The Hong Kong Oratorio Society (HKOS) is a non-profit-making organization founded in 1956 by Mr Theodore Huang and a group of music enthusiasts who believed that choral singing and music would bring joy to the singers and the listeners alike, as well as enhancing the personal quality and enriching the spiritual and cultural life of the audience.
From a humble start of a handful of music enthusiasts to over a hundred members with different nationalities, the HKOS guided by generations of great musicians has become the most active choir with the longest history and the largest membership in Hong Kong. It usually presents five concerts per year with a total of more than three hundred concerts presented over the past years. Its repertoire covers oratorios and major choral works by classical and contemporary composers including the masterpieces of Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Mendelssohn and Chinese composers Xian Xinghai and Huang Zi, etc. Many of these works were debuted in Hong Kong.
HKOS takes its name from its favourite genre of repertoire, the oratorio, which refers to extended choral works with religious or mythological stories. In recent years, HKOS has commissioned composers Chan Wing-wah, Victor Chan and Huang An-lun to compose pieces for its performance. From 1996, HKOS has also produced five CD recordings distributed worldwide.
The first conductor of the choir was Mr. Frank Huang who was then succeeded by Dr Wong Wing-hee serving as Principal Conductor and Conductor Emeritus for many years before retiring. The present Music Director, Prof. Chan Wing-wah took over the baton after a few successful collaborations with HKOS since 1995.
HKOS has performed under the baton of many famous conductors including Yan Liang-kun, Yan Hui-chang, Chen Zuo-huang, Shao En, Yu Feng, Chen Tscheng-hsiung, Zhang Yi, Cao Ding, Andrew Cheung, Jimmy Chan, Raymond Fu, Allison So, Angela Yeung, Carmen Koon, Sir David Wilcox, Veiga Jardim, Patrick Chiu, Gabrial Leung, etc. The Central Ballet Symphony Orchestra of Beijing, Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, Macao Orchestra, Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, The Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Strings had all collaborated with the HKOS. HKOS has also gone on overseas tours to Canada, Israel, the Philippines, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore as well as many major cities in Mainland China.
HKOS members are keen music lovers and enjoy singing. Its planning and execution are managed by an executive committee on a non-remunerative basis elected by members at its annual general meetings. The Music Director and Honorary President are ex-officio members of the Executive Committee. The concerts are supported by several generous patrons. HKOS will endeavour to continue its contribution to the Hong Kong muisc arena through the production and performance of fine choral music for the community.