Nancy Loo 羅乃新
Nancy Loo is one of Hong Kong’s most versatile artists, being pianist, radio programme host, actress, writer, and educator. She currently teaches piano at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the University of Hong Kong. She is also the Artist in Residence at the Education University of Hong Kong.
Having started to learn the piano at the age of five with Betty Drown, Loo attended the Juilliard School in 1965 under the tutelage of Mieczyslaw Munz and Adele Marcus. After graduating with a Master’s degree, she continued her studies with Vlado Perlemuter in France and Guido Agosti in Italy, as well as Ryszard Bakst and Derek Wyndham at the Royal Northern College of Music in the UK. In 1976, she won first prize at the Fourth Rina Sala Gallo International Competition in Monza, and has since won awards in many other international competitions, including the Marguerite Long International Competition in Paris.
Loo has performed in concerts in England, Europe, North America and Asia. She has appeared as a soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Zagreb Radio Symphony Orchestra, Thessaloniki State Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the National Philharmonic of the Philippines. In Hong Kong, she has played with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta and the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra.
Loo appears frequently in festivals and events on the local music scene. As the founder of the piano and woodwind sextet Les Six, she has also worked with local and visiting artists in many chamber music concerts. A keen performer of contemporary music, she frequently participates in Musicarama presented by the Hong Kong Composers’ Guild and the ISCM World Music Days Festival. She was the featured artist in Hymns on Piano at the Hong Kong Arts Festival in 2016.
But Loo’s talents are not limited to concert performance alone: she has participated in various multi-media performances, musicals and operas, such as Kung Chi-shing’s M Garden, and in drama productions, such as The Tale of Three Hong Kong Women with the Hong Kong Fringe Club and The Music Factory with Chung Ying Theatre Company. She has also accompanied with the City Contemporary Dance Company as pianist in The Rite of Spring and Testimony, and for Musica Viva in Donizetti’s opera La fille du régiment.
Loo’s CDs include a solo piano album of Christian music; Ambush from All Sides and Moonlight on Spring River with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra; piano works by local composers; and the Brahms Hungarian Dances with violinist Leung Kin Fung. A series of recording projects are in process, including hymn transcriptions by Chinese composers, a concerto for piano and wind band, and Schoenberg’s song cycle The Book of the Hanging Gardens.
Loo’s engagement with music education in the community is noteworthy; she frequently serves as an adjudicator for piano competitions as well as giving talks and master classes. Her recent contributions include serving on the adjudication panel of the Steinway & Sons International Youth Piano Competition (Hong Kong and Macau Regional Competition). She has been the presenter of RTHK Radio Four’s Cantilena for over ten years and of Children’s Corner, a classical music programme for parents and children, for over twenty years. Recently, she has become actively involved in music ministry in prisons, sharing her passion for music with some of the least advantaged in our society.
Loo’s service to the community through music was first recognised when she became a recipient of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award early in 1978. She received the HKSAR Medal of Honour in 2010, and was honoured as the Artist of the Year (Music) by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council in 2016.
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