Random thoughts about Arts and Culture

31.8.2015 | art. , music.
Stephanie Kung

Stephanie Kung

Human Resources - Summer Intern

This year, I have got the chances to travel around the world and experience different lives and cultures. I have been to the North American Continent – the United States and Canada. I have been to Europe, Germany and the United Kingdom. Of course, I have been staying in Hong Kong for most of the time in the year. Watching musical performances are one of the most enjoyable moments in my travel journey. In London, I have watched The Phantom of the Opera. The songs are nice and the singers sing it well.

Likewise in New York, the performance of Les Miserable brings me to tears. Never have I watched a musical that could bring me to tears.

The most memorable of all is the performance of Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at the Berliner Philharmonie. It is a dream come true. To be honest, I am not a person with very good ears, nor a good player. I just simply enjoy playing music and listening to it. The feeling of listening to Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is just beyond words. The hall is perfect, the Orchestra is perfect and the piece is perfect. I could hear every note so clearly, even the slightest sound of a snare drum. When I am listening to the piece, I am just “Wow, wow, wow” in my heart. Not only do I hear a nice piece, but also the fact that the players are enjoying the music themselves by looking at their faces. What I hear do not merely notes from Orchestra, but I hear the emotion of the song, and the passion they have in music.

When I step out from the concert hall, I realise I will never be able to hear something like that again in Hong Kong. Among the concerts that I have been to in Hong Kong, I have never listened to a concert that could make me feel the same as to Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. After listening to that, I feel like I don’t need to attend any Orchestra Concert anymore in Hong Kong. Then I start to ask myself why, why is that? Why I have never heard such kind of things in Hong Kong? Why music is so different abroad and in Hong Kong? I don’t think it is because we always look up to whatever the west do, there is really a difference from what I head from the concerts in Hong Kong and abroad.

I have attended concerts of several well-acclaimed Orchestras in Hong Kong. They are high-standard players, but they are still lacking something that I hear from Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra – the passion in the music. I am sure some of the players have great passion in music, if not, they would not be able to have high achievements in music. But…thinking back… How many children have been forced to learn music? Do they really love music? As far as I know, finding a child who has attained Diploma in piano, is not as hard as before. Some children have been forced to learn music, I sometimes doubt their passion. We really don’t lack talents in Hong Kong. There are a number of good players and singers. The issue is the true passion in Arts. Children will be forced to learn music to enter good primary schools, but at the same time, parents will tell their children not become a musician. I have just heard too many people commented, “Oh, working in the music industry? You must earn little! Go study some finance courses, you will earn more!” The society in Hong Kong just does not view Music as a respectable career path. I guess this is one of the big differences with countries overseas. In elsewhere, working in the music industry might not be as respectable as other career but at least people would be appreciated if they work in the music industry.

Anyway, these are just my personal thoughts. I just wonder…
When would music start to be appreciated in Hong Kong?
When could we become a cultural hub of our own?
I am really looking forward to the answers to these questions.