Month: October 2014

香港的音樂表演場地

Music Venues in Hong Kong (Part I) 

 

我們這群音樂工作者和音樂老師常常要為自己舉行音樂會和為學生作演奏尋找場地。但是,我發覺要在香港預訂樂廳或只是一個像樣的表演場地尤其困難。

 

首先,這裡顯然沒有足夠的場地讓我們舉行音樂會。我們熟悉的音樂表演場地大部份都是獲香港政府津貼,並由樂及文化事務署(康文署)營運。看看這些大型音樂廳:大會堂有兩個主要場地,分別是劇院和音樂廳。兩處都非常理想,但都太大了(也很昂貴,即使你是以非牟利或慈善團體的身分申請)。大會堂的高座有一個小小的演奏廳,能容納百多名聽眾。私人音樂老師很喜歡在這裡舉行學生音樂會,不同團體也喜歡在這裡舉辦小型講座和音樂比賽的初賽。所以預訂這些場地的競爭會非常激烈,尤其是在旺季(例如假日)。

 

除了大會堂,還有「著名」的文化中心。那裡有專為古典音樂演奏而設的全港最大音樂廳(流行音樂會的話就有香港體育館、亞洲國際博覽館、會議展覽中心等音樂表演場地)。儘管文化中心的音樂廳是全港最大,那裡卻只能容納二千多名聽眾。這些年來,那裡的音響效果在細聽之下是出了名的不堪入耳,原因是受基礎建設的影響。坐在前排兩側某些座位的聽眾會聽到身處音樂廳內可能出現的最糟糕音響效果,這實在讓人驚訝和無奈。

 

地點較方便大家前往的兩個熱門音樂表演場地是西灣河文娛中心和上環文娛中心的音樂廳。兩處雖不及上述其他場地那樣地處中心地帶、設置正規,但有時候這兩個音樂廳也能讓本地藝術團體和社區中的音樂教育中心用作舉行中型音樂演奏會的場地。

 

其他音樂廳大多位於新界和九龍較偏遠的地點,如沙田大會堂、荃灣大會堂和牛頭角文娛中心等的音樂廳。

 

香港科學館和香港太空館的演講廳是我們常用來舉行小型音樂會、比賽和講座的場地。這兩個地方也是由康文署營運,但原本並非為音樂表演而設。意料之內的是,那裡的鋼琴雖然能彈,卻未達用作表演的標準 。

 

除了由康文署管理的場地,還有些不是由政府資助的音樂表演場地,例如香港藝術中心。那裡的agnès b.電影院雖是個不錯的場地,但其設計目的並非為向聽眾提供最滿意的現場演奏音樂體驗,鋼琴的標準等也未能配合 ─ 但這是我想另外詳談的事情(關於音樂表演場地的鋼琴品質 : 其實,我想說的是,上面提述的大部份場地的質素也真是不堪入耳和「不堪下手」的)。另一由藝術中心管理的場地是壽臣劇院,但同樣地,那裡有點遠,也並不適合作單人鋼琴或小型樂團演奏。

 

除了直接由政府部門康樂及文化事務署(康文署)營運的場地,還有各個音樂學院和大學的音樂表演場地,例如香港演藝學院的演奏廳、音樂廳和戲劇院、香港浸會大學的大學會堂、香港中文大學的利希慎音樂廳、香港大學李兆基會議中心的大會堂和香港理工大學賽馬會綜藝館等。由於這些場地是由高等院校的音樂系管理,那裡的鋼琴品質高得多,保養得也較理想。但當然,這些地方大多是院校用於培育自己的音樂和文化人才,所以如果不是和院校合辦音樂會的話,實際上很難預訂到這些場地。

 

要在香港預訂由康文署營運的音樂廳來舉行演奏會,根據官方規定你必須不遲不早預先六個月遞交申請。走運的話,或者能在比官方規定較短的時間內預訂到場地,那是因為有人改變了主意,把場地讓給了你。然後,你就要準備閱讀大量指引和填寫多頁表格。你將要和負責場地預訂的職員在申請期間來來回回地多次接洽。別誤會,他們通常都樂意幫你申請,你遺漏任何細節時他們也會提醒你。只是在一次申請中就要處理很多東西。幸好是如果你每年都預訂同一個場地,就會習慣這種情況了。要記住,預先六個月申請是必須的(即使你偶爾走運)。如果太遲申請,那成功預訂的機會就要比買六合彩中獎的可能更小。而當他們說有空檔讓你預訂場地,就要立刻付款!不要延遲確認,不然你馬上就要失去場地了(相信我,因為我試過)。 要預訂一個設有兩座大鋼琴的音樂廳幾乎是不可能的。最近我一直在找這樣一個音樂廳,卻無功而還。最後我找到一個音樂廳,那裡有很不錯的鋼琴,卻不能在週末時使用。我不禁問,他們難道不明白音樂會通常都是在週末舉行的嗎?因為聽眾在週末才有空出席。還是他們只是不想把音樂廳開放給公眾使用?我當然希望負責推廣文化、表演藝術和教育的政府部門和機構能做些甚麼來解決這個問題。我認為我們需要一些社區會堂,那裡設有保養得宜的大鋼琴,方便定期舉行小型音樂活動。畢竟本地音樂家需要更多表演機會,音樂老師也要為學生提供累積經驗和建立自信的機會。這是其中一個主要的方式,來宣揚音樂教育的重要性,以及在任何社會中提高大眾對這種重要性的意識。

 

 

黃穎妍

 

 

*此外還有些場地,例如社區會堂和教堂,但我就不在此談論了。而如果我有機會再談西九龍海濱長廊的情況,文章的標題就少不了「商業」和「藝術在哪裡」的關鍵詞了……

 

Y-Square Theatre Technique Video Recording Session 2014

 

我最近租用了一個音樂廳來為接下來的技巧精進課程課本拍攝影片。當我發現那裡有一座漂亮的Steinway鋼琴時,實在驚喜雀躍!

