Start On 1956

The Hong Kong Oratorio Society was founded by Mr. Theodore Huang and a group of music enthusiasts who believed that singing beautiful music would bring joy to singers and listeners alike. It further helps to enhance our personal quality and provide citizens with rich spiritual and cultural life.

First Concert

Oct 1956
Inaugural Concert at Queen Elizabeth School, selected pieces from Handel’s Messiah, Brahms’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia were performed.

First Concert in Hong Kong City Hall

11 May 1962
Hong Kong City Hall grand opened on 2 March 1962 and HKOS presented the first concert at the venue with Mendelssohn’s Elijah on 11 May 1962, After that, HKOS scheduled about two concerts a year at the same venue for many years.

Dr Wong Wing-hee, Principal Conductor

Dr Wong Wing-hee was appointed as the principal conductor of the HKOS from 1967 until his retirement in 1989.

Premiere Concerts

15-16 May 1971
HKOS performed many masterpieces led by famous conductors since its establishment. Some works were not only premiered in Hong Kong but also in Asia. On 15 & 16 May, 1971, HKOS sang the choral parts in two consecutive performances of Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (Hong Kong Premiere). On 2 Nov, 1997, Norwagian  composer Sigvald Tveit’s The Pilgrims was presented by HKOS (World Premiere). In addition, some HKOS commissioned works by Hong Kong composers and (world premiere) performed.

First Overseas Performance

Nov 1972
The first overseas performance was held at Manila Cultural Centre in the Philippines, performed Verdi’s Requiem with Chorale Philippines & Manila Symphony Orchestra. After that, HKOS has also gone on overseas tours to Macau, Taiwan, Canada, Israel, Korea, Singapore, USA, and many cities in Mainland China.

First Time to Sing Chinese Work

11 Nov 1976
HKOS tackled a Chinese work for the first time in 1976: Huang Tze’s cantata Song of Eternal Lament as one of the programmes for The Festival of Asian Arts 1976.

First Member Recital Concert

27 Nov 1977
A member recital concert was held at Hong Kong Arts Centre, Shouson Theatre.

First Concert in Mainland China

April 1984
Performed Haydn’s The Seasons in Cultural Hall of the People, Beijing. HKOS was one of the earliest performing parties being invited to sing the western music in China during ‘The Reform and Opening-up Policy’

First Charity Concert Series of 17 years

2-3 Apr 1988
HKOS and The Hong Kong Japanese Club Chorus first joined together to perform an annual series of charity concerts to raise money for the Community Chest. The concerts lasted for 17 years until 2004.

Grand Opening Concert of Hong Kong Cultural Centre

2 Dec 1989
HKOS was being invited to perform in the Grand Opening Concert of Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Concert Hall for Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 Resurrection. Since then, Concert Hall of Hong Kong Cultural Centre become a weekly rehearsal and frequent performance venue of HKOS.

Dr Wong Wing-hee Retired

Dr Wong Wing-hee retired from the post of Principal Conductor in 1989 and moved to the America, he became our Conductor Emeritus. However, he still came back to Hong Kong to conduct HKOS performances and participated in church music development. In 1991, he was being invited to conduct HKOS 35th Anniversary Concert. In 1997, Dr. Wong retired for the second time and permanently moved to United States, HKOS and some church music groups held a grand farewell concert to celebrate his 80th birthday .

HKOS Commissioned Works

5 Oct 1992
HKOS commissioned works by Hong Kong Composers, the first work was Symphony No. 4 Te Deum by Dr Chan Wing-wah in 1992, Symphonic Psalms in Three Parts by Dr Victor Chan in 1994, Festive Fanfare and Gloria by Elena Chiu in 2015.

First Music Director

Prof Chan Wing-wah was appointed Music Director in 1995.

First Audio CD  Recording

Nov 1995

HKOS recorded the first CD for Symphony No.4 Te Deum by Chan Wing-wah and Requiem by Anton Bruckner at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, produced by Hugo Productions (HK) Ltd.

Handover Concert Series

June – July 1997
HKOS actively participated in the celebrations surrounding the handover of Hong Kong back to China, singing in four concerts in the week before the Handover. (Last Night of the Proms, 26-29 Jun 1997)

HKOS also participated the 1997 Reunification Music Festival – 1st July Reunification Gala, presented by the Association for Celebration of Reunification of Hong Kong at Hong Kong Coliseum on 1 July 1997; and HK Association of Choral Societies joint choir at Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Concert Hall on 2 and 7 Jul 1997 for singing Chinese Symphonic Choral Works;

Finally, HKOS took part in a record 22 performances and two concert tours in 1997.

