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Speech by FS at Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra's concert in Sydney (English only) (With photos)

    Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, at a concert by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, in the Great Hall, University of Sydney, in Sydney today (May 30, Sydney time):

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

     I am delighted that you can join us for this special performance by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra in this very special venue. The Great Hall truly lives up to its name - it is a great setting for tonight's concert and a great tribute to the vision of the founders of the University of Sydney more than a century and a half ago.

     When people think of Hong Kong, they often conjure up images of soaring skyscrapers, crowded streets, thousands of neon lights against a blue velvet sky, a city that never sleeps. We are undeniably a dynamic hub for trade, finance and tourism in the region, as well as a two-way business platform between the Mainland and the rest of the world. But beneath the hustle and bustle and the frantic pace of life in the city, there is a flourishing cultural scene giving Hong Kong its heart and soul. Indeed, our vibrant arts community gives us the edge as the most cosmopolitan of Asian cities - a city with a unique fusion of the creative talents from the East and West. We are home to some of the best performing groups in Asia, including the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra you are about to hear tonight.

     The gifted men and women who bring our orchestra to life are the embodiment of the value of high quality that forms an essential part of Hong Kong. Their dedication to their craft, their striving for excellence, is something in which we all take pride. Now nearing its 30th anniversary, the orchestra continues its mission with passion to promote and perform Chinese music to audiences in Hong Kong and abroad. And, as a cultural ambassador of Hong Kong, the orchestra has been invited to perform at numerous world-famous venues and international festivals, and has helped to promote a greater appreciation of Chinese music and culture around the world.
     Ladies and gentlemen, tonight, under the leadership of Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Yan Huichang, the orchestra is presenting an "Odyssey to the Orient". I notice that two pieces you are going to hear - "The Grapes are Ripe" and "Thunder in a Drought" - should strike a familiar chord with our Australian friends. Once again, thank you all for joining us tonight. Please enjoy!

Ends/Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Issued at HKT 18:10


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