 

 

Teresa Wong School of Music
www.twsom.com

Music Education that Inspires®

 

 

Online and Consultation Lessons



Due to popular demand, I am now officially offering online lessons to anyone anywhere in the world who cannot reach me locally. I already have students around Asia region, regarding topics on ABRSM / Trinity diploma exams. Look forward to connecting to more of you!


I am also re-launching my consultation lessons – they are basically those I have been conducting in “piano clinic“. You can come in for one-off session in which I address any issues you have regarding technical issue, musical expression, structural analysis, historical musical knowledge and understanding, performance practice, or anything concerning your preparation for diploma level exams (viva voce and quick study, program notes) and interview/audition for local and overseas summer schools/music institutes/colleges/universities. It would be useful for teachers who have questions over their teaching and playing technique as well. Interested parties please contact me through twsomusic@gmail.com.


Thank you for your attention.


Teresa Wong


Technique Videos Recording Sessions
Technique Videos Recording Sessions


Workshop on Diploma Exams 2014
Workshop on Diploma Exams 2014

Is the man who is tall happy?


The other night I went to see a movie called “Is the man who is tall happy?” . It is basically an interview between the director Michel Gondry and Noam Chomsky. When I read about this movie, I was very excited. Noam Chomsky has to be one of the very few great minds of the century whom I most admire, among Krishnamurti, Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim (his “Music quickens time” is marvelous, and I shall talk about it in another post).


When I was studying in the States over a decade ago, I incidentally read about the Israeli-Palestinian issue and was somehow deeply engrossed in it. Then I got to read about Said and perhaps Chomsky around the same time (maybe even Barenboim on this issue as well, Krishnamurti is a much recent read and is entirely unrelated to this topic albeit very important in my reading list). I do not want to venture too far into their philosophy and the political issue here, since after all this site is about music and piano. But I found some very inspiring ideas in the movie /documentary (which I watched with utmost attention like I never had with anything I’ve seen in recent years- I have ventured far away from anything “deep” and serious” that requires much brain power after exhausting work) that I would like to share with you here and they are very much related to how we play and practice etc.


One point Chomsky mentioned in the movie is that we have to question about everything and don’t just take it for granted. For example, why does the ball always bounce down the stairs? Can it not bounce up? You might find that absurd, “of course it goes down! It has always been like this like forever!” But his point is that if we take everything as is and do not question the things for ganted, how do all the inventions and discoveries come from, like the light bulb and the gravity ? Certainly Edison and Newton must have questioned themselves and the phenomenon thousands of times before the invention and discovery came through. And for sure they did not know if and when they were going to succeed at all. All they did were keep trying and and failing and changing/modifying the ways they were trying to get better results and achieve their goals.


What I want to point out here is, we don’t know which one method is going to work (best) until we start trying in different ways and modifying them along the way. It is exactly the trial and error procedure that brings us to success. So, try to play and practice in a different way every single day. “Be creative!”, like Chomsky said. If (even) science needs creativity, how can playing the piano not? As a matter of fact, every great thing in life needs creativity. Otherwise it just gets so boring and unimaginative that there will be not creation of anything new and amazing in life, whether it be the next new iPhone or another “Let It Go” song. Don’t you always find the children are best at creating something new and funny, that makes you laugh so hard and feel so touched sometimes? (when they don’t make you cry that is). Let’s not give ourselves a fixed boundary to the way we think about and play the music, be always flowing and be present at the piano. Question a lot about the way you play and practice, I mean, a lot, all the time. Don’t try to play the music the same way over and over again. Try many ways as much as you can. Focus on what you are doing and listen to what and how you are playing, and pay attention to the tone the piano is giving back to you, then adjust accordingly. Adjust in the most minute way in terms of the movement, the dynamics, the timing, the articulation and the phrasing etc. You have to work with her but not fight with her. Honest and open communication is the key – to express yourself freely with and at the piano. Create the sound you want. You are the one who can do everything and nothing. (Of course you also need adequate knowledge and skills to do so, but that is not the point I am trying to make here – you can read elsewhere about that on this site). You are the one to decide what you can achieve at the piano. But do not force it, one thing at a time. Be open-minded and at the same time forget about yourself. You are not important in this equation here. Music is. Focus on how to make the desired sound to present the beautiful music to the fullest.


Music is the last element in this whole universe that is so pure and beautiful (taking away the human factor). Cherish your moment in your playing. Be grateful for the opportunity to have piano in your life. Keep that treasure close to your heart and keep it well and alive. Open your heart mind and body to accept the endless possibilities in playing the piano “right”. If you truly and sincerely love music with all the heart like I do (at least while you are at it), you would know what I mean, even just a small fraction of it.


Now I must go read Barenboim’s book…


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