HKAPA Annual Report 2008-2009 - page 13

Tangibility has been year’s theme. The period has never
felt so real, with challenges throughout a tightly-packed
and productive year. Here a just of fewof those challenges,
others can be seen in the Graduation speech at the back
of this Report.
They include the Bolshoi Ballet which came in September
bringing its production of Spartacus, its Hong Kong
première, and announcement of the Bolshoi/Academy
strategic agreement mentoring programme inMoscow(one
local girl, 3 boys - 2 Mainland, one Taiwanese student).
September also saw Institutional Review of the Academy
and Programme Area Accreditation, by far the most far-
reaching and comprehensive academic recognition so
far – giving the Academy a level of devolved autonomy
and university-sector weight in terms of its powers to
award its own undergraduate degrees.
InOctober the
Clore Leadership Symposium
(supported by
the Home Affairs Bureau), raised the level of discourse,
and paved the way for David Tang’s subsequent WKCD:
How can we make a success of it; and November, a
Hungarian Ministerial and Diplomatic mission with HAB
Permanent Secretary, Chairman, Director and Dean of
Music resulting in a Partnership Agreement with Liszt
Ferenc Academy of Music, Budapest. We signed the
agreement overseen by portrait of Liszt and a visitors’
book signed by all the most celebrated composers in
European music history (see photo).
Béthanie, the Academy’s landmark campus, was awarded
Honourable Mention in December by the UNESCO in
its Asia–Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage
Conservation; and supported by Parsons, hosted a
Symposium of Mainland Music Conservatoires, ten of the
most eminent Chinese conservatories, on Exchange and
Graduate Prospects. This is a first for the Academy and
serves as a harbinger for a future goal of a Confederation
of Chinese and Asian Conservatoires.
Launch of the Academy’s 25th Anniversary took place in
March with Chairman and Council, and key events begin
this Autumn and continue throughout the academic year
2009-2010; and the Academy’s first Strategic Partnership
with a Festival,
Le French May
. We have had many
reciprocally rewarding cooperations and ties with
French May
and with the
Consulat général de France
à Hong Kong et Macao
, which we sought to formalise.
Following last year’s Mainland visit to Beijing and Harbin,
the Academy team and Chairman undertook a second
visit to our strategic partners, this time in Shanghai
and Hangzhou; and EXCEL, the Academy’s continuing
education programme, was presented with a Hong Kong
Dance award for community engagement. So all in all,
a challenging and demanding year against a global
background of radically shifting, increasingly uncertain
economic times.
Oedipus Rex, Electra, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, depict
people who have been solely challenged often against
radically shifting political and uncertain conditions. Their
challenges make rich and storied histories, just as World
Banker James Wolfensohn is challenged and makes
compulsive copy, competing in the Olympics, refinancing
Chrysler, and chairing flagship cultural institutions, yet he
too was obliged to reckon his masters’ shifting political
agendas. Going ‘Oncemore unto the breach’ may intensify
life’s meaning but it also intensifies one’s wounds.
As Peter Sellars reminds us, if you look at the titles of
almost every Greek play, they bear the name of a woman,
an outsider, a child, or a slave, people who have struggled
and were wounded. They were those who were not able
to speak in the senate and found their voices through
music, dance, and poetry.
Professor Kevin Thompson, Director
The Academy Director Professor Kevin Thompson (left) signed a
memorandum agreement with the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music
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