Highlights of Hong Kong-Vienna Music Festival 2016
Opening Concert – ‘Building Bridges’
Summer Music Academy
Mahler Symphony No. 8
Professional Training Tour
Hong Kong Week
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL IN 2016
Under the enthusiastic support of the Vienna and Hong Kong officials, VBCMAF collaborates with musicians, education bodies and various sectors from both cities to present an unprecedented cultural spectacle to their audience. This cultural spectacle was initiated from 15/7 until 28/8/2016 under the artistic leadership of Jimmy Chiang.
The 6-week Hong Kong – Vienna Music Festival 2016 was a multi-dimensional platform of cultural collaboration. Through a series of concerts, educational workshops, music camps, training tours and different community programmes, the Festival aimed to raise the standard of local talents and art administrators, as well as to strengthen the character and image of Hong Kong as a hub of creativity and uniqueness. Vibrant music shall transfuse artistic passion between the two cities.
More than 40 local musicians performed on the prestigious stage of Vienna. The Festival would be brought to a grand climax in its finale: more than 250 prominent Viennese and Hong Kong musicians perform Mahler’s Symphony No.8 (nicknamed ‘Symphony of a Thousand’), under the baton of renowned Hong Kong-born conductor Jimmy Chiang.
THE ARTISTS OF 2016 MUSIC FESTIVAL
Gathering the artistic crème de la crème of Hong Kong and Vienna
The Arnold Schoenberg Choir was founded in 1972 by current artistic director Erwin Ortner and remains one of the most sought after and versatile vocal ensembles in Austria. The choir’s repertoire ranges from renaissance and baroque to the present day with a focus on contemporary music. The choir has a particular interest in a cappella music, however it also regularly performs large scale works for choir and orchestra.
As well as concert performances, the choir has also regularly taken part in opera productions, beginning with Schubert’s Fierrabras at the Vienna Festwochen in 1988 (directed by Ruth Berghaus and conducted by Claudio Abbado), and including Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise in 1992 (directed by Peter Sellars and conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen) and the world premiere of Berio’s Cronaca del Luogo at the Salzburg Festival.in 1999 (directed by Claus Guth and conducted by Sylvain Cambreling).
The choir is also regularly engaged in opera productions at the Theatre an der Wien; among others Janaceks Aus einem Totenhaus, which was directed by Patrice Chéreau and conducted by Pierre Boulez. This production was voted “Best Opera production in German speaking countries 2007”
2008 Stravinskys The Rakes Progress (directed by Martin Kusej, conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt) and 2009 Claus Guths staged interpretaion of Handels Messiah were further operatic highlights. For 40 years the choir has had a close association with the conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt. It has undertaken numerous concert tours and appears regularly at the Vienna Festwochen, the Salzburg festival, the Wien Modern festival, the Carinthian Summer festival and the styriarte in Graz.
In 1994 an international panel presented the choir with the “Classical music award”. The choir also received numerous prizes, including the German “Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik“, the “Diapason d’or“, the “Prix Caecilia“ and the “Grand Prize of the Academy Awards”, for its 1996 recording of the complete choral works of Franz Schubert, which was conducted by its artistic director Erwin Ortner. The choir also won a Grammy award in 2002 for its recording of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Nicholas Harnoncourt. Latest recordings of Arnold Schoenberg Choir in collaboration with Nikolaus Harnoncourt include an album with cantatas from Bach, Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess as well as Haydn’s The Seasons, which was awarded the Echo Klassik Price 2010.
Among others the most recent recording to be published in the choir’s own Edition is a CD with a cappella works by Johannes Brahms as well as the CD “LUX!” with works from composers of the 20th century; in March 2014 die ASC’s 9th CD with Hugo Distler’s “Totentanz” and works by Leonhard Lechner and in November 2014 the 10th CD “Christmas with the Arnold Schoenberg Choir” were presented. As the Christmas-CD was sold out immediately and was reissued in autumn 2015.
