Department of Music

the university of hong kong

CHAN Hing-yan

CHAN Hing-yan

Professor 

Office: Room 11.15, 11/F Run Run Shaw Tower

CHAN Hing-yan received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His compositions, lauded for their subtle mediation between Chinese elements and Western idioms, have been heard around the world at festivals such as Canberra International Music Festival (2017), Hong Kong Music Series, London (2017), Hong Kong Week, Taipei (2016, 2014), the Second Spring of the Chinese Symphony, Beijing (2010), Edinburgh Festival (2009), Chinese Musicians Residency, Cornell (2009), Hommage a Bartók, Budapest (2006), International Gaudeamus Music Week, Amsterdam (2003), Melbourne Festival (2002), and Singapore Arts Festival (2002 & 2006).

Chan’s recent works include three chamber operas, namely, Ghost Love – a chamber opera after Xu Xu’s novella (2018), Datong – the Chinese Utopia (2015), and Heart of Coral – after the life of Xiao Hong (2013). The 2013 and 2015 operas were commissioned by the Hong Kong Arts Festival. Their success galvanized the Festival to engage Chan for the extravaganza staged cantata Hong Kong Odyssey, for which he composed half of the music, and was the Music Director to mentor three young composers and over 100 musicians. The 110-minute work recounts through music the vicissitudes of Hong Kong over a century from the city’s early colonial era to the post-handover years. It was one of the spotlighted programmes at the 2017 Festival to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover.

Chan has been a close collaborator with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta over the past 20 years. The orchestra has commissioned and performed his works at home and abroad in Europe (2005), South America (2010), Canada and New York (2012), Taiwan (2016), Beijing (2010), and Shanghai (2007). While serving as its Artist Associate in 2016-2018, Chan contributed two works: November Leonids – for orchestra (2017), for the 1st Hong Kong International Conducing Competition held in January 2018, and Ethereal Is the Moon – for huqin & orchestra (2016), for the orchestra’s Taiwan tour.

Chan was conferred the Best Artist Award (Music) at the Hong Kong Arts Development Award 2013 by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. His three collaborations with the City Contemporary Dance Company (Dao Extraordinaire 2009; Warrior Lanling 2007; The Conqueror 2005) have won him much acclaim as well as a Hong Kong Dance Award in 2008, when he also received commendation for "Persons with Outstanding Contributions to the Development of Arts and Culture" in the Secretary for Home Affairs' Commendation Scheme of that year.

Professor

Email: tlychan@hku.hk

Office: Room 11.15, 11/F Run Run Shaw Tower

CHAN Hing-yan received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His compositions, lauded for their subtle mediation between Chinese elements and Western idioms, have been heard around the world at festivals such as Canberra International Music Festival (2017), Hong Kong Music Series, London (2017), Hong Kong Week, Taipei (2016, 2014), the Second Spring of the Chinese Symphony, Beijing (2010), Edinburgh Festival (2009), Chinese Musicians Residency, Cornell (2009), Hommage a Bartók, Budapest (2006), International Gaudeamus Music Week, Amsterdam (2003), Melbourne Festival (2002), and Singapore Arts Festival (2002 & 2006).

Chan’s recent works include three chamber operas, namely, Ghost Love – a chamber opera after Xu Xu’s novella (2018), Datong – the Chinese Utopia (2015), and Heart of Coral – after the life of Xiao Hong (2013). The 2013 and 2015 operas were commissioned by the Hong Kong Arts Festival. Their success galvanized the Festival to engage Chan for the extravaganza staged cantata Hong Kong Odyssey, for which he composed half of the music, and was the Music Director to mentor three young composers and over 100 musicians. The 110-minute work recounts through music the vicissitudes of Hong Kong over a century from the city’s early colonial era to the post-handover years. It was one of the spotlighted programmes at the 2017 Festival to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover.

Chan has been a close collaborator with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta over the past 20 years. The orchestra has commissioned and performed his works at home and abroad in Europe (2005), South America (2010), Canada and New York (2012), Taiwan (2016), Beijing (2010), and Shanghai (2007). While serving as its Artist Associate in 2016-2018, Chan contributed two works: November Leonids – for orchestra (2017), for the 1st Hong Kong International Conducing Competition held in January 2018, and Ethereal Is the Moon – for huqin & orchestra (2016), for the orchestra’s Taiwan tour.

