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藝術總監石信之

(Artistic Director)

石信之備受音樂家和樂評人推崇,譽為現代最傑出指揮家之一。他平易近人的個性及剛柔並濟的指揮風格,深得世界各地音樂界愛戴

        石信之生於中國天津,三歲時隨同家人移居香港,八歲開始在港研習鋼琴和小提琴。後獲獎學金進入三藩市音樂學院深造,師承李路爾和賴本樂學習指揮,不久獲委任為該音樂學院交響樂團助理指揮。在學期間,他積極參與三藩市灣區各樂團及合唱團的指揮工作,一九七一年以優異成績在三藩市音樂學院畢業,隨即獲邀往日本沖繩島指揮《上地昇舞蹈交響組曲》的世界首演。這場音樂會是日本音樂界盛事,石氏當時的演出非常成功,獲得指揮家兼作曲家芥川也寸志賞識,邀請前往東京在東京交響樂團及新交響樂團出任其指揮助理。一九七三年,石氏在東京舉行的民音全國青年指揮家大賽中獲季軍獎

         一九七四年,石氏移居紐約,受教於馳名世界的維也納指揮家卡路班比路。他鼓勵石氏赴歐洲跟隨名師深造,包括柏林的尼古拉馬高、巴黎的馬其教授及來自羅馬、米蘭的法蘭高法黑拉等。其後,石氏在國際指揮比賽中奪得多個獎項,包括在柏林舉行的卡拉揚指揮大賽、意大利的聖利摩歌劇院指揮大賽等。自此以後,石氏成為席不暇暖的指揮家,穿梭於歐洲各國,為著名樂團及歌劇院執棒,表現突出,深獲好評

        一九七六年,石信之初次在香港執棒,擔任香港管弦樂團指揮,並隨即應聘為客席指揮,定期為樂團執棒,為期五個樂季。至此石氏的聲名遠播,於一九七八年初在台灣執棒,應邀指揮台北市立交響樂團,深受台灣樂迷歡迎。他更是在台灣演出的首批海外華裔指揮家之一。石氏對推動中樂不遺餘力,亦是為中國管弦樂灌錄一系列唱片的首批指揮家之一,曾與東京交響樂團合作灌錄唱片。一九八二年,他和國際知名的小提琴家西崎崇子及日本群馬交響樂團合作灌錄《梁祝協奏曲》。這張膾炙人口的唱片,為石氏贏得其首張白金唱片的殊榮。其後,他與香港管弦樂團亦有合作灌錄其他中國管弦樂唱片

        二十世紀現代音樂亦是石氏的專長。他移居紐約後,曾創立紐約室樂團及亞洲現代音樂團,期間向美國市民及音樂界推介不少亞洲作曲家的精彩作品,並作首演。石氏一直有灌錄現代作品、交響樂及歌劇唱片,發行世界各地。他擔任指揮的音樂會及歌劇,在歐洲及美國電視均有廣播

 歌劇方面,石氏活躍於紐約歌劇界,一九七九年出任曼赫頓歌劇團音樂總監,曾製作超過五齣每年演出場次達百多場的大型歌劇及輕歌劇。他的聲譽日隆,於是獲邀為紐約其他歌劇團擔任指揮,包括美聲歌劇團、紐約歌劇團及麗晶娜歌劇團等,他當時指揮的作品不限於標準的大型歌劇,還推介一些被人忽略和遺忘的歌劇,如羅西尼的《奧泰羅》及浦契尼的《燕子》。一九八一年,石信之應聘出任香港市政局成立的香港合唱團音樂總監,期間他曾指揮由國際著名歌劇演員擔綱演出的名劇《弄臣》,這是香港一年一度的大型歌劇製作

  石信之好學不倦,在百忙中仍繼續進修,師承受人敬重的現代音樂專才─指揮家亞瑟韋士柏,於一九八三年獲紐約州立大學頒授指揮碩士銜。一九八四年,石氏為北京中央樂團及上海交響樂團擔任指揮,成績斐然,是首位應邀為這兩個樂團執棒的海外華裔指揮家。翌年,他初次在中央歌劇院指揮由意大利著名舞台總監芝奴比基製作並在中國首演的歌劇《小丑情淚》及《贊利史基基》

