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Chow Fan-fu to explore world of music performed 50 years ago

     Chow Fan-fu has hosted numerous well-received music lectures in recent years. In his coming lecture series to be held in June, Chow will share his views on musical pieces performed 50 years ago in the opening concerts held at Hong Kong City Hall.

     Fifty years ago, in celebration of the inauguration of Hong Kong City Hall, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, led by maestro extraordinaire Sir Malcolm Sargent, visited Hong Kong and gave five concerts in six days from March 4 to 9, 1962. It was a gala event for the Hong Kong music scene. Each and every concert was sold out, with more than 8,000 tickets sold in total - an unprecedented amount at the time. Among the audience, a large proportion consisted of Chinese patrons, a level previously unheard of for similar performances and an indication that the opening of the City Hall was a milestone in the development of music in Hong Kong.

     Now, 50 years later, as we look at the works featured in the five Sargent concerts, we can see that while some are rarely played in concerts today, others have actually become increasingly popular. In this series of music lectures, the historic musical event half a century ago and its interesting background will be reviewed in detail. Selected classics which have stood the test of time will "go under the knife" to identify and highlight the attributes and characteristics which have made such works evergreen.

     Chow Fan Fu is an established arts critic in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Since 1982, Chow has been hosting a variety of classical music and cultural programmes on RTHK's Radio 4. He also gives frequent talks on music and culture at tertiary institutions. He has been the host of a highly popular music lecture series under the auspices of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department since 2007.

     Chow's publications include "Where Modern Hong Kong Began - The City Hall and Its 50-Year Story", published to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Hong Kong City Hall; "Building Musical Ties" for the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra; "Years of Beautiful Music - the Story of Barbara Fei Mingyi"; "Music - Life", which was nominated for the Ten Best Books of 2006; "Music with Love: the 30th Anniversary of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra", which was listed as one of the Ten Best Books of 2005; "A Critical Study of Culture and the Arts in Hong Kong"; "A Critical Study of Music in Hong Kong"; "Fu T'song's Suite"; and more.

     Details of the lecture series are as follows:

June 20
Elgar: "Enigma Variations": Theme and Variation I to Variation IX

June 27
Elgar: "Enigma Variations": Variation X to Variation XIV

July 4
Debussy: Prélude "à l'après-midi d'une faune"

July 11
Stravinsky: "The Firebird" (1919), No. 1-3

July 18
Stravinsky: "The Firebird" (1919), No. 4-6

July 25
Berlioz: "Le Carnaval Romain"

August 1
Beethoven: "Symphony No. 6" (Pastoral Symphony), first movement

August 22
Beethoven: "Symphony No. 6" (Pastoral Symphony), second movement

August 29
Mozart: "Piano Concerto No. 12 in A, K414", first movement

September 5
Mozart: "Piano Concerto No. 12 in A, K414", second and third movement

     "Music Appreciation Series: An Exciting Eye-opener on the World of Music Fifty Years Ago" is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. All lectures, conducted in Cantonese, will be held at 7.30pm at the Lecture Hall, Hong Kong Space Museum. Tickets priced at $50 (for each lecture, free seating) are now available at all URBTIX outlets, on the Internet and by credit card telephone booking. Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and their minders, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis). A group booking discount is also available; please refer to programme leaflets for details.

     For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7321 or visit For ticketing enquiries, please call 2734 9009. For credit card telephone bookings, please call 2111 5999. For Internet bookings, please visit

Ends/Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Issued at HKT 12:11


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