A Journey to the Holy Land

10-20 Aug 1998
HKOS joined the Israel 18th Zimriya World Assembly of Choirs in Jerusalem Israel, took this opportunity to have music exchange and community performances with worldwide musicians and choirs. Two concerts were held in Hong Kong known as Pre-Israel and Post-Israel Tour Concert.

First Website

HKOS registered the oratorio as domain name in Hong Kong launched its first official website :

HKOS in SARS Period

Hong Kong and some cities of the world reacted in a panic to the mysterious infection of SARS. The society managed to continue its rehearsals with members wearing masks during rehearsals. Two concerts names as (Let There Be Peace On Earth) were held at Hong Kong City Hall, Concert Hall (1 Jun), and Auditorium, Tsuen Wan Town Hall (7 Jun). The first time using slide show at back stage while performing, to express feelings to the audience.

50th Golden Jubilee Anniversary

HKOS celebrated the 50th Anniversary and launched a series the Golden Jubilee Concert Series in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Beijing. An unforgettable AGM dinner were held at Dynasty Club. Both members, families, friends and guests were invited to join and sing at that night.

New Media Channel

18 Dec 2011
Creation TV channel was invited to be media partner to promote and produce video in HKOS concert. Then HKOS concerts can be replayed through at TV and web channels. Our performers and conductors were interviewed by reporters.

60th Diamond Jubilee Anniversary

15 Mar 2016
HKOS celebrated the 60th Anniversary and launched a series the Diamond Jubilee Concert Series in Hong Kong, San Diego and Honolulu. And a memorable AGM dinner was held in The Mira Hong Kong. Members and guests enjoyed the dinner and happy sharings that night.

A Musical Journey – To In Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Establishment of the HKSAR

June 2017
To In Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Establishment of the HKSAR, A Musical Journey were held at world known venue, The Music Centre’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles on 25 Jun 2017 & Herbst Theatre, San Francisco on 23 Jun 2017. More than 70 members joined the tour under music director and renowned composer Chan Wing-wah. It might be the largest overseas performances since we ever had.

Revamp of Website and Social Media

Sep 2017
HKOS Website revamped as a more user-friendly and responsive website, include interactive and historical archives. By using the social media, such as Facebook , Instagram, Twitter & Youtube Channel, it facilitates HKOS to share more in social networking.

CHAN Wing-wah’s “Symphony No.9: Universal Harmony” (Hong Kong and Canada premieres concert)

26 May 2019(Hong Kong), 22 June 2019(Toronto)
In May, Hong Kong Premiere Concert to perform CHAN Wing-wah’s new work “Symphony No.9: Universal Harmony” and in June Prof CHAN lead more than 60 members to participate in a Musical Journey in Celebration of the “70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China” in Toronto, with the Vancouver Oratorio Society to form a lineup of nearly 100 Choirs, and Toronto KSO Orchestra, performed “Voices of the World” Concert at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.

“Covid-19” ravages the world

2020 – 9 May 2021
In 2020, the “COVID-19” ravaged the world, Hong Kong was also affected by the epidemic to maintain social distancing. We have suspended all concerts in 2020. Until May 2021, we are excited to be able to return the stage of the concert hall, spent a Mother’s Day afternoon concert with the audience, and the first time all members to put on masks during performance.

The publication of ‘The Hong Kong Oratorio Society – 65 Glorious Years’

01 December 2023
The publication of ‘The Hong Kong Oratorio Society – 65 Glorious Years’, a commemorative album for the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Hong Kong Oratorio Society (HKOS). It can also be said to be a self-narrated history of the HKOS. It takes concerts over the years as the main axis, from the fundraising concert – the first performance in 1956 to the Christmas concert present in December 2021. Book showing the details of each concert, with promotion posters, program book covers, newspaper clippings, and performance pictures, the precious content can be used as an academic reference and as a souvenir of the collective memories of Hong Kong people, allowing the public to have a more comprehensive understanding of the development history of local classical music of HKOS.
Publisher: Cosmos Books Ltd. | Author: Hong Kong Oratorio Society | Chief Editor: Dr. Oliver Chou

HKOS 65th anniversary book was ranked Second of “Top 10 Music Headlines, 2023”, presented by RTHK Radio 4

10 Jaunary 2024
We are deeply honored the publication of ‘The Hong Kong Oratorio Society – 65 Glorious Years’ to be included as a finalist in the Top 10 2023 Music Headlines, presented by RTHK Radio 4. The news items are nominated by professionals in the music scene, and based on their influence on music cultural and academic development in Hong Kong. It was ranked second with 67.1% of voting rate.