Music Director: Apollo Wong
Pianist: Peggie Chan
The Learners Chorus was founded in 1979 by former members of the Hong Kong University Students’ Union Choir. Recent major performances include Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Lully’s Te Deum, Mahler’s Symphony Nos. 2 and 8, Rachmaninov’s The Bells, Rossini’s Messa di Gloria and Stabat Mater, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem and Quattro pezzi sacri. In 2013 and 2014, Learners performed Britten’s War Requiem with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and its Chorus under the baton of the late Maestro Lorin Maazel, and to celebrate “Hong Kong Cultural Centre – Celebrating 25 Years”, respectively. In May 2015, Learners was invited to perform “Macao Soul” with Macao Orchestra and the Macao Perosi Choir at the 26th Macao Arts Festival.
Learners is devoted to promoting music among youth. Students are often invited to sing with the Chorus or play in the Learners Orchestra alongside professional musicians. Young choir members are offered the chance to conduct the Chorus. Student members receive sponsored vocal training by our Music Director. Young musicians also give guest performances in our concerts. Over 6,400 students have benefited from our Student Ticket Sponsorship Programme, which aims to extend music appreciation opportunities to the younger generation.
Active in community and charitable work, Learners has also given performances at elderly homes, disabled homes and sheltered workshops. Net ticket proceeds of fundraising concerts were donated to charitable organisations for installing water cellars, rebuilding collapsed schools and sponsoring high school scholarships in China, among other causes. The Chorus has also co-presented earthquake relief concerts in the past.
By cultivating youth education through the aforesaid means, Learners strives to abide by its name in a fuller sense.
Hong Kong Treble Choir (HKTC) was founded in 2000 as a registered charitable organization. Within its establishment of less than two decades, HKTC has made a name for itself through performances and competitions that reached across international borders. The artistic team is led by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Prof. Leon Shiu-wai Tong and also comprises of professionals such as Honorary Advisor, Mdm. Barbara Fei, SBS, Honorary Artistic Director, Prof. Wing-wah Chan, JP and Honorary Music Director, Ms. Nancy Loo, MH.
HKTC authenticates itself as a well-recognized choir of quality by participating in competitions. This is evident when HKTC came through as winner in competitions such as The 8th Cantemus International Choir Festival in Hungary (2010); The 11th China International Chorus Festival & IFCM World Choral Summit (2012); The 10th International Choral Festival «The Singing World» in St. Petersburg (2012); The 4th Florence Choir Festival in Italy (2015) and The International Youth Music Festival II in Slovakia (2015).
In addition to music competitions, HKTC has participated in various performances and cultural exchanges. This includes HKTC’s participation in the recording of the primary music textbook “Musical Journey” demonstrative teaching materials and the original soundtrack recording of the popular McDull movie series. HKTC’s role in music education and popular culture stands witness to the well-diversified and open stand which the Choir holds in its path to creating for its members the best music environment possible.
Breaking through traditional pedagogical framework, HKTC adopts an innovative teaching style in order to provide its choir members with a fun and interactive environment to better facilitate the music learning process. Through games, story-telling, songs, poems and other creative music activities, children are able to encounter music from another perspective that aims to activate their interest into music. The tailor-made lessons, proven through the years, help to anchor children’s music knowledge and in the process build their self-confidence and ability to interact with others in modern society.
Gerald Wirth received his first musical training as a member of the Vienna Boys Choir at the Anton Bruckner Konservatorium in Linz, Austria, where he studied voice, oboe and piano. As a teenager, Wirth already conducted a children choir and was the founder of a Youth Choir and a trio sonata ensemble. He was involved in countless premier performances of new works by a wide variety of contemporary European composers. He was one of the youngest ever choir directors of the Vienna Boys Choir and Chorus Director at the Salzburg Opera company “Landestheather”. In 1991, Wirth moved to Calgary Canada to take on the position as the Artistic Director of the Calgary Boys Choir Organisation. He also founded and directed a professional vocal ensemble, “Sangita”. He was the Music Director of the Calgary Civic Symphony as well as the Associate Conductor of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He has conducted choirs and orchestras all over the world, and sings and plays himself in a number of ensembles. Wirth is regularly invited throughout the globe as a clinician to conduct workshops about music pedagogy and all aspects of choral music. He plays and sings himself in many different ensembles and he can practically get anyone and anything to sing.
