1996 Honorary Fellow
David Gwilt is Professor of Music at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he has been teaching since 1970 and where for many years he was the Chairman of the Board of Studies in Music. Gwilt studied music at Cambridge University, was the leader of the viola section of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and was a highly active player of chamber music. After leaving the University he was a free-lance musician in Britain in the late fifties and the sixties, accompanying many famous artists, teaching, playing the viola in chamber music and orchestras, writing music and conducting. He also appeared often in concerts broadcast by the BBC.
In Hong Kong Gwilt continued his active music making in addition to his teaching work at the Chinese University, and also has given many programmes over RTHK Radio 4 on musical subjects. For many years he wrote music criticisms for the South China Morning Post and the Hong Kong Standard. He has been a member of many committees to do with music and the arts in Hong Kong, including the Council for the Performing Arts for which he served as Chairman of the Music Committee. During 1986-1988, he was a member of the Council of the Academy for Performing Arts. He has served on many other committees, such as the Jockey Club Trust Fund for Music, of which he was Chairman for many years.
In the 1970s and ‘80s he was an active member of a committee formed to found a conservatory of music. When the Hong Kong Conservatory of Music opened he was its Director, and was heavily involved in planning the curriculum, appointing teachers, examining the students and conducting the orchestra as well as building its library. He remained its Director until it was subsumed into the Academy for Performing Arts when the latter was established in 1984. Thus the work of the Conservatory formed the basis for the development of the School of Music of this Academy.
Professor Gwilt has remained productive as a composer, and receives commissions for new works regularly. He has written music for the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, and has conducted that orchestra as well as the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. In 1992 he was awarded the MBE for services to music and the arts in Hong Kong.
Professor Gwilt has decided to remain in Hong Kong on retirement from the Chinese University later this year and continue to serve the community through music and music education. In recognition of his untiring efforts in raising the standard of music-making and his dedication to music education in Hong Kong, I present Professor David Gwilt for the award of Fellowship of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.