The first ever Hong Kong-Vienna Music Festival concluded in waves of claps and huzzahs on 28 August at a finale concert featuring Austrian composer Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, aka ‘Symphony of a Thousand’.
The performance was led by local conductor and Artistic Director Jimmy Chiang (曾智斌) and jointly presented by the Arnold Schönberg Choir, the Learners Chorus, the Vienna Boys Choir and the Hong Kong Treble Choir alongside musicians from the two places. It was the climax of six weeks of amazing musical collaboration between Hong Kong and Austria, driven by the Austrian Consulate, the Hong Kong musical community and the LCSD.
Among the audience was Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (林鄭月娥), who was warmly greeted by Austrian Consul General Dr Claudia Reinprecht and the Festival’s Executive Director Irene Au (區藹芝). Prior to the performance, Lam congratulated the unprecedented collaboration, not without promoting the government’s West Kowloon Cultural District initiative.
The six-week long festival offered not only a series of events and performances for classical music lovers, but also exchange opportunities for distinguished artists and young musicians from both cities, as well as local music teachers and students to learn from the education model of the world’s Capital of Music.
The Vienna Boys Choir Music Academy Foundation, the organiser, is planning to set up an international school in Hong Kong by 2018 to offer International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum and musical training of Vienna Boys Choir.