In 2001, Wirth became the artistic director of the Vienna Boys Choir. While he is keenly aware of the choir’s rich tradition, he also explores new ways to create and make music. He has instigated a number of projects involving world music, a cappella pop and film music. Wirth’s first love is the voice; as is evident from his own compositions: his works include three children’s operas, several oratorios, theatre projects, music especially written for festivals and countless arrangements for choirs. He finds much of his inspiration in myths and philosophical texts. His works are commissioned and performed internationally. Wirth is convinced that intensive engagement in music has a positive impact on every realm of the personality, and motivates his students to utilise their potential. Together with his close friends, Wirth founded the Organization “Superar”, an European movement supporting the integration of underprivileged children and people in difficult social situation through high quality music education. Over the years, he has developed a unique method to teach people of all age groups to express themselves in music by training their voice, sense of rhythm, hearing and sight-reading skills.
Quote “A choir consists of many individuals whose aim it is to act as a single entity. A concert is only really powerful and exciting when each individual is able to convey his own personality. But if that happens, it’s magic.”
A native of Oklahoma, USA, soprano Anna Baxter began her music education as a child studying piano, clarinet and oboe as well as 10 years of ballet, jazz and tap dance instruction, collected her first experiences on stage in various plays and took part in art and painting workshops as a teenager. She studied at the University of Tulsa, Southern Methodist University and Baylor University, where she earned her Master’s Degree of Music in vocal performance. Further studies continued privately with KS Olivera Miljakoviҫ in Vienna, where she has found her new home.
Baxter was a prize winner at the 2007 International Singing Competition of Passau. Her European debut in 2006 as Violetta in La Traviata was highly acclaimed by audience and critics alike. She has also given concerts and recitals in the USA, Europe and Asia. She has sung with orchestras such as the Zagreb Philharmonic, Philharmonic Orchestra of the Hansestadt Lübeck and the Hong Kong Pan Asia Symphony Orchestra. She has been a regular guest soloist at Theater Lübeck, Theater Freiburg, Stadttheater Bern and Oper Halle. Her roles include Arabella, Salome, Vitellia, Elisabeth (Tannhäuser), Rosalinde, Saffi, Freia, Liu, Mařenka as well as a wide range of concert repertoire.
Hong Kong soprano, Yuki Ip’s major performances include being the featured soloist with José Carreras for the inaugural season of the National Centre of the Performing Arts, Beijing, China; Nedda in R. Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci and Cio-Cio San in G. Puccini’s Madame Butterfly with MusicaViva, Hong Kong, and soprano soloist in her European debut at the Basilica di San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy in G. Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. Miss Ip was the soprano soloist in J.S. Bach’s B Minor Mass and Haydn’s Die Schöpfung under the baton of Maestro Helmuth Rilling.
Recently she performed as soprano soloist in Xian Xinghai’s Yellow River Cantata with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra; soprano soloist in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nicholas McGegan. H. Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas Brasileiras No.5 in Verona and Cremona, Italy; and was guest soloist at the Shanghai World Exposition with Shanghai Opera House Orchestra and Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen with Le French May Festival Hong Kong.
Other operatic roles include Mimi in G. Puccini’s La Boheme under the direction of Bruno Aprea; Juliette in C. Gounod’s Roméo and Juliette under the direction of Paolo Olmi; Sophie in J. Massenet’s Werther, with Opera Hong Kong; Rose Maurrant in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene with Singapore Lyric Opera; Gretel in E. Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel with the Singapore Lyric Opera and Suor Genovieffa in G. Puccini’s Suor Angelica at the Macau International Arts Festival.
