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Speech by CS at Asian Youth Orchestra Rehearsal Camp opening ceremony (English only) (with photo/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at the Asian Youth Orchestra Rehearsal Camp opening ceremony at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts this evening (July 21):

Jim (Thompson), David (Li), Jiang Yu, Consul General (Hitoshi) Noda, distinguished guests, young musicians from across Asia,

     Good evening. It is my honour to attend the opening ceremony of the Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO) Rehearsal Camp, which is the 24th edition of the camp, for a second successive year.

     I come not only to congratulate the Hong Kong musicians and not only to welcome musicians from other parts of Asia, I come out of respect for Richard, for all the things you have done for the AYO over more than two decades.

     I would like to welcome and congratulate the 110 gifted young musicians who come from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It is the largest number recorded in the history of the AYO. Each orchestra member was selected through a very competitive audition process that drew from more than 800 candidates. I am delighted to learn that 15 of them are from Hong Kong, which is a notable number given the population of our city. Members of the AYO, whatever their nationality, are great ambassadors of Hong Kong, celebrating in their performances the cultural life of the city.

     Over the last 24 years, the AYO has been devoted to nurturing young musicians across Asia. This summer rehearsal camp serves as a great platform for another remarkable cultural and social exchange. It is our pleasure that the AYO regards Hong Kong as the home of an arts project that unites Asia in celebration of musical talent and friendship.

     With the vision of developing Hong Kong as an international arts and cultural metropolis, the Hong Kong SAR Government is committed to fostering a robust arts sector, providing strong support to arts organisations through various funding schemes. This year, the AYO has established an educational partnership with the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA). Under the partnership, the AYO becomes the "Orchestra-in-Residence" at the HKAPA, offering high level orchestral training to HKAPA students. Thanks to the Project Grant of the Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme, this "Orchestra-in-Residence" project has been rolled out successfully. I trust that the AYO will continue to play a leading and vital role in promoting arts and culture in Hong Kong the same way it has done for the past 24 years.

     I would like to take this opportunity to express again my sincere thanks to the organisers of the AYO, in particular to Richard. I truly appreciate your dedication, Richard, in running this exceptional project. Also, this project could not have been made possible without the reliable support of its sponsors and patrons.

     Finally, I wish the AYO 2014 Rehearsal Camp and Tour a great success and all of you a very pleasant stay in Hong Kong. Thank you very much.

Ends/Monday, July 21, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:59


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