was also premiered during this concert.
Sharing Lectures by Hong Kong Composers III
We organized the third series in collaboration with LCSD again in 2015. The talks were given in 6 consecutive Wednesday evenings from 15th April to 20th May 2015 at the Lecture Hall of Hong Kong Space Museum. The six invited speakers were Clarence Mak, Lam Man-yee, Mui Kwong-chiu, Chan Ming-chi, Lai Boon-tsing and David Gwilt. Each composer chose a particular topic and shared his/her personal experience with audience. Some lectures were supplemented by live performances by guest musicians and demonstrators, e.g. Wyman Wat (flute), Ho Kit-fun (harmonica), Lam Sau-ting (piano), Chor Kai-hei (cello), Benny Fung (dancer) etc. These lectures were well attended by some keen audiences (between 40+ to 90+ people in each lecture) of different background, and have facilitated some fruitful exchanges between composers and the general public.
International Rostrum of Composers 2015
As a collaboration project with RTHK, the Guild Council appointed Lam Fung as the Hong Kong Representative to attend the 62nd International Rostrum of Composers held in Tallinn, Estonia from 12th to 15th May 2015. As an international event for radio stations, this conference enabled recordings of new music from each participating country to be played and judged by fellow radio presenters. The best pieces would be selected by the Rostrum and recommended to be broadcast in all radio stations. The Guild Council selected the recordings of time, unfolding by Chan Chin-ting, Global Warning by Chen Chi-wai, and The Dragon of Pan-Cumulus by Lam Kin-yee as the Hong Kong representative pieces. Lam Fung selected many interesting pieces for subsequent broadcast in 4 programmes on RTHK4 in collaboration with their Programmer Raymond Chung. We are grateful to CASH Music Fund which provided Lam Fung a travel grant to attend this rostrum.
Providing an opportunity for international composers to showcase their works of new creativity, we organized our annual Musicarama Music Festival in parallel with the annual World Music Days festival, with sponsorship from CASH Music Fund, support from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, and subsidies from the Leisure and Cultural Services Department on venues and ticketing services. This 4-day mini festival was held from 31st May to 3rd June 2015, featuring both local and overseas works in four concerts and a Composers’ Forum. The President of ISCM, Peter Swinnen, and eighteen overseas speakers and composers have attended the festival. They come from different parts of the world: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Korea, Latvia, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Sweden, and Taiwan. The concerts held on 4 consecutive evenings features different genres of music: mixed ensemble works, chamber works, vocal music, and orchestral works. We are grateful to have invited the Taipei Chamber Singers from Taiwan and Kochi Ensemble from Japan to perform in two of the concerts. The other 2 concerts were performed by Global Symphony Orchestra and the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra Ensemble & the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble. Five works by local composers were also featured in the festival: Victor Chan’s Strange was the World, Cheung Pui-shan’s Dai Pai Dong, Lam Lan-chee’s Four Gentlemen, Yau May-kay’s Dry Tears, and Stephen Yip’s Reverberation.
New Generation 2015
The Guild has been collaborating with RTHK Radio 4 for many years to organize our annual project New Generation. It was a composition competition for student composers from mostly tertiary institutions. The New Generation 2015 concert was held at Studio One, RTHK on 5th June 2015. As in previous years, the Project Co-ordinator Lai Sheung-ping has been the key person in ensuring a fair competition and professional administration. The Council announced the instrumentation in January in 2015, and the scores must be submitted by 10th April 2015. Out of the 11 submissions, the Score Selection Panel (Joshua Chan, Lai Sheung-ping, Leung Chi-cheung, Mui Kwong-chiu and Tang Man-ngai) picked the best 7 pieces for performance by Chinese Music Virtuosi (Loo Sze-wang, Chu Siu-wai, Pan Ya-sze, Chiu Tan-ching, and Wong Chi-chung). The judge panel, consisting of Chan Wing-wah, Hui Cheung-wai, Tsang Yip-fat, Wang Qiang and Chinese Music Virtuosi, selected the following winning pieces: Monologue in the Mountain Fog by Shing Chun-hay (1st Prize - $6,000), Spring-death by Leung Hin-yan (2nd Prize - $4,000) and Conation by Wong Wai-yi (3rd Prize - $2,000). The concert also featured the commissioned work Smog by Lam Wing-ka, the winner of last year’s New Generation. The recording of the concert was subsequently broadcast on RTHK4 on 26th June and 1st July 2015. This project was funded by CASH Music Fund, with a project grant of $70,000.
We have successfully launch a commission project within our Two-Year Grant application to commission 10 composers to finish 10 solo to ensemble works within the year 2014/15, while the actual premieres of these pieces will take place in 2014/15 or 2015/16. The Council has studied the submitted proposals carefully and selected the following composers to commission: Leung Chi-hin (category 1 for sheng solo), Austin Yip (category 2 for zheng solo), Shao Litang (category 3 for yangqin solo), Yip Kim-fung (category 4 for recorder solo), Chan Ka-hei (category 5 for treble choir), Viola Yuen (category 6 for handbell solo and flute), Fung Dic-lun (category 7 for xiao and zheng), Lam Lan-chee (category 8 for Chinese ensemble), Hui Cheung-wai (category 9 for guitar ensemble) and Christopher Coleman (category 10 for wind ensemble). Five of these works have already been premiered by local artists and performing groups, while another five works will be performed before June 2016.
CD Recording Project
We continued to facilitate more Hong Kong new music to be published in recording format. In order to expand the repertoire of CD documentation, we have engaged the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra and Hugo Records to produce a new CD project in 2014/15. The project committee has selected the following pieces for CD production after careful selection among the numerous submissions: Joshua Chan's In the Days of the Travelling Tram, Hui Cheung-wai's Nine Dragons: Dance to Soar, Chris Hung's Borobudur, Raymond Mok's Cycles of Destiny, Mui Kwong-chiu’s Rhapsody of Color Clouds Chasing the Moon, Tang Lok-yin's The Great Evacuation, and Wong Hok-yeung's 2 pieces from "The Eight Immortals' Adventures". We have completed the rehearsals and recording with Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra by the end of April 2015 at the Grand Theatre of Heung Yee Kuk Building. Hugo Records then edited, mastered and designed the whole album. The actual printing of the 1,000 copies of the CD was completed in August 2015.
To continue our long-term plan to promote Hong Kong composers proactively online, we have completed the shootings of another 2 series of short videos featuring seven Hong Kong composers: Joshua Chan, Christopher Coleman, Hui Cheung-wai, Ada Lai, Lai Sheung-ping, Tang Man-ngai and Tung Lai-shing. This project is similar to what we did in our previous videos, with bilingual subtitles of their speeches. We have hired Raymond Wong to produce the videos, and he is still editing them at this stage. We aim to have the finalized version by October 2015. We have also completed the video recordings of 2 studio performances of Quiet Carriage by Phoebus Lee and Ghost Town by Chris Hung. The objective is to enable Hong Kong composers’ chamber music to be available for online dissemination with video recording of the actual performance. We have invited Kiann Chow (violin), Eric Yip (cello), Izumi Nikaido (flute), Johnny Fong (clarinet/bass clarinet), and Phoebus Lee (piano) to perform these pieces, and hired Raymond Wong to produce the videos. The recordings were completed in May 2015 and the videos are now available on YouTube: https://youtu.be/5ZRwwUK_tKs and https://youtu.be/e6-JXM6-8fA.