Other significant engagements include her debut in New York City and Toronto as soprano soloist in An-Lun Huang’s Revelation; her debut with Macau Orchestra in the Macau Handover Anniversary Concert; C. Monteverdi’s Il Combattimento di Trancredi e Clorinda and J.S. Bach’s Kaffee Cantata at the Hong Kong Arts Festival; her debut with Singapore Symphony Orchestra performing Frasquita in G. Bizet’s Carmen and multiple performances with both the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. Numerous concerts featuring Miss Ip have also been broadcast by Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK).
Ip’s concert repertoire has included J.S. Bach’s Cantata BWV 80 &140 and B Minor Mass; F. Schubert’s Mass in Eb and Der Hirt auf dem Felsen; R.Schumann’s Auf dem Strom; J. Brahms’ Requiem; C. Saint-Saen’s Christmas Oratorio; E. Mendelssohn’s Elijah; J. Rutter’s Requiem; G. Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle and Messa di Gloria; W.A. Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate, Requiem, Mass in c minor and Missa Brevis; Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem; J.F. Handel’s Messiah, Dixit Dominus and L’Allgero ed il Penseroso; G.Verdi’s Requiem; G. Fauré’s Requiem; A.Vivaldi’s Gloria; L.Von Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Missa Solemnis and Mass in C; A. Bruckner’s Te Deum and Mass in f minor; H.Berlioz’s Mess Solenelle and soprano soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No.8.
Miss Ip obtained a Bachelor of Music Degree (Honors) from Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and a Master of Music Degree from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, USA. Miss Ip is officially supported by the Muses Foundation for Culture and Education and was RTHK Radio 4 Artist in Residence 2014.
Louise Kwong is the prize winners of numerous singing competitions, namely the 2nd prize, Audience prize and the Best Soprano prize in the 18th International Singing Competition Ferruccio Tagliavini in Austria; 1st prize in the Singing Competition Salice d’oro 2015 in Italy; 1st prize in the Singing Competition Città di Iseo 2015 in Italy and 2nd prize in the 7th International Singing Competition Bell’arte in Belgium;.
Louise graduated from the Dutch National Opera Academy, the Conservatory of Amsterdam, the Netherlands and the Royal College of Music, London. Her operatic roles include Cio-cio-san in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen, Liù in Puccini’s Turandot, Santuzza in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, Anna in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena and La Contessa in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte.
Locally, Louise’s achievement was recognized by the Hong Kong SAR Government by being awarded with the Young Artist Award in Music (2014) and in the Commendatory Scheme of the Secretary of Home Affairs (2015). She has been invited to perform in several music festivals, including the roles of Xiao Hong in opera Heart of Corals, Tong-bi Kang in opera Datong in the Hong Kong Arts Festival and Fiordiligi in opera Cosi fan Tutte in the Grachtenfestival Amsterdam.
Christina Baader was born in Stuttgart, Germany. She initially completed piano studies at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart in the class of Heidi Benmessaoud and received a postgraduate piano diploma at the Conservatoire de Musique de Lausanne under the professorship of pianist and conductor Prof. Jean- François Antonioli.
During her academic studies she pursued further training in singing technique and started to perform in opera productions and recitals in Montreux, Geneva, Zurich, Stuttgart and Cologne. In France, where she was granted a state scholarship from the Region of Burgundy, she firstly studied under Prof. Jean-Pierre Blivet. Since 2009 she perfected her skills under the renowned singing teacher Prof. Irina Gavrilovici in Vienna.
She toured through Japan as a soloist with the Vienna State Opera Ensemble. Returning to Japan in 2009, she performed the Alto solo part in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Hiroshima with the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra under conductor Kazufumi Yamashita. In international opera productions she embodied the dramatic mezzo roles in Tschaikowsky’s Eugen Onegin, Wagner’s Die Walküre, Verdi’s Rigoletto, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte, as well as the title roles in Menotti’s The Medium and Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride in Vienna.
