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Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra on four-city tour of UK
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Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra (HKCO) is on its first major tour of the United Kingdom, said the Information Services Department of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in a press release on Saturday.

The HKCO tour started Friday with a concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London, followed by another three concerts in Manchester, Birmingham and Gateshead.

The tour was sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London, together with the Arts Development Fund of Home Affairs Bureau, the press release said.

The objective of the tour is to highlight the fascinating and vibrant cultural and musical heritage of Hong Kong to audiences in the United Kingdom.

The Orchestra's repertoire for the tour is a mixture of traditional and contemporary pieces chosen to represent different ethnic flavors from different areas of China, the press release said.

It includes modern classics such as Tracing our roots with the Old Pagoda Tree by Zhao Jiping, the composer of the film score of the award-winning movie Raise the Red Lantern, A Thousand Brushstrokes for pipa and orchestra by Hong Kong composer, Law Wing-fai, a pipa solo performed by the renowned pipa virtuoso, Wong Chi-ching, and Terracotta Warriors Fantasia by Maestro Peng Xiuwen, according to the press release.

Sarah Wu, director general of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, said, "We are proud to sponsor this tour of the United Kingdom by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. Since it was established in 1997, the HKCO has been unmatched as a cultural and goodwill envoy for Hong Kong, showcasing our vibrancy, cultural diversity and achievements."

"These talented musicians have given performances all over the world, bringing the magic and mystique of Chinese classic and contemporary music to new audiences. I hope that this tour will enable them to reach out to make new friends and reach out to new audiences in the United Kingdom," she added.

(Xinhua News Agency March 17, 2008)

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