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HKCO's debut performance in Chengdu enhances cultural exchange  
   

The city's acclaimed Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra (HKCO) visited Chengdu from September 9 to 12.

The visit was co-organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Chengdu (CDETO), and the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, Sichuan Provincial People's Government, and supported by relevant organisations in Chengdu, to promote cultural exchange between Sichuan and Hong Kong.

The four-day programme covered a series of activities, including a goodwill visit to a school rebuilt from the 5.12 Earthquake in 2008, professional exchanges with local musicians and a charity concert, which was the HKCO's maiden performance in Chengdu.

Led by Professor Yan Huichang, the HKCO's Principal Conductor, the orchestra, with its full compliment of 85 members, made its first stop at the Hong Kong YMCA School in Jintang county. The school collapsed during the 5.12 Earthquake in 2008 and has been rebuilt with the help of a $10 million fund from the Hong Kong Government.

In addition to staging a performance, musicians from HKCO gave a demonstration to some 100 students on how to play a range of percussion instruments. Mr Raymond Leung, a Hong Kong businessman, also donated a collection of traditional Chinese musical instruments to the school.

The HKCO then paid a visit to Sichuan Conservatory of Music (SCCM), the biggest conservatory in western China. Musicians from both sides staged a joint performance and exchanged views on the latest developments in traditional Chinese music. An "Artistic Cooperation Agreement" was signed by the HKCO and SCCM.

Several musical pieces were played at the HKCO's debut concert on September 11, including the world premiere of "Cart-pullers' Work Song and A Mountain Song", "Song of the General", "Tiny Shan Pui River", "Lady Warriors of the Yang Family", "Zhuang Zhou's Dream" and "Yellow River Capriccio".

Mr Eddie Poon, Director of CDETO, said the CDETO has extended its traditional role in trade and commerce promotion into other fields, including culture, health, sports and education.

"This development echoes the idea of promoting cooperation between Hong Kong and Sichuan on all fronts," he said.

Mr Poon said the HKCO's visit demonstrated common ground and a consensus between Hong Kong and Sichuan in enhancing cultural exchanges.

"Serving as Hong Kong's cultural ambassador, the HKCO shared world class traditional Chinese music with music lovers in Chengdu. This is a remarkable beginning, and the CDETO will continue to act as a bridge to promote exchanges between Sichuan and Hong Kong in cultural aspects and on other fronts," Mr Poon added.

Monday, September 12, 2011