Established and directed by The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) with the support of the Swire Group as Founding Patron, the Greater Bay Area Youth Orchestra (GBAYO) made its debut on 11 August at the Hong Kong Jockey Club Amphitheatre of the HKAPA, kicking off its four-city tour in the GBA. Officiating guests included Mr. Liu Guangyuan, Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong SAR; Prof. Douglas So Cheung-tak, BBS JP, Acting Council Chairman of HKAPA; Ms. Michelle Li, Permanent Secretary for Education of the HKSAR; Prof. Gillian Choa, Director of HKAPA; Mr. Merlin Swire, Chief Executive Officer of John Swire & Sons Limited and Mr. Guy Bradley, Chairman of Swire Pacific Limited. RTHK Radio 4 will arrange a delayed broadcast of the Debut Concert at 8 pm on 14 August 2023 to share the joy of music with the public at large. The young musicians from Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau departed the next day for their second concert at the Macau Tower.
GBAYO is the first dedicated initiative for young musicians in the region by HKAPA. It aims to enhance interaction among young talents in the GBA and encourages cultural exchange. Following the first two concerts in Hong Kong and Macau, the youth orchestra will continue to put together delightful evenings of musical performances for audiences at the Shenzhen Grand Theatre and Guangzhou Xinghai Concert Hall.
An unparalleled cultural and artistic exchange platform in the GBA
GBAYO was established in July 2022 by HKAPA, in partnership with the Xinghai Conservatory of Music and the Macao Youth Symphony Orchestra Association, supported by Swire Group as the Founding Patron. It strives to be one of the top youth orchestras globally with the vision of elevating the musical standard in the region while establishing an internationally recognised platform for classical orchestral performances.
The orchestra began recruitment for its inaugural training camp and concert tour in February, inviting young orchestral musicians aged 16 to 24 who were either born, graduated, currently living, studying, or working in the GBA to enroll. The GBAYO was thrilled to welcome 88 young musicians from the GBA. They participated in a training camp from 31 July to 11 August at HKAPA in Hong Kong and received around 60 hours of training from 13 renowned instructors.
“We are honoured to host the meaningful GBAYO Debut Concert at HKAPA, where the artistic direction and the educational part of the programme are presented by the School of Music. My most sincere gratitude to everyone involved. This unprecedented project aims to provide young GBA music talents with a unique opportunity to perform in a youth symphonic orchestra of the highest level while collaborating and sharing experiences with other young artists. The 12-day summer camp preceding the debut concert tour was hosted at the HKAPA premises featuring a world-class group of coaches, an intense rehearsal programme, and cultural activities,” said Dr. Iñaki Sandoval, Dean of the School of Music, HKAPA.
School-enterprise cooperation empowers art and cultural integration of GBA youth
Conducted by Sharon Choa, Head of Conducting and Cultural Leadership of HKAPA, students from the three regions demonstrated their dedicated effort to the training. They cultivated rapport through performing selected music pieces, including Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, Dvorak’s Symphony No.9 “From the New World”, and Tan Dun’s Internet Symphony “Eroica”.
Through music, the GBAYO connects young people from diverse backgrounds who have similar aspirations to pursue their dreams together. The cooperation and support of all sectors of society is crucial to encouraging young people to participate in cultural exchange and maintain the sustainable development of the GBA.
“The development of the GBA has brought unparalleled opportunities on social, economic, and cultural fronts. As a company deeply rooted in Hong Kong with an expanding presence in the GBA, Swire is honoured to be Founding Patron of the GBAYO. Underlining our support is the belief that, through music, we can promote cultural exchange and youth development in the GBA, in line with our commitment to supporting the youth, arts, and the cultural enrichment of the communities in which we operate,” said Mr. Arnold Cheng, Director, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, John Swire & Sons (China) Limited.