To date Christina Baader has performed the title role of Bizet’s Carmen more than 80 times in various cities in Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria and quite recently during a much acclaimed production by Frank Van Laecke, with whom she already worked in his mise-en-scène of Britten’s Peter Grimes.
She was a solist ensemble-member of Theater für Niedersachsen where she sang among many other roles Klytämnestra in Gluck’s Iphigenie in Aulis, Mrs Quickly in Verdi’s Falstaff, and Mary in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer. Besides her opera appearances, Christina Baader is engaged frequently as a concert- singer.
Malaysian-born mezzo-soprano Samantha Chong has just won the championship of the 41st National Singing Competition of Malaysia in December 2015. Samantha graduated with the Master of Music Degree, having earlier earned her Bachelor of Music Degree both at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA). She received generous support from the FAMA Scholarship, John Hosier Trust Scholarship 2012, and Aedas Scholarship during her studies at the HKAPA. Samantha is a voice tutor at the HKAPA Junior Program, Hong Kong Music Office and Discovery College.
Samantha is a highly versatile singer who embraces a wide range of repertoire. Her operatic roles include: Fox Goldenmane in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Drusilla in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, and the title role of Rossini’s La Cenerentola. On the concert platform, she has sung the mezzo-soprano solo parts in Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Max Reger’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat in D and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.
In 2014 Samantha has made her débuts with Opera Hong Kong (as Marthe Schwerlein in Gounod’s Faust) as well as the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Later that year, she sang the role of the Page in Richard Strauss’s Salome, again with Opera Hong Kong. In December 2014, Samantha has sung the alto soloist in Beethoven’s Ode to Joy at the Hong Kong Coliseum, establishing a Guinness World Record of “Most people singing together for a live radio broadcast”. In 2015, she sang the role of Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte with Opera Hong Kong, alto soloist of Max Reger Requiem with Hong Kong Bach Choir, premier mezzo-soprano of “Legend of Pheonix” with Global Symphony Orchestra, as well as RTHK’s Christmas Concert in the Park (as mezzo-soprano soloist). Performances in 2016 includes, “Legend of Pheonix”in Wenzhou Grand Theater, as a soloist in Drama Rashomon at the Sunbeam Theater, Stephano in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette, Suzuki in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, alto soloist in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, and alto soloist in Mahler Symphony no. 8.
Vincent Schirrmacher was educated in England and taught to play the piano at an early age.
In 1996 he studied Music Pedagogue at the Royal Academy of Music London (UK) and Juilliard School in New York (USA) passing his examination with Distinction.
From 2001 he received vocal tuition from Prof. Raimund Gilvan in Saarbruecken, Germany. From 2003 he studied with Prof. Josef Protschka at the Cologne Academy of Music, Germany until his graduation.
The “Gottlob Frick” Medal was given to him in 2006 for his contribution to stage success. In the same year he won the “Johan Strauss Prize” in Coburg, Germany.
At the International Robert Stolz competition in Hamburg, Germany in 2007 the Jury awarded Vincent Schirrmacher the First Prize. He was also the vote of the audience.
At the International “Belvedere” competition, which was taken place in Vienna, Austria in 2008, He was awarded the 3rd Operetta Prize and Special Opera Prize from the Norske Opera Oslo and the Gran Teatro del Liceu Barcelona. In the same year he was the finalist of the “Placido Domingo – Operalia” competition in Quebec, Canada.
Since 2008, Vincent Schirrmacher was engaged at the states theater Schleswig-Holstein’s ensemble. There he sang roles such as the Octavio in Lehar’s operetta “Giuditta”, Duke in Verdi’s “Rigoletto“, Prince in Dvorak’s “Rusalka“, Julien in Charpentier’s “Louise“ and Busoni’s “Doktor Faust“.