Chan was conferred the Best Artist Award (Music) at the Hong Kong Arts Development Award 2013 by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. His three collaborations with the City Contemporary Dance Company (Dao Extraordinaire 2009; Warrior Lanling 2007; The Conqueror 2005) have won him much acclaim as well as a Hong Kong Dance Award in 2008, when he also received commendation for "Persons with Outstanding Contributions to the Development of Arts and Culture" in the Secretary for Home Affairs' Commendation Scheme of that year.

Selected Compositions

2018
Ghost Love 鬼戀 – a chamber opera in two acts after Xu Xu's novelette of the same title (100'). Commissioned by RhapsoArts Management Limited, presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, premiered on 12 Jan 2018, City Hall Theatre, HK.
2017
Double Happiness (30’). Commissioned by the Canberra International Music Festival, premiered on 7 May 2017, Fitters’ Workshop, Canberra, Australia.
2017
Hong Kong Odyssey 世紀・香港 (110’; composer of half of the music and Music Director of the whole project). Commissioned by the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society for the 45th Hong Kong Arts Festival, premiered on 25 February 2017, City Hall Concert Hall, HK.
2015
Datong 大同 – the Chinese Utopia (100’). Commissioned by the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society for the 43rd Hong Kong Arts Festival, premiered on 20 March 2015, City Hall Theatre, HK.
2013
Heart of Coral 蕭紅 – a chamber opera after the life of Xiao Hong (75’). Commissioned by the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society for the 41st Hong Kong Arts Festival, premiered on 1 March 2013, City Hall Theatre, HK.
2009
2007
Warrior Lanling 蘭陵王 – for amplified toy piano, percussion (5 players) & three Chinese-wind players (75’). Commissioned by the City Contemporary Dance Company for a dance project of the same title, premiered on 5 Oct 2007, Kwai Tsing Theatre Auditorium, HK.
2005
The Conqueror 霸王 – a dance project using a 75’ compilation of my music composed within the period 1996-2004, together with two new compositions (13’) commissioned by the City Contemporary Dance Company for the project, premiered on 9 Dec 2005, Kwai Tsing Theatre Auditorium, HK.
2017
November Leonids 十一月的流星 – for orchestra (11’). Commissioned by the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, premiered on 18 Nov 2017, City Hall Concert Hall, HK.
2017
Hark the Phoenix Solitaire Cry – for sheng & orchestra (version 2017, 20’). Commissioned by the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, premiered 20 May 2017, City Hall Concert Hall, HK.
2016
Ethereal Is the Moon 月魄 – for huqin & orchestra (26’). Commissioned by the Hong Kong Sinfonietta for the orchestra’s 2016 Taiwan tour, premiered on 19 Nov 2016, Zhongzheng Auditorium, Zhongshan Hall, Taipei, Taiwan.
2016
For Lo, a Phoenix Lone Cleaves the Air – for sheng & orchestra (18’). Commissioned by the Chinese Music Virtuosi for Mr. Loo Sze-wang’s debut in Milan in 2016; score completed in Feb 2016, premiered on 8 March 2016, Aula Magna Università Statale, Milan, Italy.
2012
‘Twas the Thawing Wind  一霎好風 – for sheng & orchestra (18’). Commissioned by the Hong Kong Sinfonietta for the orchestra’s 2012 North American tour, premiered on 22 Sept 2012, City Hall Concert Hall, HK.
2010
Hark the Phoenix Soaring High  鳳舞九天 – for sheng & orchestra (17'). Commissioned by the Hong Kong Sinfonietta for the orchestra’s 2010 South American tour, premiered on 16 April 2010, City Hall Concert Hall, HK.
2008
And the Moon Winks… 月靈 – for orchestra & two huqin soloists (25’). Commissioned by Mr. Wong On-yuen, premiered on 11 April 2008, City Hall Concert Hall, HK.
2005
There’s Something in the Wind… 風留韻事 – for orchestra & two Chinese-wind soloists (17’). Commissioned by the Hong Kong Sinfonietta for the orchestra’s 2005 European tour, premiered on 4 Aug 2005, City Hall Concert Hall, HK.
2004
On a Sudden Inspiration 驀然回首 – for erhu & an ensemble of Chinese instruments (18’). Commissioned by Singapore Chinese Orchestra, premiered on 3 April 2004, Singapore Chinese Orchestra Concert Hall, Singapore.
2003
