作為一位於香港土生土長的指揮家、小提琴家及教育工作者，蔡敏德一直熱愛音樂，她年少時已是一位出色的小提琴手，在學期間已開始擔任指揮。她曾負笈英國皇家音樂學院主修小提琴，師隨傑出四重奏領奏西德尼•歌爾勒，其後她獲全數獎學金入讀倫敦國皇學院繼續深造，並重燃她對指揮的熱情。她自此與歐洲及亞洲各大樂團合作，並與Steven Isserlis、Jane Manning、Jeremy White、莫華倫、Diana Moore、Philip Eastop、Paul Silverthorne等獨奏家以及阿勒格利弦樂四重奏等演出。2001年，蔡氏為了匯聚英國創意及文化之士而創辦了安吉利亞室樂團，並出任藝術總監兼首席指揮，帶領樂團演出多場音樂會，不僅樂團的藝術水平獲得肯定，極富創意的節目安排同樣備受讚賞。
在學習指揮的藝術路上，她曾師從Jorma Panula、Georg Tintner、Janoš Fűrst、David Parry、Diego Masson、Colin Davis爵士及Jiří Bělohlávek大師，除此以外，她亦與Colin Davis爵士及Jiří Bělohlávek大師為年輕音樂家籌辦交響樂工作坊，並獲頒英國藝術局個人獎項到塞維亞旁聽巴倫邦與東西合集管弦樂團及芝加哥青年樂團的排練。
屢獲殊榮的蔡敏德曾獲英國藝術協會、英國學院、藝術人文研究協會以及英國文化協會等機構頒發多項個人資助。她於2007年獲提名為「全球具啟發性傑出女性」，其畫像更在英國國家肖像畫廊展出，澤爾班路•吉福特在著作《Confessions to a Serial Womaniser》裡面訪問蔡教授，闡述其作為音樂家、指揮家以及企業家的出眾成就。
管弦樂合奏是香港演藝學院音樂學院訓練學生相當重要的一環，所有演奏管弦樂隊樂器的學生都會加入成為演藝交響樂團的一份子，每周進行排練，曲目涵蓋傳統交響曲及當代作品。近年，演藝交響樂團曾與澳洲室樂團合作，以及布爾諾國家歌劇院首席指揮伊雲奴域、史卡拉學院首席指揮米安尼堤、符柏德、莫加利亞等客席指揮合作，樂團成員曾出訪北京及上海參演專業樂團的音樂會、耶路撒冷及台灣演出獨奏會、參與香港小交響樂團的彭德雷茨基音樂會及香港管弦樂團的「Share the Stage」計劃。另外，演藝交響樂團及合唱團亦曾在里霖指揮下演出巴赫《聖誕清唱劇》音樂會。演藝交響樂團的演出頻繁，包括一年一度的歌劇製作演出。
在音樂學院院長蔡敏德指揮下，樂團曾於2016年10月參演由韓國領事館主辦的韓國十月文化節2016音樂會，與三位蜚聲國際的韓裔獨奏家Hyuna Kim（小提琴）、Richard Yongjae O’Neill（小提琴）及Clara Minhye Kim（大提琴）同台演出。2017年6月，演藝交響樂團與深圳藝術學校愛樂樂團攜手，分別於深圳和香港演出兩場音樂會。
Sharon Andrea Choa, conductor
Sharon Andrea Choa has been a devoted musician throughout her life - as conductor, violinist and educator. Born in Hong Kong, she excelled at the violin from a young age and started conducting whilst still at school. She was later accepted at the Royal Academy of Music as a violinist to study under the great quartet leader Sidney Griller. Further studies brought her to King’s College London on a full scholarship where her passion for conducting was re-ignited. Since then, she has worked with orchestras around Europe and Asia and with soloists such as Steven Isserlis, Jane Manning, Jeremy White, Warren Mok, Diana Moore, Philip Eastop, Paul Silverthorne and the Allegri String Quartet. In 2001, Sharon founded Chamber Orchestra Anglia (COA) in order to draw together creative and cultural strengths in the UK. In the role as artistic director and principal conductor of the orchestra, she has presented a string of concerts that earned COA the reputation for its high-level performances and innovative programming.
On her path as a young conductor, she had been coached by JormaPanula, Georg Tintner, Janoš Fűrst, David Parry and Diego Masson as well as Sir Colin Davis and Maestro Jiří Bělohlávek. In addition, she has worked with both Sir Colin and Maestro Bělohlávek in orchestral workshops for young musicians; and was awarded an individual Arts Council England award to audit Daniel Barenboim’s rehearsals with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in Seville and the youth orchestra in Chicago.