         一九八二年,石氏初次為香港中樂團擔任指揮,備受歡迎,其後經常應邀來港執棒,於一九九三年六月應邀出任該樂團音樂總監。一九九二年,石氏應邀指揮台北實驗國樂團,深受樂迷歡迎。翌年,他載譽重臨台灣,為其他樂團擔任指揮,包括著名的國家音樂廳樂團、台灣省立交響樂團及台北市立國樂團等

        石氏任職香港中樂團以後,致力提升樂團的水平,並使演出作品更趨多元化。一九九四年,他初次領導中樂團和香港管弦樂團在「世紀樂聚」音樂會同台演出;此外,他亦領導中樂團與香港話劇團、香港舞蹈團同台演出別具香港風格的原創音樂劇《城寨風情》,並擔任這齣大型製作的指揮及音樂統籌。這兩宗音樂界盛事不僅是本港音樂史上的創舉,也是中樂團歷史的重要里程碑

         在國際樂壇方面,石信之投身音樂事業以來,經常穿梭於世界各音樂之都,擔任客席指揮,參與歌劇及管弦樂兩方面的演出。他曾在全球超過五十個大城市為無數歌劇院和音樂廳擔任指揮,包括里斯本、巴黎、阿姆士特丹、羅馬、米蘭、柏林、慕尼黑、布達佩斯、紐約、三藩市、羅省等市

        石信之現以香港為家,積極為本地樂壇培育新一代音樂家。他現任香港合唱團及香港優秀兒童合唱團藝術總監、香港新愛樂交響樂團音樂總監、香港音專交響樂團藝術顧問、香港演藝學院顧問委員會成員及優才中學創校校董。石氏曾在香港演藝學院、香港大學及香港大學美術博物館學會講學,並擔任香港校際音樂節評判,他亦是香港作曲家聯會名譽會員

Henry Shek

While growing up in his native city of Hong Kong, Shek studied violin and piano from an early age.  His desire to become a conductor was inspired by a concert he had heard as a teenager, by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on its Asian tour to Hong Kong under Sir Malcolm Sargent in the 1960’s. 

After high school, Shek won a scholarship and went to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1968 where he studied piano, theory, composition and conducting.  Upon graduation with distinction in Orchestral Conducting, Shek was immediately engaged by Maestro Yasushi Akutagawa to be his assistant conductor at the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and the New Symphony Orchestra in Japan where he conducted numerous rehearsals and performances and stood in at the last minute for many indisposed maestros.  Shek also won a Bronze Medal at the Min On Competition for Young Conductors in Tokyo in 1973. 

Upon completion of his assistantship in Tokyo, Shek went to New York City and studied under the great Viennese maestro Carl Bamberger and developed what Shek himself describes as a passionate love for the operas.  It was Bamberger who encouraged Shek to go to Europe and further his studies under the legendary conductor-teachers Hans Schwarowsky, Franco Ferarra and Igor Markevitch.  After winning conducting prizes at the San Remo Opera House (Italy), the Besancon (France) and the Herbert von Karajan (West Germany) competitions, Shek embarked on a career where his engagements took him to most of the musical capitals of the world, conducting prestigious orchestras, opera houses and ballet companies.  He has travelled throughout Europe, the United States and Asia and conducted over eighty orchestras.

Since returning to his native city of Hong Kong in 1993, Shek had added Hong Kong as one of his residences.  He was appointed Music Director of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra from 1993 to 1997, and continued to be its Principal Conductor (Promotional Series) until 1999.  During this period, Shek had made great strides to internationalise and promote Chinese symphonic music, and had made a series of Compact Disks under the Marco Polo International label.  His other recordings with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Shanghai Symphony and the Moscow Symphony have been international best sellers.  He also founded the Hong Kong Opera Company with its own two hundred member strong Hong Kong Chorus and the New Philharmonia of Hong Kong, all of which he is Musical and Artistic Director.  In 1999, the Hong Kong Choir of Outstanding Children was established by him to nurture the finest young performing talents of Hong Kong. 

While continuing to be a well sought-after guest conductor in many parts of the world, Shek devotes a good part of the year to Hong Kong where he promotes fine music to the public-at-large, which includes Broadway shows, operettas, grand operas, and symphonic and pop orchestral repertoire. His philosophy is to discover and nurture young talents and his conviction is to help make Hong Kong an important cultural capital of the world.