Homepage List An Orchestra Still Striving for Professionalism

10. An Orchestra Still Striving for Professionalism

Last Saturday, January 10, 2009, I attended the concert of Hong Kong China Philharmonic Orchestra at the auditorium of Tsuen Wan Town Hall. The programme included Schubert's Overture: Rosamunde, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op.64 with Wong Kwan-hung as the violin soloist, Two Indonesian Folk Songs, Solo River and My Flower with Evelyn Chiu as the soprano, Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme in A, Op.33 with Nie Jiapeng as the cello soloist and Beethoven's Symphony No.5 in C Minor, Op.67, the conductor being the music director of Hong Kong China Philharmonic Orchestra, Lim Kek-han.

The performance of the orchestra as a whole was rather unsatisfactory and far from professional. Among the three soloists only the cello soloist Nie Jiapeng's performance could be said satisfactory. Wong Kwan-hung, also a member of the first violins of the orchestra, the violin soloist in Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op.64, only played the violin emotionlessly and could hardly reproduce the beauty and charm of the music. The Chinese from Indonesia Evelyn Chiu, the soprano of the two songs, gave no special surprise of her interpretation of the songs to the audience and her singing could only be said ordinary. The twenty-year-old Nie Jiapeng from Shenzhen, China, the cello soloist in Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme in A, Op.33, played the cello fluently and artistically, obviously more competent and mature than the previous two in performance.

The Hong Kong China Philharmonic Orchestra, though founded more than thirty years by Lim Kek-han with himself as Music Director and Principal Conductor, could hardly perform satisfactorily in this concert and many of the members were just like amateur rather than professional players. The performance of the orchestra as well as the conducting of the conductor was unsuccessful indeed and no enthusiastic applause was given by the audience each time at the end of the music. It is obvious that the orchestra is still in an amateur level and should be striving harder for professionalism.

(Written on January 15, 2009)