Orchestras & Ensembles
Academy Symphony Orchestra
Within the HKAPA’s School of Music, orchestral training is a significant part of the students’ education. All students of orchestral instruments participate in the Academy Symphony Orchestra, whose weekly rehearsals cover the standard symphonic literature as well as contemporary works. In recent years, the Academy Symphony Orchestra has worked with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and guest conductors such as Marko Ivanović (Principal Conductor of the National Theatre Brno Opera), Pietro Mianiti (Principal Conductor of the La Scala Academy), Lio Kuokman, Patrick Furrer, Andrew Mogrelia amongst many others. The orchestra members have toured to Beijing and Shanghai to join professional orchestral concerts and to Jerusalem and Taiwan to give chamber recitals. They also collaborated with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta in their Penderecki project and participated in the Hong Kong Philharmonic’s “Share the Stage’’ events. In November 2017, Maestro Jaap van Zweden, Music Director of Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra visited the Academy and rehearsed Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony with our students and the players from the HK Phil. With the Academy Choir, they performed Bach’s Christmas Oratorio under the direction of Helmut Rilling. The Orchestra has a busy performing schedule every academic year including playing for our annual opera production.
Under the baton of Prof. Sharon Choa, Dean of Music, the Orchestra was invited to perform in the Festive Korea 2016 Gala Concert presented by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in October 2016 at the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre together with three international Korean violinist Hyuna Kim, violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill and cellist Clara Minhye Kim. In June 2017 the Orchestra joined forces with the Shenzhen Arts School Philharmonic Orchestra to perform in two concerts which were held in Shenzhen and Hong Kong respectively. In October 2017 the Orchestra visited Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA) and gave a performance with the wind and percussion students from TNUA to critical acclaim.
Academy Chinese Orchestra
Academy Chinese Orchestra consists of students and graduates from the Department of Chinese Music of the School of Music. The Orchestra presents large-scale concerts as well as various ensemble performances such as Silk and Bamboo, Guangdong Music, Chinese Wind and Percussion, Zheng, Chamber Music, Plucked String and Percussion ensembles. Renowned composers and conductors the Orchestra has worked with include Kuan Nai-chung, Liu Wenjin, He Zhanhao, Gu Guanren, Zhao Jiping, Hu Bingxu, Yan Hui-chang, Zhou Chenglong, Ho Man-chuen, Henry Shek, Wang Huiran, Tsung Yeh, Chung Yiu-kwong, Wu Hua, Wang Yongji, Shao En, Wang Fujian, Liu Xijin, Liu Sha, Zhang Lie, Hong Xia, Chen Ningchi, Li Zhuxin, Liu Shun, Kwok Hang-kei, Qu Chunquan, Zhou Yuguo, Zhu Changyao and Fang Xiaomin, Liu Chiang-pin, Wen Feng-chao among others. The Orchestra’s regular solo, ensemble and concerto concerts feature a wide range of repertoire including traditional Chinese classics, folk music, contemporary works and new commissions to composers for the Orchestra.
Academy Chinese Orchestra strives to promote the art of Chinese music to the local community and actively participate in performances on and off campus in Hong Kong. By invitations from overseas, the Orchestra performed in the UK, USA, Canada, Austria, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Japan and New Zealand to critical acclaim.
Ho Man-chuen is Resident Conductor of the Academy Chinese Orchestra.
The Academy Choir consists of students from the Department of Vocal Studies and students from the School of Music. Under the tutelage of Chorus Master Alex Tam, the Choir rehearses weekly and performs regularly in various departmental concerts, opera scenes concerts and annual fully staged opera productions. The Choir has also participated in performances in collaboration with local and overseas arts organisations. Recent engagements include Bach’s Christmas Oratorio under the direction of Helmut Rilling with SingFest, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 together with the choir of St. Martin-in-the-Fields under Sir Neville Marriner, Purcell's Dido and Aeneas for RTHK Radio 4 and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 Resurrection with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Other major works include Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn's Elijah and Faure's Requiem.
Academy Concert Band
The Academy Concert Band provides opportunities for the woodwind, brass and percussion students to participate in the wind band tradition. It performs a varied repertoire that includes classical, contemporary and popular music. Highlights of recent concerts include concerts guest conducted by Paul Archibald, Peter Bassano, James Gourlay and Colin Touchen, a performance of Heinrich Hubler's Concerto for Four Horns with the Vienna Horn Ensemble, as well as a concert of music by Alfred Reed conducted by the composer himself and featuring the Hong Kong première of his new Trumpet Concerto played by the renowned Taiwanese trumpeter Yeh Shu-Han. Tours include Guangzhou performances by the invitation of the South China University of Technology and International Horn Symposium in Denver Colorado with international horn soloists Frank Lloyd and the American Horn Quartet.
Academy Brass Ensemble
The Academy Brass Ensemble gives students the opportunity to play a wide variety of brass ensemble music, ranging from Renaissance music to modern works and including large-scale arrangements, sometimes involving percussion as well. The Ensemble has performed with well-known artists around the world including the American Horn Quartet and Peter Harvey. Highlights of recent concerts include a performance of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition arranged by Elgar Howarth and conducted by Roger Harvey.
Academy Chamber Music Groups
The School of Music runs an extensive chamber music programme for Western Music students. Chamber music groups include piano and string trios, string quartets, wind quintets and octets, piano duos, guitar ensembles, percussion ensembles as well as groups comprising different combinations of instruments. Students are assigned to groups or form their own, and are coached by faculty staff and artist-in-residence including the Orion String Quartet, Endellion String Quartet, the Shanghai Quartet, Miami String Quartet, the Sydney String Quartet, the Cleveland Quartet, and members of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields.
Academy Contemporary Music Ensemble
The Contemporary Music Ensemble provides opportunities for students to become familiar with the music of major contemporary composers as well as for performers and composers to work together in exploring new instrumental techniques.
Academy Jazz Ensemble
The Academy Jazz Ensemble introduces students to the creative challenge of improvisation in the major jazz styles.