In 2005, the University celebrated the inauguration of the first 8 Endowed Professorships,
a milestone in the University's history.
To date, a total of 120 Endowed Professorships have been established.
Mr James Chen and Ms Yuen-Han Chan

James Chen and Yuen-Han Chan Professorship in Music

We hope that through exceptional music education, the younger generations will grow to become sincere, kind and treasured talents. The establishment of this Professorship is only a prelude, and we hope that it can play a harmonious part in the development of music education in Hong Kong. 

Mr James Chen and Ms Yuen-Han Chan
Chan Hing-Yan

Chan Hing-Yan

Appointed in 2019
Originated in Italy at the end of the 16th century, opera is totally different from xiqu (traditional Chinese opera). The difference between a Chinese-language opera and xiqu is comparable to that between modern
Chinese poetry and traditional Chinese poems. Hence, while opera has a history of more than 500 years, the creation of a Chinese-language opera is an act of horizontal transplant (from the West), rather than a vertical inheritance (of Chinese tradition). The past five years saw a Hong Kong composer prolifically contribute three works of different subject to this budding genre of Chinese-language opera.

Professor Chan Hing-Yan is Professor of Music at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). He is arguably Hong
Kong’s most representative and prolific composer in the classical music scene. His recent works include three chamber operas; the most recent being last year’s Ghost Love – a chamber opera after Xu Xu’s novella.

The two other operas, Heart of Coral – after the life of Xiao Hong (2013) and Datong – the Chinese Utopia (2015), were commissioned by the Hong Kong Arts Festival, and led to the Festival engaging Professor Chan for the extravaganza staged cantata Hong Kong Odyssey, for which he composed half the music. He was also its Music Director, mentoring three young composers and over 100 musicians. The programme was a highlight of the 2017 Festival to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the city’s handover.

Lauded for their subtle mediation between Chinese elements and Western idioms, Professor Chan’s compositions have been heard around the world at festivals such as Canberra International Music Festival (2017); Hong Kong Music Series in London (2017) and Hong Kong Week, Taipei (2014, 2016); the Second Spring of the Chinese Symphony, Beijing (2010); Edinburgh Festival (2009); Chinese Musicians Residency, Cornell (2009); and Hommage a Bartók, Budapest (2006).

Professor Chan has closely collaborated with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta (HKS) over the past 20 years. The orchestra has commissioned and performed his works at home and abroad in Europe, the Americas, Taiwan, Beijing, and Shanghai. While serving as HKS’s Artist Associate (2016-18), Professor Chan contributed two works: November Leonids – for orchestra, and Ethereal Is the Moon – for huqin and orchestra.

Professor Chan was conferred a Best Artist Award (Music) at the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards 2013, organised by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. His work with the City Contemporary Dance Company won him much acclaim as well as a Hong Kong Dance Award in 2008. He was also recognised under the Secretary for Home Affairs’ Commendation Scheme that same year.

At HKU, Professor Chan was bestowed an Outstanding Research Student Supervisor Award (2013-14). In addition, he has been an advisor to the University’s Cultural Management Office since its inception, and has been instrumental in planning and delivering a number of innovative programmes for its MUSE series, including: The Humanistic Bach; Music Opera and Orchestra: in dialogue with maestro Shao-Chia Lü; The Musical Murakami; Open Rehearsal: the Human Requiem; Szymanowski Quartet and HKU Composers; and Shared Stage.

Professor Chan has been involved with the local community as both consultant and speaker, working with the Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme, the Home Affairs Bureau (since 2011), the Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund (2006-13), the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (since 2009), and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD, 2007-16). During his tenure as Chairman of the LCSD’s Music Panel (2007-13), Professor Chan was the architect of various novel initiatives. The 2011 sold-out Mahler Forum, which he instigated and moderated, has remained a benchmark for his successors.