The Society, first registered under the Societies Ordinance in 1995 and now incorporated as a non-profit making company, is a well-established institution in Hong Kong dedicated to the promotion of music and music related activities. These include public recitals and concerts, an extensive outreach program involving master classes, workshops, lectures and presentations, an annual music festival and a triennial international piano competition all of which have contributed to augment further the reputation of Hong Kong as a cultural center in Asia.
The Society believes that classical music is neither an elitist nor a minority interest. The success of the Society’s activities is based on the notion that Hong Kong audiences deserve nothing but the highest quality that the local and international music scene can offer.
The Society’s activities are closely interrelated in order to offer a diverse set of performances and outreach activities drawing on continuity of themes and of participants. The Society believes that, building up audience loyalty and following requires not only consistent high quality of what is being presented but also continuity of the presentations.
In every three years since 2005, that is, in 2005, 2008 and 2011 the Society ran its biggest event, the Hong Kong International Piano Competition with a truly exceptional, if not unique jury. The Competition aimed at not only presenting an exceptional group of candidates but also an exceptional musical event. Other innovations included the members of jury performing as well as judging. As part of the Society’s plan to offer integrated and continuous series of activities, the triennial Competitions have been linked by annual Joy of Music Festivals taking place in-between Competitions and since 2011 also during the Competitions. Festivals were presented in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and a special event in 2014. The Festivals bring together in performance and master classes members of the jury of the Competition, all the previous first prize winners of the Competition, first prize winners from other important piano competitions as well as invited world-class artists from all over the world.
The Competition has now established itself as one of the top international piano competitions attracting scores of exceptionally talented candidates from several countries around the world. The next competition is scheduled to run during September 27th to October 13th , 2016.
At its earliest stages, from 1999 onwards, the Society launched the annual Winners Series which brings to Hong Kong the first prizewinners of major international piano competitions. In 2001 the Society launched an outreach initiative involving master classes which brought to Hong Kong master teachers to perform in recitals and to run master classes open for free to students in Hong Kong and, where possible, from China and from other Asian countries. These series were then fully integrated with the annual Joy of Music Festivals and with the triennial Hong Kong International Piano Competition. The master classes are primarily on piano and guitar but have also included cello, string quartet playing and conducting.
The Society has its own recording label, the Alpha Omega Sound, which has been issuing CDs featuring the performances of the first prize winners of its Competition, of selected local pianists, of world-class artists recording specially for the label as well as a unique series of archival recordings of some of the most important pianists, violinists, cellists, guitarists and vocalists of the 20th century. All the CDs are re-mastered at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London and produced by Sony in Austria thus ensuring the highest sonic quality.
|Dr Andrew Freris
|The Chopin Society of Hong Kong Ltd.