Through the success performing “The land of smiles“ (“Das Land des Laechelns“) as the Prince Sou-Chong in the Leharfestival Bad Ischl, Austria in 2009, Vincent Schirrmacher became a member of the Volksoper Vienna‘s Ensemble. He sang roles such as the Prince in “Rusalka“, Mario Cavaradossi in “Tosca“, Prince Calaf in Puccini’s “Tudandot“, Manrico in Verdi’s “Il Trovatore“, Alfredo in Verdi’s “La Traviata“ , Narraboth in Strauss’s “Salome“, and parts in operettas such as Camille de Rosillion in “Die lustige Witwe“ (“The Merry Widow”) and Alfred in “Die Fledermaus“ (“The Bat“) etc.
A former member of St. Florian Boy’s Choir, Klemens Sander completed his studies in Vienna with Helena Lazarska and Robert Holl. He made his operatic début at the Volksoper Wien in 2002, a house to which he still maintains a strong connection. Further opera engagements have led him to the Salzburg Festival, Theater an der Wien, National Opera Vilnius, Grand Theatre Luxembourg, Leipzig Opera, Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Opera Festival Klosterneuburg, Teatro Carlo Felice Genova, Neue Oper Wien and to the New National Theatre Tokyo.
Klemens has performed roles including Papageno (Die Zauberföte), Conte Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Belcore (L’elisir d’amore), Donner (Rheingold), the title-roles in Eugene Onegin and Don Giovanni, Marcello and Schaunard (La Bohème), Escamillo (Carmen), Falke (Die Fledermaus), Silvio (Pagliacci), Ping (Turandot) and Harlekin (Ariadne auf Naxos). His creation of the title role in the Austrian premiere of Manfred Trojahn ́s Orest received international acclaim.
Klemens Sander made his Wigmore Hall recital début in 2005 after being awarded the “Richard Tauber Prize” for singers. Since then he has established himself as a leading recitalist and concert singer, performing at the Salzburg Easter Festival, Wiener Festwochen, Berliner Philharmonie, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, BBC Cardif, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Laeisz Halle Hamburg, Suntory Hall Tokyo, Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival, Mozarteum Salzburg, Wiener Konzerthaus and Musikverein, among others. He has worked with conductors including Bertrand de Billy, Kirill Petrenko, Kent Nagano, H.K. Gruber, Jeremie Rhorer, René Jacobs, Helmuth Rilling, Andres Orozco-Estrada, Stefan Vladar, Thomas Dausgaard and Georges Pretre.
Klemens has recorded numerous CDs (Schubert: Schwanengesang, Mahler: Songs of a Wayfarer, Beethoven: IX. Symphony, Fauré: Requiem, Handel: Judas Maccabaeus, Verdi: Requiem, Bach: Cantata Ich habe genug). In 2016, he released a highly acclaimed new recording of Schubert ́s Die schöne Müllerin.
Upcoming engagements include Sokrates in Ernst Krenek ́s Pallas Athene weint at Neue Oper Wien, a tour of France with Mozart ́s Zauberföte (Papageno) under the baton of Christophe Rousset, and Falke in Die Fledermaus at the New National Theatre Tokyo.
Bass-baritone and conductor Apollo Wong received his education in vocal studies at the University of California, Los Angeles under the supervision of Vladimir Chernov and Juliana Gondek. He has also studied with Sami Kustaloglu in Berlin.
Wong has sung operatic and musical roles including Albert Herring (Superintendent Budd) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bottom), Serse (Ariodate), Roméo et Juliette (Frère Laurent and Le Duc), Carmen (Zuniga), Il Viaggio a Reims (Barone Trombonok), La Bohème (Colline and Benoit), Cosí fan tutte (Don Alfonso) and Javert in Les Miserables, among others. He also sang in Hong Kong Arts Festival’s world premiere productions of Heart of Coral (Lu Xun), Datong (Kang You Wei) and Before Brabant (King Oryant/Markes). His concert and oratorio repertoire include Bach’s St. John Passion, St. Matthew Passion, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem, Faurè’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Stabat Mater, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Requiem, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, among others. He has sung under conductors such as Paolo Olmi, Renato Palumbo, Joseph Rescigno, Helmuth Rilling and Francois-Xavier Roth.