Sharon has been awarded many performance and academic prizes including individual grants by Arts Council England, the British Academy, the Arts Humanities Research Council and the British Council. In 2007, Sharon was nomiated an ‘inspirational woman of the world’ with her portrait appearing in the National Gallery. Her achievement as musician, conductor and entrepreneur is featured in Zerbanoo Gifford’s book Confessions to a Serial Womaniser.
In 2014, Sharon was given the Music Award under the Norfolk Arts Award scheme in the UK and the A.R.A.M. in recognition of her work as performer and educator. The same year, she returned to Hong Kong to take up the position as Dean of the School of Music at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA). She has since been a guest conductor of the HK Philharmonic and has recently been appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble (HKNME).In 2016 with her colleagues at the HKAPA, she has founded Philharmonia APA – an ensemble made up of HKAPA’s gifted alumni. The ensemble has given two high-profile concerts in Hong Kong and toured to Vienna twice in 2016 & 2017.
Vivian Shen Ting-Chia
Born in Taipei, Vivian Shen began studying violin at the age of five and was admitted to the DunHua Elementary School Music Class, the Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan Normal University and Taipei Municipal Chung Cheng Senior High School. She entered the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts to further his study under Prof. Michael Ma in 2013 and is now in her first year of the Master of Music programme.
Vivian has won numerous awards, including the First Prize winner of the Japan Classic Music Competition of Taiwan Representative Competition (High School Section) in 2012 and the First Prize winner of the Top 100 student music competition (Piano Trio High School Section) in 2011.
Vivian has participated in masterclasses with Maxim Vengerov, Cho-Liang Lin, Ray Chen, Christoph Poppen and Robert Chen. She has also received coaching from Paganini Competition winners Lu Siqing, Huang Bin and Ning Feng. She has also joined many music camps during the summer and played the first violin in Dvořák Piano Quintet No.2, Op.81 when she participated at the Prague Arts Festival in Czech in 2007. She also performed as soloist in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with the Chung Cheng High School Orchestra under the baton of Yang Chih-Chin at the National Concert Hall in Taipei in 2011 and with the Academy Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sharon Andrea Choa in 2016. Vivian participated in the Aspen Music Festival in 2016 with the generous support of the Asian Cultural Council Scholarship and was invited by the Festival to return in 2017. She played in the Aspen Festival Orchestra with renowned conductors, including Robert Spano, Ludovic Morlot, Hugh Wolff, James Gaffigan, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, and Vasily Petrenko.
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA), established by Government Ordinance in 1984, is a leading tertiary institution in performing arts in Asia. It provides professional undergraduate education and practice-based postgraduate studies in Chinese Opera, Dance, Drama, Film and Television, Music and Theatre and Entertainment Arts. Its educational philosophy reflects the cultural diversity of Hong Kong with emphasis on Chinese and western traditions, and interdisciplinary learning.
Academy Symphony Orchestra
Within the HKAPA’s School of Music, orchestral training is a significant part of the students’ education. All students of orchestral instruments participate in the Academy Symphony Orchestra, whose weekly rehearsals cover the standard symphonic literature as well as contemporary works. In recent years, the Academy Symphony Orchestra has worked with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and guest conductors such as Marko Ivanović (Principal Conductor of the National Theatre Brno Opera), Pietro Mianiti (Principal Conductor of the La Scala Academy), Patrick Furrer, Andrew Mogrelia amongst many others. The orchestra members have toured to Beijing and Shanghai to join professional orchestral concerts and to Jerusalem and Taiwan to give chamber recitals. They also collaborated with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta in their Penderecki project and participated in the Hong Kong Philharmonic’s “Share the Stage’’ events. With the Academy Choir, they performed Bach’s Christmas Oratorio under the direction of Helmut Rilling. The Orchestra has a busy performing schedule every academic year including playing for our annual opera production.
Under the baton of Prof. Sharon Choa, Dean of School of Music, the Orchestra was invited to perform in the Festive Korea 2016 Gala Concert presented by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in October 2016 at the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre together with three international Korean violinist Hyuna Kim, violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill and cellist Clara Minhye Kim. In June 2017 the Orchestra joined forces with the Shenzhen Arts School Philharmonic Orchestra to perform in two concerts which were held in Shenzhen and Hong Kong respectively.