YAN Huichang (Honorary Member) 閻惠昌（名譽會員）
Yan Huichang was conferred the title of National Class One Conductor at the First Professional Appraisal of China in 1987. He has joined the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra since June 1997. In the last decade or more, the Orchestra, under the leadership of Yan, has made many milestones in the history of development of Chinese music. He was awarded the ‘Cultural Medallion (Music)’ by the National Arts Council of Singapore in September 2001, and in the same year, his achievements were simultaneously documented in The Famous Figures of the contemporary Arts Circles in China. In 2004, Yan was awarded a Bronze Bauhinia Star (BBS) by the Chief Executive of HKSAR in recognition of his remarkable achievements in Chinese music as well as his efforts in promoting Chinese music. In 2008, he won the Jurors’ Award for Conducting at the 6thChina Gold Record Awards – Multi Arts Category. In 2009, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and also appointed a Visiting Scholar of the Academy’s School of Music and conducted master classes in Conducting. In May 2010, Yan was presented the Overseas Award for Music at the 51st Literary and Art Works Awards of the Chinese Writers’ & Artists’ Association (Taiwan). The Orchestra’s frequent invitations to perform in various arts and music festivals around the world are an endorsement of its high artistic standards and cultural achievements. In March 2012, he was invited to give master classes at the Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles, the Conservatoire de Luxembourg, and the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (which made him the first ever Chinese to hold such classes there).
Yan received five years of professional training in Chinese Music Conducting at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where he was a pupil of the renowned conductor Xia Feiyun, and the famous composers Hu Dengtiao and He Zhanhao. He was appointed Principal Conductor-cum-Artistic Director of the Chinese National Orchestra of China upon graduating with a Bachelor’s degree cum laude in 1983. It was followed by other positions in his music career, including as Guest Conducting Professor of the China Conservatory, Conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra and National Orchestra of the Beijing Concert Hall, Conductor and Head of the Research Centre, Department of Operatic Music of the Shaanxi Academy of the Arts, Resident Guest Conductor of Kaohsiung City Chinese Orchestra and Executive Committee member of China Nationalities Orchestra Society. He is now the Specially Invited Conductor of Chinese Music of the Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra of China. As a conductor who has worked with all professional Chinese orchestras in Beijing, Shanghai, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong, Yan has won the acclaim of the music circles in China and abroad for his artistic and conducting talents. In addition to Chinese music, Yan has also been involved in music of other genres. The professional orchestras he has worked with include the Philharmonic Orchestra of Beijing Concert Hall, China National Symphony Orchestra, Russian Philharmonic Orchestra of Moscow, Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, and Beijing Symphony Orchestra of China. Apart from conducting on the concert stage, Yan is also actively engaged in composition and has won numerous awards. His representative works include the symphonic poem The Sound of Water which won a Class One Award in the Composition Contest of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and Class Two Award in the Third National Music Composition Competition; and the pipa solo work Nostalgia which won a Class One Award at the First National Pipa Contest of Contributing Works. Many works written and arranged by him have been included in the stock repertoires of orchestras of China as well as other places. Some of the most representative pieces include Concerto for Erhu - Illusion, Sanxian Concerto – Nuo, Zheng Concerto - The Clouds and the Water of Rivers Xiao and Xiang and Buddhist music, The Weiyang Sect. His more recent works include Ode to the Strings and two pieces of Buddhist music, Qing Lian Yu Yue (‘Cyan Lotus under the Moon’) and Chuan Deng Xu Ming (‘The Passing of the Light’).
Among the many recordings he has made, the symphonic piece, Buddha’s Story, and A Collection of Modern Erhu Music conducted by him won the Gold Tripod Award in Taiwan. Under his baton, and in collaboration with the famous composer Zhao Jiping, the Symphony Orchestra section of the China National Symphony Orchestra made the soundtrack recordings for such award-winning films as Raise the Red Lantern, Ballad of the Yellow River, and Five Girls and a Rope. In 1992, he resettled in Singapore and was the Music Director of Naxos (Singapore) Pte Ltd.. Between 1992 and 1993, Yan wrote and produced for recording release Clouds, The Moon, A Music Journey on the Yellow River and Song of the General. He was also highly commended for his conducting of the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra in a Chinese music recording released by BMG of Japan in 1994. He also conducted the China Broadcasts National Music Orchestra of Beijing, the Chinese National Orchestra, the Shanghai National Orchestra, the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and the Kaohsiung City Chinese Orchestra in their recordings. Under his baton, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra has cut more than thirty recordings, which include the world’s first ever SACD live recording by a full-scale Chinese orchestra entitled The HKCO Silver Jubilee Concert, The Magic Notes of Zhao Jiping, Golden Chinese Classics of the Century – The Award Winners Concert, Majestic Drums series, The Silk Road Fantasia Suite and In Search of Chinese New Music – Works by Doming Lametc..
In 2000, Yan was a member of the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation, and an Examiner and Arts Advisor of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council for Grants. In July 2011, he was appointed to be the Specialist of the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications. In recent years, Yan has been appointed guest/visiting professor by several music institutions, a position that allows him to promote Chinese music for the continuation of its heritage. He has given lectures and talks at the Central Conservatory of Music, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, The Sichuan Conservatory of Music, Shenyang Conservatory of Music and Xi’an Conservatory of Music in China, and The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in Hong Kong. In December 2011, Yan was invited to be a Professor at the China Conservatory and a supervisor on its Master’s programme.
He was instrumental in proposing and the subsequent implementation of the Professional Orchestra Internship scheme through collaboration between The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra in 2006. It was followed by The HKCO Orchestral Academy, which was a realization of Yan’s innovative vision in 2009. In 2010, Yan initiated the world’s first ever ‘International Conduction Competition for Chinese Music’, which was enthusiastically supported and highly commended by professional music conservatories in China and overseas.
所錄製多張唱片中，其《如來世家》及《二胡現代作品集》獲台灣唱片金鼎獎。中國中央交響樂團在他的指揮下，與著名作曲家趙季平合作錄製《大紅燈籠高高掛》、《黃河謠》、《五個女子和一根繩子》等影片樂曲，榮獲中國及國際電影節大獎。1992年閻氏移居新加坡受聘為拿索斯（新加坡）唱片公司音樂總監。1992至93年期間先後創作及監製《雲》、《月》及《黃河音樂之旅》、《將軍令》等個人電腦音樂作品唱片專輯。1994年應日本BMG唱片公司邀請指揮俄羅斯愛樂管弦樂團錄製中國音樂唱片，備受讚賞。而他更先後與北京中國廣播民族樂團、中央民族樂團、上海民族樂團、新加坡華樂團、台灣高雄市國樂團錄製唱片。在閻氏指揮下，香港中樂團已先後錄製超過三十張影音產品，包括世界首張大型中樂團SACD現場錄音的《明月星輝 ― 香港中樂團銀禧音樂會》、《樂壇神筆趙季平音樂精選之夜》、《世紀中樂名曲 — 頒獎音樂會》、《鼓王群英會》系列、《絲綢之路幻想組曲》和《尋找中國新音樂 — 林樂培作品集》等等。