A Leo's Discourse 楚狂絮語 – concerto for an ensemble of Chinese instruments (24’). Commissioned by Singapore Chinese Orchestra, premiered on 26 Sept 2003, Singapore Chinese Orchestra Concert Hall, Singapore.
2001
Illusions 鏡花水月 – for amplified piano & an ensemble of Chinese instruments (24’). Commissioned by Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, premiered on 14 Dec 2001, Cultural Centre Concert Hall, HK.
2001
Madame Cadavre 尸媚三變 – for violin & orchestra (15’). Commissioned by the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, premiered on 24 Feb 2001, Kwai Ching Theatre Auditorium, HK.
1998
Enigmas of the Moon 月謎 – for huqins, cello & orchestra (19’). Commissioned by the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, premiered on 24 July 1998, Shatin Town Hall Auditorium, HK.
2017
Trauermusik: the year 1911 弔文 – for choir, piano & erhu (5’). Commissioned by Hong Kong Voices for the concert Roots, premiered on 3 June 2017, St. Andrew’s Church Kowloon, Tsim Sha Tsui, HK.
2010
Schmetterlingsträumen Lieder 夢蝶歌箋 – for soprano, sheng, pipa & percussion (17’). Commissioned by the Hong Kong Composers Guild for 2010 Musicarama, premiered on 23 Oct 2010, Sai Wan Ho Civic Centre Theatre, HK.
2009
Thus Flows the Watery Muse 水詩絮思 – for sheng, violin, amplified qin & piano (20’). Commissioned by Joseph Lin (Cornell) for the project “Chinese Musicians in Residence”, premiered on 20 April 2009, Barnes Hall, Cornell University, USA.
2005
Whence the Wind Returns…  風乍起 – for alto saxophone, accordion, double bass, dizi, sheng & zheng (18’). Commissioned by POING (Norway) and Chinese Music Virtuosi (HK), premiered on 28 Apr 2005, Loke Yew Hall, HKU.
2004
Where the Blossoms are in Myriads… 參差筠管逐芳菲 – for flute (doubling alto flute), clarinet, dizi & sheng (15'). Commissioned by Chinese Music Virtuosi, premiered on 24 Aug 2004, Cultural Center Borges, the 36th Festival Internacional Encuentros, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2002
Wander, My Soul, in Quietude 游心於玄默 – for six voices, dizi, sheng & zheng (5’). Commissioned by The Song Company (Australia) for the project “Six Hermits,” premiered on 26 Oct 2002, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sydney.
2002
Liqourmania 酒狂 – for six voices with pipa ad libitum (4’). Commissioned by The Song Company (Australia) for the project “Six Hermits,” premiered on 26 Oct 2002, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sydney.
2002
The Melody is No More 廣陵絕矣 – for sheng & three male voices (10’). Commissioned by The Song Company (Australia) for the project “Six Hermits,” premiered on 26 Oct 2002, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sydney.
2001
Lachrimae Florarum 似花還似非花 – for six voices & harp (10’). Commissioned by The Song Company (Australia), premiered on 16 June 2001, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney.
2000
Autumnal Apparition 秋靈弔月 – for amplified piano, dizi, sheng & percussion (13’). Commissioned by the Melody Conference 2000, premiered on 12 June 2000, Loke Yew Hall, HKU.
2000
Quotation of Queries 蘇問 – for six amplified voices & amplified piano  (13’). An adaptation of my 1999 work of the same title, specially arranged for The Song Company (Australia), premiered on 29 March 2000, City Hall Theatre, HK.
1999
Derelict Landscape 古道西風 – for amplified erhu, yangqin & zheng (12’). Commissioned by Chinese Music Virtuosi (Hong Kong) for the group’s inauguration concert, premiered on 16 July 1999, City Hall Theatre, HK.
1998
Impressions of Bamboo 竹之斷想 – for dizi & violin (9’). Commissioned by the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society for “Sonic Confluence,” the 27th Hong Kong Arts Festival, premiered on 18 Feb 1998, City Hall Theatre, HK.
1996
Seven Images of the Moon 蟾影七疊 – for huqin, pipa, zheng & percussion (12’). Commissioned by the Hong Kong Composers’ Guild for 1996 Musicarama, premiered on 6 Sept 1996, City Hall Theatre, HK.

Courses Offered 2018/19

MUSI2010  Music of China

MUSI1025  The art of listening

MUSI3023  Composing for concert world

Achievement Highlights

2016-2018
Named Artist Associate, Hong Kong Sinfonietta

2015
Awarded Outstanding Research Student Supervisor Award, HKU

2014
Awarded Best Artist Award (music), Hong Kong Arts Development Awards 2013, Hong Kong Arts Development Council​