Friday, Nov. 5th, 2021
World of Chromonica
Time: 1:00 - ~7:30 pm (CET)
Hong Kong Harmonica Association
Harmonica Orchester / Ensemble
(Hong Kong SAR, China)
Live-Interview & Concert:
4:15 - 4:55 pm
5:00 - 5:30 pm
The Hong Kong Harmonica Association was established in 2002. Its Harmonica Orchestra had its overseas debut in the 4th Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival of Atsugi, Japan in 2002 performing the premiere of HUI Cheung-wai’s “Elites Gathering”. During the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Harmonica Festival 2003, the Orchestra had a world premiere of MUI Kwong-chiu’s “Prelude for Harmonica Orchestra”. In the subsequent Asia Pacific Harmonica Festivals of 2004 (Hong Kong), 2006 (Taipei), 2008 (Hangzhou), 2010 (Singapore) and 2012 (Kuala Lumpur) and the World Harmonica Festivals (Trossingen, Germany) of 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2017 the Orchestra performed in the Opening Ceremony, Gala Concert or Special Concert with a scale of 50 to more than 100 players. The repertoire always includes original works from Hong Kong composers, classical pieces from all walks along the line of history as well as tunes of different styles. All of these were well recognized and become a standard for show-casing scale and top tier musicality in every of the harmonica festivals. Along the years, world premiere of original works of Hong Kong composers had gone beyond 10 with the full support from The Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong. The Orchestra will continues our mission to bring elite local original compositions to showcase to the world.
Beyond harmonica festivals, the Orchestra was invited to perform in “Anti-SARS Campaign” finale charity concert in 2003 at the Hong Kong International Airport of which views had reached 100 million. In 2005 and 2006, it organized pre-tour full concert in preparation for the relevant overseas trip to international harmonica festivals. In 2006, the Orchestra was invited by the Hong Kong Composers’ Guild to perform in “Musicarama” for original harmonica compositions. In 2007 and 2009, the Orchestra was invited to perform in the Yuen Long Arts Festivals. In 2010, the 90-player Orchestra was invited to perform in the Hong Kong Week of the EXPO Shanghai, China as “Harmonica Extravaganza for the EXPO” and “Style Hong Kong” for 5 shows as well as the official red-carpet welcoming performance before the Opening Ceremony. In 2011, the 25-player Chamber Orchestra was invited to perform in the Hong Kong Week of the International Horticultural EXPO Xian, China as “Hong Kong Style … Harmonica” for 9 shows as well as the official playing in the Opening Ceremony. In these overseas performances, the Orchestra used “Beneath the Lion Rock” to express the Hong Kong spirit of “setting aside the conflicts among us in pursuit of our goal together”.
Johnny Kuan (Conductor)
Johnny Kuan is the president of the Hong Kong Harmonica Association and conductor of its Orchestra, and the bass harmonica player of the renowned King’s Harmonica Quintet. His virtuosity has astonished harmonica players and audiences around the world. “The bass playing is outstandingly sensitive…” exclaimed Douglas Tate, the late British harmonica legend. Yasuharu Mano, President of Japan’s Tombo Musical Instrument Co. Ltd., also described him as the “best bass harmonica player”. As an experienced harmonica orchestra conductor, his interpretation of classical to contemporary pieces is always meticulous. Under his baton, he has premiered a numbers of large-scale original harmonica works by local composers such as Joshua Chan, Hui Cheung-wai, Chan Ka-fu and Mui Kwong-chiu..
In the 1995 and 1997 World Harmonica Championships, he won a numbers of awards together with members of the King’s Harmonica Quintet. Since then, Johnny appears often in World Harmonica Festival and Asian Pacific Harmonica Festivals as adjudicator, guest performers and guest speakers. He was also invited by the Ministry of Education in Singapore as the adjudicator for the Central Judging of Singapore Youth Festival since 2008.
Johnny has dedicated much time in educating youngsters. Under his leadership and guidance, his students won numerous prizes in World Harmonica Festival, Asia-Pacific Harmonica Festivals and Hong Kong Schools’ Music Festivals. Johnny is also devoted to sacred music service and church musician training. He is currently conductor of the Tsimtsatsui Swatow Christian Church Choir.