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Hong Kong Youth Symphony Orchestra tunes up for Shanghai Expo (with photos)

The Hong Kong Youth Symphony Orchestra (HKYSO) will tomorrow (October 13) start its "ambassadorial" visit to Shanghai, launching a series of Hong Kong-themed cultural activities for Expo 2010 Shanghai China (Shanghai Expo).

During an exciting nine-day tour, the orchestra will play a joint concert with Shanghai Jiao Tong University Symphony Orchestra at the Minhang Campus on October 14.

The 82-member orchestra will also perform on October 16 and 17 at Century Plaza, the high-profile Nanjing Road East pedestrian mall, during the Hong Kong Trade Development Council's "Style Hong Kong" event, and at Expo Park's Baosteel Stage on October 18.

The highlight of the tour will be a special performance at the opening of "Hong Kong Week" for Shanghai Expo on October 20. During the opening ceremony, the young musicians will share the stage with other leading Hong Kong talent, including conductor Joseph Koo, singer Frances Yip, erhu soloist Wong On-yuen and violin soloist Yao Jue.

Under the baton of conductors Mr Ng Ka-ming, Mr Pak Wing-heng and Dr Joseph Kam, the HKYSO promises a rich repertoire for its Shanghai audiences.

Popular compositions will include the "Candide Overture" by Bernstein (USA), "Polonaise de Concert" by Wieniawski (Poland), "Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F minor, 3rd movement" by Weber (Germany), "Three Dances" from "The Bartered Bride" by Smetana (Czech Republic) and "Below the Lion Rock" by Hong Kong pop-song maestro Joseph Koo.

Conductor Mr Ng Ka-ming said he expects the Shanghai tour to be a memorable experience for the orchestra's young members, who are aged between 11 and 25.

"Although we have previously visited Mainland cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, taking on the role of cultural envoy during the Expo gives us the opportunity to play before visitors from different parts of the world," Mr Ng said.

"The repertoire is thoughtfully crafted to encompass pieces that reflect the diversity and uniqueness of Hong Kong's music scene.

"And performing with Asia's acclaimed artists for the Expo will definitely enrich our experience, enhance our profile and bring out the best in our young members."

He added that upon their return to Hong Kong, the HKYSO will perform the same wide-ranging repertoire for local audiences at their Annual Concert on November 12 at Tsuen Wan Town Hall.

For programme details of the HKYSO's tour, please visit the Event Calendar section on Hong Kong's Expo website, www.hkexpo2010.gov.hk, or call the Music Office of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department at 2582 5334.