Malaysian to conduct HK orchestra


(From second left) Prof Ewe and Chew launching HKCO’s Malaysian debut tour by striking a gong. Looking on are (from right) Prof Choong, Lim and Tan. — WILLIAM GARY/The Star

Ensemble to make local debut, share knowledge with university, musicians

THE Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra (HKCO) is set to make a splash at its debut Malaysian tour with three performances planned in August.

Its first visit, in collaboration with Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), is aimed at showcasing the orchestra as well as promoting Chinese orchestral music.

UTAR president Prof Datuk Ewe Hong Tat said the visit presented a rare opportunity in terms of this music genre.

“What makes the performances even more special is the fact that it will be conducted by Alor Setar-born Chew Hee Chiat, who is HKCO’s assistant artistic director and resident conductor,” he said.

“We are fortunate to have HKCO perform in Malaysia, with Chew’s presence adding a meaningful touch.

“The collaboration will go beyond entertainment and serve as a platform for cultural exchange,” said Prof Ewe.

He added that the collaboration with HKCO would see the orchestra participating in workshops with UTAR’s own Chinese orchestra as well as invited musicians from elsewhere to facilitate transfer of knowledge.

Prof Ewe and Chew were present at the launch event in Kuala Lumpur alongside UTAR vice-president Prof Dr Choong Chee Keong, Professional Cultural Centre Orchestra co-founder Lim Guan Lee and Sin Chew Media Corporation communications and promotion general manager Tan Kim Chuan.

Chew: Conducting world-class orchestra on home soil is a dream come true.Chew: Conducting world-class orchestra on home soil is a dream come true.

For Chew, being able to conduct a world-class orchestra on home soil is nothing short of a dream come true after leaving Malaysia 22 years ago.

“When I started pursuing orchestral music, the environment and resources were not readily available.

“While things have improved over the years, there are no professional Chinese orchestras here.”

Chew said this fuelled the desire to have a world-class orchestra to spur the local Chinese orchestra scene to greater heights.

“There is a big base here; for example almost all Chinese schools have Chinese orchestras,” he noted.

He said several nationalities would be involved in the performances, including another fellow Malaysian.

They will also be performing a composition titled Kampung and the City by Malaysian composer Chow Jun Yi.

The first two HKCO performances will be held at Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 3 and 4 before its third performance at Dewan Sri Pinang in George Town, Penang on Aug 7.

On Aug 3 and 7, HKCO will perform its classic series featuring pieces such as Sui Lijun’s Song of the Black Earth and the avantgarde Jing Qi Shen by Chan Ming Chi.

For Aug 4, iconic tracks from movies and TV series such as Joseph Koo Kar Fai’s Shanghai Bund and local Malaysian tunes like Azlan Abu Hasan’s Sinaran and P. Ramlee’s Getaran Jiwa will be played.

The concert is sponsored by Hong Kong Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau and supported by Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Professional Culture Centre Orchestra and Hui Yin Seh Association.

Star Media Group is a media partner of the tour.

Tickets for the concert with early bird prices are available until March 16.

Special discounts apply for holders of person with disability (OKU) cards.

Ticket information is available at and

For further details, call 016-331 2561 (Hee) or 016-415 0325 (Lim).

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