Monday 17 November 2014


British Council hosts UK award-winning cellist Oliver Coates in Hong Kong for cultural exchange

Under the Musicians in Residence Programme, the British Council  hosts award-winning cellist, Oliver Coates, in Hong Kong, from 14 November to 23 December, in partnership with renowned local music organisation Kung Music Workshop founded by Kung Chi Shing. Immersing in and responding to new environments and building new musical relationships locally, Oliver will write new pieces of music which will be performed publicly in China and the UK in 2015. During his residency in Hong Kong, he will also participate in a series of educational workshops at tertiary institutions working with students, and performances, both solo and working collaboratively with Hong Kong musicians.

Sponsored by the PRS for Music Foundation and the British Council, with a mission to stimulate and support the creation and performance of new music, the Musicians in Residence Programme enables five UK musicians to spend six weeks in Hong Kong and four other cities in China, respectively. Oliver was selected for the Programme through expert nomination and interview process. He was a recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award in 2011 and is currently an Artist in Residence at Southbank Centre, London. He also delves in electronic music and has performed throughout the UK and internationally in China, Russia, Brazil and across Europe.

‘The Musicians in Residence programme is not only a strong proof of our commitment in creating connections between Hong Kong and the UK through the arts, but also a significant example of how we collaborate with our partners to create innovative programmes which are of mutual benefit,’ said Meijing He, Head of Arts and Creative Industry, British Council Hong Kong. ‘We are grateful to join hands with the PRS for Music Foundation and Kung Music Workshop, which both are committed in the creation and performance of new music in the UK and Hong Kong respectively. I am confident that Oliver Coates’ residency in Hong Kong will be fruitful and inspirational for him, as well as the local artists and students he works with.’

‘I am delighted to partner with the British Council to bring Oliver Coates to Hong Kong under the Musician in Residence programme. Oliver’s interest in experimental electronic music and his experience in the UK will be invaluable for local artists and students. We look forward to exchanging and sharing ideas and inspiration with him in Hong Kong,’ added Kung Chi Shing.

While in Hong Kong, Oliver will also explore the musical underground - musicians or record labels who are hidden, experimental and off the map. His work in London at Southbank Centre has preponderance of female musicians - composers and electronic producers and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) musicians – which is both his curatorial work and in his collaborative practice. Oliver embraces this as a kind of aesthetic widening and equality which he would like to investigate and research in Hong Kong, as well.

Details of the Musicians in Residence programme with Oliver Coates:

Saturday, 22 November 2014
Collaborative Performance at Freespace Festival by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA)
Venue:  West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade
Time: 3.10 p.m. – 3.20 p.m. and 9.50 p.m. – 10.10 p.m.

Sunday, 30 November 2014
Student workshop I: Hong Kong Baptist University
Venue: Hong Kong Baptist University
Time: 10.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.

Monday, 1 December 2014
Student workshop II: The University of Hong Kong
Venue: The University of Hong Kong
Time: 2.00 p.m. – 3.30 p.m. 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014
Student workshop III: The Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts presented by the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble
Venue: The Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts
Time: 4.00 p.m. – 5.30 p.m.

Monday, 8 December & Tuesday, 9 December 2014
Collaborative & Solo Performances
Venue: Hong Kong Arts Centre

Saturday, 20 December 2014
Street Concert
Venue: Hong Kong Arts Centre 

(Further details will be announced soon)

As the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations, the British Council build bridges of trust and understanding among people around the world through the promotion of the UK’s culture and creativity. To learn more about the British Council’s work in the arts, please visit

Notes to Editor

About Oliver Coates

Oliver Coates plays the cello, works with electronic music and performs throughout the UK and internationally. In the past year as a solo artist he has performed in China, Russia, Brazil and across Europe. His curatorial practice focuses on new music and cross-arts events.

Oliver’s awards include the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award 2011 and he is an Artist in Residence at Southbank Centre, London.

More recently he has been exploring different approaches to space, architecture and music making. He has also performed concertos with Aurora Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia and the Neojiba Youth Orchestra of Bahia.

In addition to solo sets and recitals for festivals around the world Oliver performs as a principal cellist with many of the UK's leading orchestras. These include Aurora Orchestra, London Contemporary Orchestra and guest spots with London Sinfonietta, Britten Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

About PRS for Music Foundation

PRS for music foundation is the UK's leading funder of new music across all genres. The organisation’s mission is to stimulate and support the creation and performance of new music throughout the UK and to ensure that this music is enjoyed by a wide audience. Because of the foundation’s specialist knowledge of the music sector, the support often is seen as an indication of quality and innovation.

PRS has selected the UK musician Oliver Coates for the programme through expert nomination and interview process.

About Kung Music Workshop (KMW)

KMW was founded by composer/performer/music activist Kung Chi Shing in 2008. Since then KMW has organized more than 100 free outdoor concerts, master classes for young musicians and lecture series on music, community art, and many other arts-related topics.

MW will organise Oliver’s exchange activities in Hong Kong including managing and producing educational workshops and performances. Moreover, based on this pilot project experience, KMW will continue to host international artists from other exchange programmes and working towards sending local artists/musicians to overseas residency programmes.  

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. 

We work in more than 100 countries and our 7,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the Arts and delivering education and society programmes. In Hong Kong, we have been doing this since 1948, giving people opportunities to learn, share and connect worldwide.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publically-funded grant-in-aid provides less than 25 per cent of our turnover, which last year was £781m. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.