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HK Phil and HKAPA Jointly Launch 'The Orchestra Academy Hong Kong'

The Orchestra Academy Hong Kong now opens applications for the 2021/22 season.

HK Phil and HKAPA Jointly Launch 'The Orchestra Academy Hong Kong'

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) and The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) jointly announced the launch of "The Orchestra Academy Hong Kong" (The Orchestra Academy). The Orchestra Academy will be the first joint programme co-directed by the HK Phil and the School of Music of HKAPA, funded by "TrustTomorrow" of The Swire Group Charitable Trust (Swire Trust) with a promising sponsorship of approximately HK$9 million over a 3-year period. The programme, consisting of two schemes namely Fellowship Programme and Young Pro Platform, aims at enhancing professional training for distinguished graduates from HKAPA's School of Music and facilitating their career development in the orchestral field. Those who are admitted to The Orchestra Academy will contribute their talents to servicing the community through volunteering opportunities.

Swire has been the Principal Patron of the HK Phil since 2006, and 2020 marks Swire's 150th anniversary in Hong Kong. Ms Tina Chan, Group Head of Philanthropy for John Swire & Sons (H.K.) Ltd, said, "It has always been our long-term vision to motivate positive change in the areas of Arts, Education and Marine Conservation. By supporting this joint programme, we hope that The Orchestra Academy could equip our home-grown musicians to take up leading roles in professional orchestras, enabling them to play a part in showcasing their music talents to the world."

The Fellowship Programme aims to offer up to six Fellows (aged 30 or under) to undergo an intensive orchestral training with the HK Phil through each season, normally from September to July. The Programme allocates 70% of time on rehearsals and performances with the HK Phil. They will be exposed to the professional environment of an orchestra through working and interacting with world-class conductors and renowned soloists. Mr Benedikt Fohr, Chief Executive of the HK Phil said, "The partnership with HKAPA has been long and committed, we have been offering exclusive masterclasses and side-by-side rehearsals with our Music Director Jaap van Zweden and our musicians to HKAPA students. Thanks to the funding from our Principal Patron the Swire Group, The Orchestra Academy is a stepped up promise between the two institutions to offer our local talents a structured professional training." Through the Fellowship Programme, Fellows will learn about the expectations and protocol of a professional orchestra, and perform a wide range of symphonic repertoire. The remaining 30% training of the programme includes masterclasses, workshops and a mentorship scheme. A monthly stipend will be given during the season.

The Young Pro Platform sees HKAPA graduates audition to join Philharmonia APA (PAPA) for a versatile season-long programme of two full ensemble concerts and a series of chamber concerts. PAPA is an orchestral ensemble comprising 20-25 players formed by HKAPA music alumni in 2017. The intimate size encourages the engagement of each member from curating concert programmes to committing to high-calibre performances. Selected players from the Young Pro Platform will join the HK Phil for educational and community projects.

"Being a flagship project in the arts industry, HKAPA and The HK Phil share a commitment in promoting artistic excellence, especially for home grown talent. We sincerely thank Swire for realising this long-awaited project. By expanding our collaboration, we believe that The Orchestra Academy will exert wider influence over Hong Kong's arts development," said Professor Sharon Choa, Dean of Music of HKAPA.

In addition to the two core schemes, The Orchestra Academy will benefit current HKAPA students by offering orchestral workshops for its own in-house symphony orchestra under the baton of HK Phil Music Director Jaap van Zweden, who recalled, "I started my career as the Concertmaster of The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra when I was 19. Being part of a professional orchestra helped establish my musicianship and artistry, and it led to my subsequent conducting career. The HK Phil and HKAPA, with support from Swire, are committed to making The Orchestra Academy a successful training ground for our own musicians in Hong Kong, enabling them to shine and flourish, no matter where their career takes them in the future."

The Orchestra Academy Hong Kong now opens applications for the 2021/22 season. For audition information and application, please visit toa.org.hk. For enquiries, please email info@toa.org.hk.


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