Wong has won first places in Palm Springs Opera Guild Vocal competition and the Pasadena Opera Guild Vocal Scholarship. His European debut was at La Fenice Sale Apollinee, Venice, Italy.
Being an active conductor, Wong has conducted the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and also worked as Music Director of the Hong Kong Youth Choir and the Opera Hong Kong Children’s Chorus. He is currently Music Director of The Learners Chorus and The Learners Orchestra. He has been chorus masters for conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Helmuth Rilling and Edo de Waart; assistant conductor of maestro Bruno Aprea in Opera Hong Kong production of Puccini’s La Bohème, conductor of Opera Hong Kong Summer Opera Camp productions of The Magic Flute and The Pirates of Penzance and principal musical advisor of Hong Kong Children’s Choir musical Magical Beanland.
„Versatility comes through Hard Work, Discipline and Respect”, a title which described Jimmy Chiang in a front-page article written by the international opera magazine “Orpheus” in 2009. The Hong Kong born conductor and pianist has started his musical career already at the age of 13 with his first public appearance as concert pianist. His major breakthrough as a conductor came with the winning of the renowned “Lovro von Matacic” international competition for Young Conductors in Zagreb in 2007. Chiang was also recipient of awards and honours of numerous international competitions such as the International Competition for Young Choir Directors in Vienna (2004) and the Golden Key International Society Performing Arts Showcase in USA (2000). His versatility as a well-rounded musician has been proven by his convincing interpretation of a wide-ranging operatic, symphonic, choral, solo piano, chamber music and song recital repertoires, whether in opera pits or on concert stages.
While serving as principal conductor of the Hong Kong Pan Asia Symphony since 2008, he has worked as assistant music director of the Wagner’s “Ring” cycle at Theater Lübeck from 2007 to 2009, as well as Kapellmeister at Theater Freiburg, where he led from 2009 to 2011 numerous premiere productions, including a howling success of Ligeti’s opera Le Grand Macabre with celebrated stage director Calixto Bieito. Starting autumn of 2013, Chiang is appointed as Kapellmeister of the world famous Vienna Boy’s Choir, with whom he leads in concerts in Vienna as well as concert tours worldwide.
In addition, he has appeared as guest conductor with the Komischen Oper Berlin, Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon, Zagreb Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, etc., likewise at festivals such as Eutin Opera Festival (Germany), FACYL (Spain), Macau International Music Festival, and the Rohm Music Festival in Kyoto, Japan, where he was chosen by invitation to study and work side by side with Maestro Seiji Ozawa in summer 2004.
Besides his active engaging performing schedule, Jimmy Chiang devotes himself also to music education. Not only does he serve as artistic adviser of the Hong Kong Children’s Symphony, with whom he directs annual orchestra academy as well as master classes for young conductors, he also serves as tour leader and performer since 2011 in children’s opera productions of the Viennese touring company “Kinderoper Papageno”, whereby over 15000 children in German speaking world have seen his performances.
Born to a musical family, Chiang began piano lessons when he was four. He also studied violoncello and composition. He received the Fellows Diploma from the Trinity College of Music in London at the age of 16. He then graduated with the Bachelor of Music Degree at Baylor University (USA), where he became student of the renowned pianist Krassimira Jordan of the Russian piano school and the legendary polish born jewish conductor Daniel Sternberg. He finished his education with “Magister Artium” at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, where he was the last student of the Austrian conductor Leopold Hager. Other influential mentors included also Erwin Ortner and Wolfgang Watzinger.