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News Highlights

HK Chinese Orchestra to showcase classics and award-winning works for Expo (with photos)

Following a highly acclaimed performance at Carnegie Hall last year, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra (HKCO) is gearing up to play a selection of highly acclaimed Chinese works in Shanghai for Expo 2010 Shanghai China (Shanghai Expo) on May 15.

Under the baton of Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Yan Huichang, a National Class One Conductor, the orchestra will be joined by renowned Japanese violinist Akiko Suwanai and pipa virtuoso Wong Chi-ching.

The programme will include "Three Melodies of West Yunnan" by internationally recognised composer Guo Wenjing; the pipa and orchestral piece "A Thousand Sweeps" by Hong Kong composer Law Wing-fai; the violin concerto "The Butterfly Lovers" by He Zhanhao and Chen Gang; and Cheng Dazhao's "The Yellow River Capriccio" in which the audience will join in to create a rousing finale.

"Shanghai is where I studied music and released my first musical piece," said Mr Yan Huichang.

"Many teachers and old friends of mine live there. Taking the opportunity to perform during Expo, I wish to share with them my achievements in music.

"Since the founding of the orchestra 33 years ago, we have been committed to offering excellence in Chinese music. We eagerly look forward to performing at Shanghai Expo and showing people from around the world the success of the HKCO.

"We want them to experience a part of Hong Kong that is more than just shopping and eating - we want them to experience the Hong Kong where you can also enjoy the talent and dedication of professional music groups such as the HKCO."

The concert will be the orchestra's first collaboration with the renowned Japanese violinist Akiko Suwanai.

Born in Tokyo, Ms Suwanai has performed with many international orchestras around the world. She was the youngest winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, and was a laureate of many international competitions including the Paganini Competition and the Queen Elizabeth Music Competition in Belgium.

For this concert, she will perform the classic violin concerto "The Butterfly Lovers".

Ms Wong Chi-ching is a versatile pipa artist with a rich repertoire that comprises works by different composers, in different styles and at different times.

In the concert, she will play Law Wing-fai's "A Thousand Sweeps" which won the Golden Sail Music Award of the Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong Ltd(CASH) in 2006.

Founded in 1977, the HKCO is the only professional, full-sized Chinese orchestra with 85 musicians in Hong Kong.

During the six-month Shanghai Expo period, the Hong Kong SAR will stage 26 programmes with over 70 performances, as well as four visual art exhibitions, in Shanghai.

The groups will perform at major Shanghai venues including the Shanghai Grand Theatre, Shanghai Oriental Art Centre, Shanghai Theatre Academy and Shanghai Concert Hall.

Genres to be covered include Cantonese opera, Chinese and Western music, dance, drama, opera, music theatre and multi-media performances. More than 1,200 artistic personnel from Hong Kong will bring to the audiences a wide range of programmes to showcase the creativity and characteristics of Hong Kong.

Information on ticketing as well as other performances and exhibitions is available on Hong Kong at World Expo 2010 website, www.hkexpo2010.gov.hk.

"Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra Concert"
Date: May 15
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Shanghai Concert Hall
Length: Approx 1 hour 45 mins
Ticket price: RMB 300, 240, 180, 120, 80
Booking hotline: (+86 21) 6386 2836
Online bookings: www.culture.sh.cn , www.ticket2010.com
Programme enquiries (HK): (+852) 3185 1600
(Shanghai): (+86 21) 6386 2836