HK Phil and HKAPA jointly launch “The Orchestra Academy Hong Kong” with support from Swire
12 January 2021 ‖ Category : Music
Today, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) and The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) jointly announced the launch of “The Orchestra Academy Hong Kong” (The Orchestra Academy). The Orchestra Academy will be the first joint programme co-directed by the HK Phil and the School of Music of HKAPA, funded by “TrustTomorrow” of The Swire Group Charitable Trust (Swire Trust) with a promising sponsorship of approximately HK$9 million over a 3-year period. The programme, consisting of two schemes namely Fellowship Programme and Young Pro Platform, aims at enhancing professional training for distinguished graduates from HKAPA’s School of Music and facilitating their career development in the orchestral field. Those who are admitted to The Orchestra Academy will contribute their talents to servicing the community through volunteering opportunities.
Swire has been the Principal Patron of the HK Phil since 2006, and 2020 marks Swire’s 150th anniversary in Hong Kong. Ms Tina Chan, Group Head of Philanthropy for John Swire & Sons (H.K.) Ltd, said, “It has always been our long-term vision to motivate positive change in the areas of Arts, Education and Marine Conservation. By supporting this joint programme, we hope that The Orchestra Academy could equip our home-grown musicians to take up leading roles in professional orchestras, enabling them to play a part in showcasing their music talents to the world.”
The Fellowship Programme aims to offer up to six Fellows (aged 30 or under) to undergo an intensive orchestral training with the HK Phil through each season, normally from September to July. The Programme allocates 70% of time on rehearsals and performances with the HK Phil. They will be exposed to the professional environment of an orchestra through working and interacting with world-class conductors and renowned soloists. Mr Benedikt Fohr, Chief Executive of the HK Phil said, “The partnership with HKAPA has been long and committed, we have been offering exclusive masterclasses and side-by-side rehearsals with our Music Director Jaap van Zweden and our musicians to HKAPA students. Thanks to the funding from our Principal Patron the Swire Group, The Orchestra Academy is a stepped up promise between the two institutions to offer our local talents a structured professional training.” Through the Fellowship Programme, Fellows will learn about the expectations and protocol of a professional orchestra, and perform a wide range of symphonic repertoire. The remaining 30% training of the programme includes masterclasses, workshops and a mentorship scheme. A monthly stipend will be given during the season.
The Young Pro Platform sees HKAPA graduates audition to join Philharmonia APA (PAPA) for a versatile season-long programme of two full ensemble concerts and a series of chamber concerts. PAPA is an orchestral ensemble comprising 20-25 players formed by HKAPA music alumni in 2017. The intimate size encourages the engagement of each member from curating concert programmes to committing to high-calibre performances. Selected players from the Young Pro Platform will join the HK Phil for educational and community projects.
“Being a flagship project in the arts industry, HKAPA and The HK Phil share a commitment in promoting artistic excellence, especially for home grown talent. We sincerely thank Swire for realising this long-awaited project. By expanding our collaboration, we believe that The Orchestra Academy will exert wider influence over Hong Kong’s arts development,” said Professor Sharon Choa, Dean of Music of HKAPA.
In addition to the two core schemes, The Orchestra Academy will benefit current HKAPA students by offering orchestral workshops for its own in-house symphony orchestra under the baton of HK Phil Music Director Jaap van Zweden, who recalled, “I started my career as the Concertmaster of The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra when I was 19. Being part of a professional orchestra helped establish my musicianship and artistry, and it led to my subsequent conducting career. The HK Phil and HKAPA, with support from Swire, are committed to making The Orchestra Academy a successful training ground for our own musicians in Hong Kong, enabling them to shine and flourish, no matter where their career takes them in the future.”
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) is recognised as Asia’s foremost classical orchestra, attracting more than 200,000 music lovers every year by presenting more than 150 concerts. In 2019, the HK Phil received the prestigious Gramophone Orchestra of the Year Award – the first orchestra in Asia to receive this distinction. Maestro Jaap van Zweden has been the orchestra’s Music Director since the 2012/13 concert season and will continue to hold the position through to the end of the 2023/24 season; he is also Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. Maestro Yu Long is the HK Phil’s Principal Guest Conductor. Lio Kuokman has been appointed as Resident Conductor, effective 1 December 2020 and covering the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons. It is the orchestra’s mission to share its finest music-making in a more accessible way with people everywhere, not just in designated venues. In 2020, the HK Phil has produced a number of online programmes that allow us to reach out to a wider audience through recording, streaming and publishing on our website and social media platforms. New collaborations were made with the Hong Kong Tourism Board, JOYCE, 3 Hong Kong, Now TV and Tsz Shan Monastery to cultivate new audiences.
For more information, please visit hkphil.org.
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA), established by The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Ordinance in 1984, is a leading tertiary institution in the performing arts in Asia. It provides professional undergraduate education and practice-based postgraduate studies. The study encompasses Chinese Opera, Dance, Drama, Film and Television, Music, and Theatre and Entertainment Arts. Its educational philosophy reflects the cultural diversity of Hong Kong with emphasis on Chinese and Western traditions, and interdisciplinary learning. The Academy awards master's degree, bachelor honours degree, advanced diploma, diploma and certificate programmes that are accredited by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications. Besides the main campus in Wanchai, Béthanie, the site of the Academy’s Landmark Heritage Campus in Pokfulam, has housed training facilities for the School of Film and Television since 2006. In the QS World University Rankings announced in 2020, the Academy is ranked the 1st in Asia and the 7th in the world in the Performing Arts category.
Philharmonia APA (PAPA) is an orchestral ensemble made up of a group of young professionals graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. The formation of PAPA is inspired by the distinguished achievements of three decades of music graduates. In HKAPA’s 37th year, PAPA envisions to elaborate the passion of music-making and commitment to excellence shared by the academy-trained musicians. PAPA also continues to serve the Hong Kong community by contributing to its arts scene.
The intimate ensemble size (circa 20 players) of PAPA reinforces a strong and unique collaboration musically and interpersonally. From programming to performing, PAPA highly values each member’s creativity and contribution. By incorporating multidisciplinary elements and exploring state-of-the-art concert designs, PAPA is keen on bringing unconventional concert experience to audiences.
Since its inception in 2017, PAPA has been invited to perform on local and international stages. Highlighted performances include GENK and Friends (2019), opening concert of Hong Kong Generation Next Arts (2019), Hong Kong–Vienna Music Festival in Vienna (2017, 2018) and the concerti concerts in Altamira Hong Kong International Guitar Symposium and Competition (2017, 2018).