1993 Honorary Fellow
To introduce Dr John Hosier in this building and in this theatre would appear a rather unnecessary formality. Everyone here who is in any way associated with the Academy knows Dr Hosier: indeed, much of what we experience here today is his work, and attests to his achievements as Director of the Academy.
To List Dr Hosier’s accomplishments I do with the greatest pleasure, albeit with a sad heart. He is leaving the Academy at the end of this semester on retirement and return to England. He leaves behind him an institution that has now established itself as the central place for the performing arts in Hong Kong, and as an accepted and admired teaching facility. And I can say without exaggeration that much of what has been achieved in the few years since the Academy first opened its doors is due to Dr Hosier – to his professionalism and experience, to his vision and dedication, to his leadership and personality. While many others have had a hand in establishing the Academy – and I am pleased that in that category we have representatives who are also being honoured today – we could not have had a better person to guide the APA and lead it to academic success in such a short time.
Mr President, I still count it as my great good fortune that as Chairman of the Council, together with the then Secretary for Recreation and Culture Mr Augustine Chui, I persisted in courting Dr Hosier for the position of Director. He was well ensconced at the Guildhall School for Music and Drama, where he had been Principal for 11 years and clearly at the top of his profession. He had the confidence and support of the Corporation of the City of London, the respect of his peers, the admiration of his students. He had made many friends in his previous 20 years with BBC Radio and Television as a music producer and pioneer of education programmes and while acting as Senior Inspector of Music for the Inner London Education Authority. In recognition of his contributions to music education, and his assistance with many professional and artistic causes, Dr Hosier has been honoured by every major musical institution in the United Kingdom. He was also appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1984, and was awarded a honorary Doctorate of Music from the City University in 1986.
Since leaving St John’s College, Cambridge University, in 1951 where he read music and English, Dr Hosier has made a name for himself not only as a producer, teacher and administrator, but also as a composer and author with quite a few titles to his credit.
Having been Music Advisor to the Academy in 1982 during the planning stages, Dr Hosier was not unfamiliar with the scene that would await him. There had been some initial criticism of the Academy, a fairly usual reaction in Hong Kong to something that is original and unprecedented. There was a curriculum still to be structured and refined, staff to be built, an ‘esprit de corps’ to be established, a reluctant public to be wooed, longer-term teaching requirements to be assessed. There were a thousand and one things to be dome. And there were of course no assurances of success other than Mr Chui’s and my own modest claims of our willingness to provide as much support as we could muster.
It is a measure of Dr Hosier’s stature that he eventually agreed to accept the challenge. Once committed, he not only addressed the current problems but immediately started to plan for the Academy’s future. He encouraged a stronger belief in the bright prospects of the Technical Arts School. He initiated the Opera Course in the Music School which has brought us so much acclaim. He assisted with the establishment of foundations, prizes, donations and scholarships, and gave moral support to the creation of the Society of Friends of the APA. He picked strong and highly professional faculty members. He not just dreamt about, but very actively pursued, the objective of making the Academy a degree-granting tertiary institution. That all four Schools are awarding or are about to award degrees is an achievement well appreciated by all those who know about the inherent difficulties of such an endeavour.
At the same time Dr Hosier tirelessly worked with, or advised, the Council for the Performing Arts, the Arts Centre management, the other tertiary institutions in Hong Kong, the performing arts companies, the Hong Kong Arts Festival group. He sought closer links with sister institutions or organisations in China and other countries in the region. He led the faculty, inspired the students, promoted the Academy, and held the Chairman’s hand. He did so with great personal charm, always a positive attitude, and with modesty and quite authority.
Dr Hosier accomplished a lot without making enemies. An impressive performance indeed from a man whom fate did not allow to become a performer in his own right but who has been the motivating force for so many others. Generations of students, like the graduates here tonight, have benefitted by having Dr Hosier around to help in their education and personal development. And through them he has helped to enrich millions; all those who love the performing arts who receive happiness and joy through their participation.
Sir, I recommend to you for the award of Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, one of the most deserving persons to be so honoured, Dr John Hosier.