Mag. Jimmy Chiang
Artistic Director, Hong Kong – Vienna Music Festival
Conductor, Vienna Boys Choir
Being a native of Hong Kong, yet having found my second home here in Vienna as an established musician for more than 15 years, I feel deeply obligated to share my love for these two world metropolises by founding an unprecedented music festival – the HK’n’Wien Music Festival which bridges the two across the globe. Music, the language without borders and nourishment for all souls is the best role model for mankind to embrace our differences.
As the first Hong Kong born “Kapellmeister” in the 500 year-history of the well renowned Vienna Boys’ Choir, I am thrilled to witness the launching of the Vienna Boys’ Choir Music Academy Foundation in the Fall of 2015 in Hong Kong. With the support of this organisation led by Ms Irene Au, the festival is able to begin its first chapter this summer. In the same spirit of the Vienna Boys’ Choir, we believe that music education ought to be brought to every person and society.
In order to do so, Mr Gerald Wirth, experienced music educator and president of VBC, together with other Viennese music pedagogues, will lead series of workshops in the month of July among the Hong Kong communities. Meanwhile, to support and promote talented local artists whether professional or student, I am proud to present a HK Week in Vienna where Hong Kong artists are being presented in a series of concerts at the concert hall of the VBC – MuTH, from the 14th to the 19th of August. To bring the festival to a grand climax, over 80 well-known Viennese musicians including members of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, soloists of the Vienna State Opera, the Vienna Boys’ Choir, the Arnold Schönberg Choir and many others are invited to join forces with members of the HK Philharmonic, HK local choirs and local HK music students for a performance of Gustav Mahler’s 8th Symphony, nicknamed “Symphony of a Thousand”, on 28th of August in HK City Hall.
Mahler himself once said that “the symphony must be like the world. It must embrace everything.” At another time, he described his 8th symphony as “no longer human voices, but circling planets and suns”. It was a daring composition, which Mahler managed to link an old Latin Gregorian chant “Veni Creator Spiritus” and the final scene of Goethe’s Faust II, a revered piece of German poetry that still resonates in modern times. By embracing old and new, sacred and secular, as well as Latin and German in his music, Mahler’s ambition resembles mine in linking the old imperial Vienna and the pearl of the East with the HK’n’Wien Music Festival.
Your support brings about not only a successful festival event with glamour and spotlights, but also educates the communities with a deeper understanding and appreciation of arts and cultures, which is, in my opinion, a privilege of being human and the key to a better life. Our next generation will be thankful for the opportunities given for such global exposure and mountain-top experience.