The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) have jointly announced the creation of The Orchestra Academy with support from the Swire Group Charitable Trust.
Two scholarship programmes, the Fellowship Programme and Young Pro Platform, offer enhanced professional training for the most distinguished graduates of HKAPA’s School of Music. The programme will offer help in developing their professional career path in orchestral music and, in return, the students will contribute their talents in community volunteer projects.
Up to six HKAPA graduates under the age of 30 will undergo intense orchestral training with the HK Phil each season as part of the Fellowship Programme. Running from September to July, they will be exposed to the highest level of professional orchestral environment, working with world-class conductors and soloists in rehearsal and performance and showcasing their talents.
The Young Pro Platform offers graduates the opportunity to audition to join the Philharmonia APA (PAPA) for a long-season programme of full ensemble concerts and chamber recitals. The small orchestra comprises up to 25 HKAPA alumni and its intimate nature allows members greater involvement in curating concert programmes. Selected members of the Young Pro Platform will also have the opportunity to join the HK Phil for educational and community projects.
Beyond these two schemes, The Orchestra Academy will offer orchestral workshops to HKAPA members of its in-house symphony orchestra, led by the former Concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Jaap van Zweden. ‘Being part of a professional orchestra helped establish my musicianship and artistry, and it led to my subsequent conducting career,’ he said. ‘The HK Phil and HKAPA, with support from Swire, are committed to making The Orchestra Academy a successful training ground for our own musicians in Hong Kong, enabling them to shire and flourish, no matter where their career takes them in the future.’
John Swire and Sons (HK) Ltd, established itself in Hong Kong 150 years ago and has been the principal patron of the HK Phil since 2006. Its Group Head of Philanthropy, Tina Chan helped facilitate the HK$ 9 million sponsorship for The Orchestra Academy. ‘By supporting this joint programme, we hope that The Orchestra Academy could equip our home-grown musicians to take up leading roles in professional orchestras, enabling them to play a part in showcasing their music talents to the world.’